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An Account of the Conquest of Peru   By:

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DOCUMENTS AND NARRATIVES CONCERNING THE DISCOVERY AND CONQUEST OF LATIN AMERICA

PUBLISHED BY THE CORTES SOCIETY NEW YORK

NUMBER TWO

Edition limited to 250 copies of which ten are on Kelmscott paper

This copy is Number

85

AN ACCOUNT OF THE CONQUEST OF PERU

WRITTEN BY PEDRO SANCHO

SECRETARY TO PIZARRO AND SCRIVENER TO HIS ARMY

TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH AND ANNOTATED BY PHILIP AINSWORTH MEANS

THE CORTES SOCIETY NEW YORK 1917

COCKAYNE, BOSTON

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

The work of Pedro Sancho is one of the most valuable accounts of the Spanish conquest of Peru that we possess. Nor is its value purely historical. The "Relación" of Sancho gives much interesting ethnological information relative to the Inca dominion at the time of its demolition. Errors Pedro Sancho has in plenty; but the editor has striven to counteract them by footnotes.

In every instance the translator has preserved Pedro Sancho's spelling of proper names, calling attention to the modern equivalent on the first occurrence of each name. In a few instances, where the text was unusually obscure, close translation has not been adhered to.

The virtues, as well as the shortcomings of this account, are so obvious that an extended reference to them here is superfluous. It must always be borne in mind that this document partook of the nature of an " apologia pro vita sua " and that it was directly inspired by Pizarro himself with the purpose of restoring himself to the Emperor's favor. Its main purpose was to nullify whatever charges Pizarro's enemies may have been making to the sovereign. Consequently there are numerous violations of the truth, all of which are, for us, easy to recognize.

A word as to the previous editions of Pedro Sancho may not be out of place here. The original manuscript is lost. An Italian translation of it appears in the "Viaggi" of Giovanni Battista or Giambattista Ramusio, published in Venice about 1550. The numerous editions of Ramusio's great work do not need to be listed here. Occasionally the translator has referred to that of 1563, a copy of which is in his possession. The edition which has served as a text for the present translation is that issued and edited by Don Joaquin García Icazbalceta, Mexico, 1849. This edition, like all of Icazbalceta's work, is painstaking. Professor Marshall Saville has been good enough to lend me his copy of this edition, which is very rare, in order that I might have it to work with. Finally, a small portion of Pedro Sancho's narrative was issued by the Hakluyt Society of London. The editor, Sir Clements Markham, included it in the same volume with the reports of Xeres, Miguel de Estete, Hernando Pizarro. The volume, entitled "Reports on the Discovery of Peru," was issued by the Hakluyt Society in 1872.

PHILIP AINSWORTH MEANS BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS October 9, 1916

RELATION

Of the events that took place during the conquest and pacification of these provinces of New Castile, and of the quality of the land, and of the manner in which the Captain Hernando Pizarro afterward departed to bear to His Majesty the account of the victory of Caxamalca[1] and of the capture of the Cacique Atabalipa.[2]

CHAPTER I

Concerning the great quantity of silver and gold which was brought from Cuzco, and of the portion thereof which was sent to H. M. the emperor as the royal fifth: How the imprisoned Cacique Atabalipa declared himself free of his promise which he had made to the Spaniards to fill a house with gold for ransom: And of the treason which the said Atabalipa meditated against the Spaniards, for which betrayal they made him die... Continue reading book >>




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