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Inca Emperor Viracocha Dies

Two important events marked on the Bible Timeline with World History during the year 1438 for the Inca people. First was their victory in the Inca-Chanca War and second was the death of the doomed Inca Emperor Viracocha. The emperor had abdicated in favor of his son, Inca Cusi Yupanqui after the young hero defeated the Chanca warriors that attacked Cuzco.

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The Inca-Chanca War

The Chanca rose to become a powerful group of people in central Peru around the fifteenth century. They were said to be sons and daughters of a lion, and that they came from the Lake Chuqlluqucha region in the Huancavelica Region. Just like the Inca, they also wandered far from their homeland and settled near the Quechua people in southern Peru.

“The Kingdom of Cusco in 1438, shown in red on the map.”

In the early 1400s, they defeated the Quechua people and pushed south to occupy Andahuaylas. The war drove the Quechua refugees to flee near the city of Cuzco and seek an alliance with the Inca. Meanwhile, the Chanca people strengthened and gathered its army in preparation for the war against the Inca. Finally in 1438, the Chanca army led by Hastu Huaraca and Tomay Huaraca crossed the Apurimac River to reach the Inca territory. They also carried with them the mummy of their ancestor Uscovila in hopes that he would bring them victory.

When they arrived near the city of Cuzco, they immediately sent envoys to the elderly Inca king Viracocha to demand his city’s submission. Perhaps he had no fight left in him as Viracocha responded by fleeing with his heir Urcon and some Inca nobles to his villa far from Cuzco. His two other sons had no choice but to lead the defense of the city. One son, in particular, rose to become the hero of Cuzco and this was Inca Cusi Yupanqui. He enlisted the help of allied peoples such as the Cotapampas, Quechuas, and Aymaras to defend Cuzco from the Chanca army.

When they met in battle, the Inca army under Inca Cusi Yupanqui defeated the Chancas and drove them back across the Apurimac River. Now that the city was safe, Inca Cusi Yupanqui killed his brother and his father’s heir Urcon so he could be proclaimed as the new king. He also convinced his father to give up the crown and proclaim him as the new king. Viracocha had no choice but to give up the kingship and in 1438, he crowned his son and gave him the title “Pachacuti.” Viracocha was treated kindly by his son afterwards. The elderly former king was allowed to return to his favorite villa until he died there in the same year.

Public Domain, Link
Brundage, Burr Cartwright, and Arnold Toynbee. Empire of the Inca. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963.
Julien, Catherine J. Reading Inca History. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2000.
McEwan, Gordon Francis. The Incas: New Perspectives. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2006.
Steele, Paul R., and Catherine J. Allen. Handbook of Inca Mythology. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2004.
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