Manco Capac

Manco Capac, d. 1544, last of the Inca rulers, son of Huayna Capac. After the deaths of Huáscar and Atahualpa, Manco Capac was crowned (1534) emperor by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro but was tolerated only as a puppet. He escaped, levied a huge army, and in 1536 laid siege to Cuzco, the Inca capital; the defense was commanded by Hernando Pizarro. Although the Native Americans had by now learned some European tactics of war they were outclassed by technical advantages. Also, Manco Capac could not prevent dismemberment of his army at harvest time. The heroic siege, which virtually destroyed the city, was abandoned after ten months, but during the ensuing eight years the Inca's name became a terror throughout Peru. Manco Capac fought a bloody guerrilla war against soldiers and settlers. He was treacherously murdered after giving refuge to the defeated supporters of Diego de Almagro, who had rebelled against Pizarro.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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