Read CHAPTER XXXVIII of History of the Incas , free online book, by Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, on


When Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui returned from the conquest of Colla-suyu and the neighbouring provinces, as has been narrated in the preceding chapter, he was well stricken in years, though not tired of wars, nor was his thirst for dominion satisfied. Owing to his age he chose to remain at Cuzco, as the seat of his government, to establish the lands he had subdued, in the way which he well knew how to establish. In order to lose no time in extending his conquests, he assembled his people, from among whom he chose 70,000 provided with arms and all things necessary for a military campaign. He nominated his brother, Ccapac Yupanqui, to be Captain-General, giving him for colleagues another of his brothers named Huayna Yupanqui, and one of his sons named Apu Yamqui Yupanqui. Among the other special captains in this army was one named Anco Ayllo of the Chanca nation, who had remained a prisoner in Cuzco from the time that the Inca conquered the Chanca’s at Cuzco and at Ichu-pampa. He had ever since been sad and brooding, thinking of a way of escape. But he dissimulated so well that the Inca treated him as a brother and trusted him. Hence the Inca nominated him as commander of all the Chancas in the army. For to each nation the Inca gave a captain from among their own people, because he would understand how to rule them and they would obey him better. This Anco Ayllo, seeing there was an opportunity for fulfilling his desire, showed satisfaction at receiving this commission from the Inca, and promised to do valuable service, as he knew those nations whose conquest was about to be undertaken. When the army was ready to march, the Inca gave the Captain-General his own arms of gold, and to the other captains he gave arms with which to enter the battles. He made a speech to them, exhorting them to achieve success, showing them the honourable reward they would obtain, and the favours he, as a friend, would show them, if they served in that war. He gave special orders to Ccapac Yupanqui that he should advance with his conquering army as far as a province called Yana-mayu, the boundary of the nation of the Hatun-huayllas, and that there he should set up the Inca’s boundary pillars, and he was on no account to advance further. He was to conquer up to that point and then return to Cuzco, leaving sufficient garrisons in the subjugated lands. He was also to establish posts at every half league, which they call chasquis, by means of which the Inca would be daily informed of what had happened and was being done.

Ccapac Yupanqui set out from Cuzco with these orders, and desolated all the provinces which did not submit. On arriving at a fortress called Urco-collac, near Parcos, in the country of Huamanca, he met with valorous resistance from the inhabitants. Finally he conquered them. In the battle the Chancas distinguished themselves so that they gained more honour than the Cuzcos orejones and the other nations.

This news came to the Inca, who was much annoyed that the Chancas should have distinguished themselves more, and had gained more honour than the Incas. He imagined that it would make them proud, so he proposed to have them killed. He sent a messenger ordering Ccapac Yupanqui to lay a plan for killing all the Chancas in the best way he could devise, and if he did not kill them, the Inca would kill him. The runner of the Inca reached Ccapac Yupanqui with this order, but it could not be kept a secret. It became known to a wife of Ccapac Yupanqui, who was a sister of Anco Ayllo, the captain of the Chancas. This woman told her brother, who always longed for his liberty, and now was urgently minded to save his life. He secretly addressed his Chanca soldiers, putting before them the cruel order of the Inca, and the acquisition of their liberty if they would follow him. They all agreed to his proposal. When they came to Huarac-tambo, in the neighbourhood of the city of Huanuco, all the Chancas fled with their captain Anco Ayllo, and besides the Chancas other tribes followed this chief. Passing by the province of Huayllas they pillaged it, and, continuing their route in flight from the Incas, they agreed to seek a rugged and mountainous land where the Incas, even if they sought them, would not be able to find them. So they entered the forests between Chachapoyas and Huanuco, and went on to the province of Ruparupa. These are the people who are settled on the river Pacay and, according to the received report, thence to the eastward by the river called Cocama which falls into the great river Marañón. They were met with by the captain Gomez d’Arias, who entered by Huanuco, in the time of the Marquis of Canete, in the year 1556. Though Ccapac Yupanqui went in chase of the Chancas, they were so rapid in their flight that he was unable to overtake them.

In going after them Ccapac Yupanqui went as far as Caxamarca, beyond the line he was ordered not to pass by the Inca. Although he had the order in his mind, yet when he saw that province of Caxamarca, how populous it was and rich in gold and silver, by reason of the great Sinchi, named Gusmanco Ccapac, who ruled there and was a great tyrant, having robbed many provinces round Caxamarca, Ccapac Yupanqui resolved to conquer it, although he had no commission from his brother for undertaking such an enterprise. On commencing to enter the land of Caxamarca, it became known to Gusmanco Ccapac. That chief summoned his people, and called upon another Sinchi, his tributary, named Chimu Ccapac, chief of the territory where now stands the city of Truxillo on the coast of Peru. Their combined forces marched against Ccapac Yupanqui, who by a certain ambush, and other stratagems, defeated, routed and captured the two Sinchis Gusmanco Ccapac and Chimu Ccapac, taking vast treasure of gold, silver and other precious things, such as gems, and coloured shells, which these natives value more than silver or gold.

Ccapac Yupanqui collected all the treasure in the square of Caxamarca, where he then was; and when he saw such immense wealth he became proud and vainglorious, saying that he had gained and acquired more than his brother the Inca. His arrogance and boasting came to the ears of his sovereign, who, although he felt it deeply and desired an opportunity to kill him, dissimulated for a time and waited until the return to Cuzco. Inca Yupanqui feared that his brother would rebel, and for this reason he appeared to be pleased before the envoys sent by Ccapac Yupanqui. He sent them back with orders that Ccapac Yupanqui should return to Cuzco with the treasure that had been taken in the war, as well as the principal men of the subdued provinces, and the sons of Gusmanco Ccapac and Chimu Ccapac. The great chiefs themselves were to remain, in their territories with a sufficient garrison to keep those lands obedient to the Inca. On receiving this order Ccapac Yupanqui set out for Cuzco with all the treasure, and marched to the capital full of pride and arrogance. Inca Yupanqui, who himself subdued so many lands and gained so much honour, became jealous, as some say afraid, and sought excuses for killing his brother. When he knew that Ccapac Yupanqui had reached Limatambo, eight leagues from Cuzco, he ordered his lieutenant-governor named Inca Capon, to go there and cut off the head of Ccapac Yupanqui. The reasons given were that he had allowed Anco Ayllo to escape, and had gone beyond the line prescribed. The governor went and, in obedience to his orders, he killed the Inca’s two brothers Ccapac Yupanqui and Huayna Yupanqui. The Inca ordered the rest to enter Cuzco, triumphing over their victories. This was done, the Inca treading on the spoils, and granting rewards. They say that he regretted that his brother had gained so much honour, and that he wished that he had sent his son who was to be his successor, named Tupac Inca Yupanqui, that he might have enjoyed such honour, and that this jealousy led him to kill his brother.