Who Was Atahualpa?


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Christopher Adam Profile
Atahualpa, born in 1502, was Peru's last Inca ruler. Atahualpa ruled the northern part of what is today Peru, from 1525 to 1533. Atahualpa's father, Huayna Capac, was Peru's previous ruler and following his death the country was divided into northern and southern sections, with Atahualpa ruling in the north and Huascar in the south.

Atahualpa went to war with Huascar in 1532 and successfully occupied Cuzco, the south's capital city, and took his brother hostage. Atahualpa's good fortune, however, was very short-lived as he was defeated and taken hostage by Francisco Pizarro, a Spaniard, in 1533. Atahualpa tried to convince Pizarro to let him go and even offered him a room full of pure gold if he was given back his freedom. Atahualpa, however, was later charged with the crime of allegedly fomenting an Inca uprising. Atahualpa was tried in Cajamarca and sentenced to death in 1533.

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