Huayna Capac was the Inca emperor, also called Sapa Inca, from 1493 to 1527. He was nicknamed the “Great” or the “Conqueror” because the territory of the Inca Empire was at its largest under his reign. During his reign, he conquered many regions and it is said that he himself led his troops to war. He died of smallpox in 1527 while leading his armies in the north of the empire.

The last Sapa Inca

After Huayna Capac’s death, his two sons, Atahualpa and Huascar, fought for control of the empire. Huascar finally seized power, but the empire had been weakened by the fighting between the two brothers. When the Spanish arrived in 1532, the Inca Empire was disorganized and collapsed under the attacks of the conquistadors.

What we know of Huayna Capac

Even though the Incas had no writing, we know about the life of Huayna Capac today because he died shortly before the arrival of Spaniards, who gathered stories about his life and wrote them down.

Author: Alexandre Lanoix