Inca Empire

Topics: Inca Empire, Inca, Quechua Pages: 8 (3269 words) Published: October 8, 1999
We know from history many various civilizations. Civilizations like Sumerian (4000 BC), Egyptian (3000 BC), Minoan (2000 BC), and Babylonian (1700 BC). Later, the Greek civilization, throughout the Macedonian empire, ranged as far east as northern India and as far south and west as Egypt. Then Romans were the rulers of the whole area from Constantinopole, to Palestine and North Africa to Britain. After centuries, the Vikings, people from what is now Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, established colonies in northern France, Sicily, England, and Ireland. During the 13th century AD, Mongols created a vast empire in Central Asia and the Mongol Empire controlled the expanse of territory from the Ural mountains in Russia to the Pacific Ocean. The same period of time another great civilization, called Ottoman Turks, was taking over most of North Africa, the Middle East, and the Balkan Peninsula. In America, Incas were the rulers of the largest native empire. Near the end of the 14th century the Inca empire began to expand from its initial base in the Cuzco region of the southern Andes, mountains of South America. Incas' expansion ended with the Spanish invasion led by Francisco Pizarro in 1532. The Incas were the greatest indigenous civilization of the Americas. Within 100 years they had build a powerful empire, stretching the entire length of the Andeas, at a distance of more than 5,500 km. It was probably the greatest empire of its time life anywhere in the world, if we imagine that they had built a road system that extended some 30,000 to 40,000 km, unrivaled until the invention of the automobile, they possessed great skills in medicine, and they had a fully controlled social, political, and economical organization, although they lacked basic concepts such as the written language, the wheel, the steel, and the horse. In common with other Andean cultures, the Incas left no written records. Their history and their culture are known chiefly from the oral traditions preserved through the generations by official "memmorizers" and from the written records composed from them after the Spanish conquest (Inca 375). The official language of the Inca Empire was the Quechua language. Eventhough the Spanish destroyed most Quechua cities and religious centers when they conquered the Inca Empire, many aspects of their way of life survive. There are about 10 million people in Peru, Bolivia, Equador, Colombia, and Argentina who speak Quechua language, even today (Quechua 1,2). It is interesting to be mentioned that in Quechua language "Inca" means emperor. The people, later known as Incas, began as a small group of warlike people who spoke Quechuan language and lived near the Lake Titicaca in southeastern Peru sometime between 1100 or 1200 AD (Rosso 119). They are very cruel people, and they conquered the majority of their neighbors, in order to become the rulers of their land. They vanished tribes, such as Arrawaks and Saven. Especially, the second tribe had the greatest civilization of Peru, before the Inca Empire. Incas were short-height people, and their skin has the color of the copper (Rosso 120). Their supreme god was the creator god, Viracocha, but they worshiped the sun god, Inti, too (Inca Empire 8). According to an Inca myth, in order to explain their existence as children of the great Sun God, a man and a woman created by the sun in a small island of the Lake Titicaca. Then, the royal couple settled in Cusco establishing the Inca Empire (Rosso 120). According to another myth, the first Inca emperor, Manco Capac, and his three brothers and four sisters emerged from caves in the earth. Around the year 1200 A.D., Manco Capac led ten Inca clans from Lake Titicaca north to the valley of Cusco. The Incas conquered the people of the area and took it over for themselves, and Manco Capac married one of his sisters to establish the royal Inca bloodline (Inca Empire 1). Within the Inca Empire, the political system and...

Bibliography: "Inca Empire". Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, 1999, ed. Pages: 1-12.
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