Atahuallpa, Or Atabalipa, inca of Peru at the time of the invasion of the Spaniards, died Aug. 29, 1533. He was the son of Huayna Capac. The laws of Peru required that the principal wives of the incas should be blood relations, and that no children of other parentage should be legitimate. Atahuallpa's mother had been a princess of Quito; nevertheless, at the request of his father, the heir to the throne, Huascar, consented to divide the kingdom with Atahuallpa, on condition only that he should render homage to him, and not make conquests beyond his own dominions. This liberal conduct was infamously requited by Atahuallpa, who, having secretly got together a large army, attacked Huascar in Cuzco, took him prisoner, loaded him with chains, and exterminated all his adherents, putting his family and immediate dependants to death in the most atrocious tortures. Such is the story told by Spanish annalists, whose testimony is doubtful, seeing that the murder of Huascar, their pseudo-ally, and the tyranny of Atahuallpa were among the causes of his own execution. Pizarro and his followers were now in Peru, and Atahuallpa opened negotiations with them.
His proposals were received in a friendly manner by Pizarro, and an interview was arranged (1532), which Atahuallpa attended, followed by a very large number of unarmed subjects. Father Vicente de Valverde explained to him, through an interpreter, the mysteries of religion, and that on account of their heathenism the pope had granted his kingdom to the Spaniards. Atahuallpa professed not to understand the tenor of this discourse, and would not resign his kingdom; whereupon a massacre of the assembled crowd was at once commenced by the Spanish soldiers, who seized Atahuallpa and threw him into prison. On the arrival of Al-magro the cupidity of the adventurers was excited by the magnificent proposals that Atahuallpa made for his ransom, and with a desire of seizing the whole it was determined to put him to death. During his imprisonment Atahuallpa gave orders for the execution of Huascar, which were obeyed. This was one of the charges against him on the court martial by which he was tried, and being found guilty, he was sentenced to be burned, a penalty commuted for strangulation by the garrote on his accepting baptism at the hands of the priests accompanying the invaders. - See Prescott's "Conquest of Peru," vol. i.