The Inca Empire was one of the largest empires in Pre-Columbian America and South America. According to history, in the middle of the 12th century, 14 Incas were the most important in Tahuantinsuyo, until the fall of the empire during the Spanish conquest in the first half of the 16th century.
In Machu Picchu Peru Tours, we offer you more information about the 14 main Incas in the Inca period.
The 14 incas of the Tahuantinsuyo:
1.- Manco Capac.
According to the chroniclers, he was the first Inca, founder and consolidator of the Tahuantinsuyo Empire, between the years: 1150 and 1178. He was the builder of the first temple to worship the Sun God (in quechua we know the sun as the “Inti”). Manco Cápac was a Sinchi (investigator), who after the fall of the Tiahuanaco Empire, decided to lead his people to a fertile and propitious region.
2.- Sinchi Roca
His name means “Magnificent Warrior”, he was the second legendary Inca ruler of the empire in Cusco between the years 1178 to 1190. Sinchi Roca imposed the custom of wearing Inca adornments such as the Mascaipacha (head ornament) or red fringe.
3.- Lloque Yupanqui
During his government there were constant fights for the permanence in the Cusco valley, due to which he was unable to extend the territory of Tahuantinsuyo in the years 1117 to 1145. His name means “Memorable Lefty” and he was elected in a meeting held by the noble ayllus of Paruro.
4.- Mayta Capac
This fourth Inca, had extraordinary qualities for the military government. He undertook several conquests towards the south and the integration of what was the citadel of Tiahuanaco between the years 1145 to 1176. His name means “The Melancholy”.
5.- Capac Yupanqui
This man came to power in the period from 1176 to 1228, through a plot against his cousin Tarco Huamán, legitimate heir to the throne. Capac Yupanqui is known for being brave, he was able to dominate ethnic groups such as the Cuntis. He is the one who left the most descendants.
6.- Inca Roca.
The coronation of this Inca reaches notable reliefs, both for its magnificence and for the elimination of the successor from the previous dynasty. Architectural works such as the channeling of waters in the years 1228 to 1277 are attributed to him.
At the beginning he had to face the rebellion of the Mascas, under the command of Huasi Huaca. He defeated them, taking the leader as a prisoner..
7.- Yahuar Huaca
He was in charge of repressing curaca rebellions of Muyna and Pinahua in the years 1277 and 1298. In particular, great deeds are not attributed to his reign. This Inca manages to extend the Empire to Arequipa.
8.- Inca Viracocha o Huiracocha
Between the years 1298 and 1349, he conquered the lordships of Yucay and Calca. In turn, he improved the Inca agriculture system and infrastructure. However, the Chancas requested his surrender by handing over their domains and he accepted.
9.- Inca Pachacutec.
This Inca divided the empire of the Incas into 4 (the 4 Suyos) and created a caste destined to control the administration. He achieved the maximum expansion of the empire and established a common language: quechua, thus establishing an agricultural state between 1408 and 1438.
10.- Amaru Inca Yupanqui.
This Inca was the first-born son of Pachacútec and it is said that, due to his lack of warlike ability after a short term co-reigning with his father, he was replaced by his brother Túpac Yupanqui in the year 1478.
11.- Tupac Inca Yupanqui
First as heir to the throne and then as Inca, he was in charge of war campaigns of conquest and exploration. His name in Quechua means “Resplendent and Memorable King.” Thanks to Tupac Inca Yupanqui, the Tahuantinsuyo reaches its greatest extension in the part of Chile in the years 1438 to 1481.
12.- Huayna Capac
With this Inca, the greatest expansion of Tahuantinsuyo occurred in the period from the years 1481 to 1523. His name in Quechua means “Young Powerful.” It came to have 20 thousand men of war without counting the auxiliary bodies: cargo and kitchen.
Its name in Quechua means “Golden Chain.” He was designated as successor by the orejones (nobles) of Cusco between the years 1523 – 1532. He was a rival of his brother Atahualpa with whom he had a great confrontation.
After the death of his father, he fought a civil war against his brother Huáscar, managing to defeat him and proclaiming himself the Inca in 1532. He was captured by Francisco Pizarro on November 16, 1532, and then he was executed a year later, thus ending to the Inca Empire.
After knowing the fascinating history of the 14 main Incas, there were also others who played an important role in the Tahuantinsuyo empire and the Spanish invasion, called the Incas of Vilcabamba.