a high-altitude empire.
VEGA, Garcilasso de la, 'El Inca'. The Royal Commentaries of Peru, In Two Parts. The first Part. Treating of the original of their Incas or Kings: Of their Idolatry: Of their Laws and Government both in Peace and War: Of the Reigns and Conquests of the Incas: With many other Particulars relating to their Empire and Policies before such time as the Spaniards invaded their Countries. The Second Part. Describing the Manner by which that new World was conquered by the Spaniards. Also the Civil Wars between the Pic̜arrists and the Almagrians, occasioned by Quarrels arising about the Division of that Land. Of the Rise and Fall of Rebels; and other Particulars contained in that History. Illustrated with Sculptures. Written originally in Spanish, by the Inca Garcilasso de la Vega, and rendred into English, by Sir Paul Rycaut, Kt. London, Printed by Miles Flesher, for Richard Tonson at Gray’s-Inn-Gate next Gray’s-Inn-Lane, 1688.
Folio. Contemporary full calf, rebacked in the 20th century, boards with gilt-stamped floral border, all edges red; pp. [viii], 22, 27-1019, , engraved portrait frontipiece of the translator and ten engraved plates, title in red and black; wear to extremities; marginal wormhole to pp. 395-407, marginal repaired short tear to frontispiece, very few spots internally and only very lightly toned in places, a crisp and clean copy; provenance: contemporary engraved armorial bookplate
First English edition, one of four imprint variants of the work on the history and civilization of the Inca Empire including its destruction. The author was born in the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco in the same decade as the conquest of Peru took place. He was the son of a Spaniard of noble lineage and an Indian princess, Chimpa Oclio, a second cousin of the last two Inca rulers, the rivals Huascar and Atahualpa. The commentaries give an account of the birth, growth and fall of the Inca Empire from its legendary origins until the execution of the last native ruler Tupac Amaru, in 1572. Part one deals with the history of the Incas and their civilization, ending with the civil wars between Atahalpa and Huascar which reached a climax only just before the arrival of the Spaniards. Although the Inca theme is supposedly continued in part two, which opens with the organization of Pizarro's expedition and his capture of Atahualpa, the Indians in fact play no more than a subordinate role in it. The second part is essentially a book about the conquerors. The Comentarios Reales de los Incas had been printed first in Lisbon in 1609.
ESTC R11046 (a slight variant thereof); Sabin 98760; Palau 354801.