miércoles, 2 de enero de 2013

Why Blame Smallpox? 
The Death of the Inca Huayna Capac and the Demographic Destruction of Tawantinsuyu (Ancient Peru)
Robert McCaa, Aleta Nimlos, and Teodoro Hampe Martínez

For a pdf version of this paper click here

Será hombre como de cuarenta años, de mediana estatura, moderno
y con unas pecas de viruelas en la cara…
—description of Inca Titu Cusi Yupanqui, 18 June1565[1]
Smallpox is widely blamed for the death of the Inca Huayna Capac and blamed as well for the enormous demographic catastrophe which enveloped Ancient Peru (Tawantinsuyu).  The historical canon now teaches that smallpox ravaged this virgin soil population before 1530, that is, before Francisco Pizarro and his band of adventurers established a base on the South American continent.[2]  Nevertheless the documentary evidence for the existence of a smallpox epidemic in this region before 1558 is both thin and contradictory.  In contrast to Mexico, where there is a broad range of sources documenting the first outbreak and the death of the Aztec ruler Cuitlahuatzin from smallpox in 1520, for Peru, the evidence rests almost entirely on rather brief references in chronicles, few of which state unequivocally that Huayna Capac died of the disease.............. 

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