Atahualpa ätäwälˈpä [key], d. 1533, favorite son of Huayna Capac, Inca of Peru. At his father's death (1525) he received the kingdom of Quito while his half-brother, the legitimate heir Huáscar, inherited the rest of the Inca empire. Shortly before the arrival (1532) of Francisco Pizarro, Atahualpa invaded the domains of Huáscar, whom he defeated and imprisoned, and made himself Inca. On Nov. 16, 1532, Pizarro met Atahualpa at Cajamarca. Invited into the city, Atahualpa was seized and imprisoned. He offered a room full of gold as ransom and at the same time secretly ordered the death of Huáscar. He was tried for his brother's murder and for plotting against the Spanish and was executed. He is also known as Atabalipa.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: South American Indigenous Peoples: Biographies