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Curacazgo Inca
Kingdom of Cusco

Map of the Kingdom of Cusco.
Capital Cusco
Language(s) Quechua, Puquina.
Religion Inca religion
Government Monarchy
Sapa Inca
 - 1200-1230 Manco Capac
 - 1230-1260 Sinchi Roca
 - 1260-1290 Lloque Yupanqui
 - 1290-1320 Mayta Capac
 - 1320-1350 Capac Yupanqui
 - 1350-1380 Inca Roca
Historical era Pre-Columbian
 - Manco Capac organized the Kingdom of Cusco 1197
 - Pachacutec created the Tawantinsuyu 1438
Area 40,000 km2 (15,444 sq mi)

The Kingdom of Cusco (sometimes spelled Cuzco and in quechua Qosqo) was a small kingdom in the Andes that began as a small city-state founded by the Incas around the 12th century. In time, through either warfare or peaceful assimilation, it began to grow and was succeeded by the Inca Empire.



The Inca people began as a tribe in the Cuzco area around the 12th century AD. Under the leadership of Manco Capac, they formed the small city-state of Cuzco (Quechua Qosqo), shown in red on the map.

In 1438 AD, under the command of Sapa Inca (paramount leader) Pachacutec, whose name literally meant "world-shaker", they began a far-reaching expansion. The land Pachacutec conquered was about the size of the Thirteen Colonies of the United States in 1776, and consisted of nearly the entire Andes mountain range.

The Kingdom of Cusco in 1438, shown in red on the map.

Pachacutec reorganized the kingdom of Cuzco into an empire, the Tahuantinsuyu, a federalist system which consisted of a central government with the Inca at its head and four provincial governments with strong leaders: Chinchasuyu (NW), Antisuyu (NE), Contisuyu (SW), and Collasuyu (SE). Pachacuti is also thought to have built Machu Picchu, either as a family home or as a vacational retreat.

Sapa Incas


First dynasty

The Sapa Inca of the first dynasty of the Kingdom of Cuzco were, in order, Manco Capac, Sinchi Roca, Lloque Yupanqui, Mayta Capac, and Capac Yupanqui. Little is known of these early rulers, but as a rough guide, in later years capac meant warlord and sinchi meant leader. The beginning of the dynasty is generally taken as about 1200 CE.


  • (Spanish) María Rostworowski. Enciclopedia Temática del Perú: Incas. Lima: El Comercio S.A., 2004.
  • (Spanish) Editorial Sol 90. Historia Universal 5: América precolombina. Barcelona, España, 2002.
  • (English) Bushnell. Peru, Ancient people and places.
  • (English) MacQuarrie, Kim. The Last Days of the Incas. Simon & Schuster, 2007. ISBN 978-0743260497.


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