They Thought They Were Gods: Novel of the Spanish Conquest of Peru

AuthorHouse, 2011 - 228 páginas

This novel is an account of the Spanish invasion and conquest of Peru, and of the native struggle, led by Manco Inca Yupanqui, to defeat it. It traces the history of those years from the death of the last great Inca, Huayna Capac, in 1528, probably from smallpox, which the Spanish brought to South America, to the death of the last Conquistadore, Don Gonzalo Pizarro, who was executed for treason in 1548, following his abortive rebellion against Spanish imperial rule.

The story is told by an Inca nobleman, Huayna Rimac, who was Curaca (Governor) of Machu Picchu and, later, of Vilcabamba, as well as being the age mate, confidant, friend, and aide de camp of Manco Inca. The book does not try to present a balanced and fair account of the conflict between the two empires. It is an Inca account of the conflict. Huayna Rimac, however, as time went on, began to appreciate the strengths of the Spanish, as well as their weaknesses. Eventually, he was, reluctantly, forced to give them credit for their achievements.

The book clearly shows the differences between the two sides in a clash, which was as much cultural as military. The two empires could not coexist side by side. One culture would have to yield to the other. The book makes it clear that the decisive factor in the struggle was technological. The Incas, unfortunately, did not have access to iron, whereas the Spanish did. Spanish steel was some of the best in Europe in that period, whereas the Incas used bronze. The result was inevitable. However, the book makes it clear that Inca courage and determination came agonizingly close to overcoming superior Spanish technology. At the end Huayna Rimac is left to ponder his own future in a Peru dominated by Spanish power.

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Sobre o autor (2011)

David retired as a teacher in 2008, having taught almost continuously, in Africa and UK since 1969. He is a Master of Philosophy, having studied Christian Theology at Durham University, and Comparative Religion at Lancaster University. His master's thesis was on religious commitment and tolerance. He has had a passion for history all his life. The history, politics and religious disputes of the sixteenth century provided a background to his final years at school and his time at university. In recent years he has also been a local councillor in Lewisham. David has a Nigerian wife and three children who share both British and Nigerian culture. David has been deeply influenced by all these experiences, and knows at first hand about the potential clashes that occur when two cultures come into contact, yet alone into conflict. Through the experience of Joanna, his wife, and her relatives, David has seen both the positive and the negative impacts of colonialism on a traditional society.Following his retirement, David took the opportunity to travel, visiting Nigeria, Egypt, Petra, China, Hong Kong, and Peru. He saw great buildings, like the great pyramids, the treasury at Petra, the Summer Palace, and the Great Wall of China. Then he arrived in Peru. Here he saw the achievements of another ancient civilization, immortalized in stone. He saw more though. He also saw the artistic inheritance of native Peruvians, and the grim art of the Viceroyalty, which followed it. He was stunned, like so many visitors, by Machu Picchu. David returned from the lost city of the Incas angry and determined to tell their story to an English audience. This book is the result of that visit. However, it is also the result of David's lifetime experience in education, the Church, in politics, and his marriage to Joanna.

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