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The European View of the Incas in the Sixteenth Century

Description: This study seeks to ascertain European views concerning the nature of the indigenous population of Peru by employing contemporary works of Spanish chroniclers. Major focus is on the ideological background of the conquest with elaborations on Iberian philosophies held by conquistadors. Equally important are evaluations of Indian religion and social customs based on such sources as Aristotelian and Thomist doctrines as understood by Spanish writers. Political organization and the hierarchy of rulers play vital roles in determining why the Spaniards overwhelmed the Indians. Conquest destroyed the socio-economic structure of the Inca Empire, and the bonds holding communities together were lost as the Incas accepted Catholicism as their cult.
Date: May 1976
Creator: Greene, Gayle Lee