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The health of the city was promoted by spacious openings and squares, in which a numerous population from the capital and the distant country assembled to celebrate the high festivals of their religion. For Cuzco was the “Holy City;"19 and the great temple of the Sun, to which pilgrims resorted from the farthest borders of the empire, was the most magnificent structure in the New World, and unsurpassed, probably, the costliness of its decorations by any building in the Old.
Towards the north, on the sierra or rugged eminence already noticed, rose a strong fortress, the remains of which at the present day, by their vast size, excite the admiration of the traveller. 20 It was defended by a single wall of great thickness, and twelve hundred feet long on the side facing the city, where the precipitous character of the ground was of itself almost sufficient for its defence. On the other quarter, where the approaches were less difficult, it was protected by two other semicircular walls of the same length as the preceding. They were separated a considerable distance from one another and from the fortress; and the inter
workmanship they display, give to the city that interesting air of anitiquity and romance which fills the mind with pleasing though painful veneration." Memoirs of Gen. Miller in the Service of the Republic of Peru (London, 1829, 2d ed.), vol. ii. p. 225.
19 “ La Imperial Ciudad de Cozco, que la adoravan los Indios, como
Cosa Sagrada." Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 20.-. Also Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., MS.
30 See, among others, the Memoirs, above cited, of Gen. Miller, which contain a minute and very interesting notice of modern Cuzco. (Vol. ii. p. 223, et seq.) Ulloa, who visited the country in the middle of the last century, is unbounded in his exr.ressions of admiration. Voyage to South America, Eng. trans. (Loron, 1806), book vii, ch. 12 21 Betanzos, Suma y Narracion de los Yngas, MS., cap. 12.-Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 7, cap. 27-29.—The demolition of the fortress, begun immediately after the Conquest, provoked the remonstrance of more than one enlightened Spaniard, whose voice, however, was impotent against the spirit of cupidity and violence. See Sarmiento, Relacion, MS., cap. 48.
vening ground was raised so that the walls afforded a breastwork for the troops stationed there in times of assault. The fortress consisted of three towers, detached from one another. One was appropriated to the Inca, and was garnished with the sumptuous decorations befitting a royal residence rather than a military post. The other two were held by the garrison, drawn from the Peruvian nobles, and commanded by an officer of the blood royal; for the position was of too great importance to be intrusted to inferior hands. The hill was excavated below the towers, and several subterraneous galleries communicated with the city and the palaces of the Inca.22
The fortress, the walls, and the galleries were all built of stone, the heavy blocks of which were not laid in regular courses, but so disposed that the small ones might fill up the interstices between the great. They formed a sort of rustic work, being rough-hewn except towards the edges, which were finely wrought; and, though no cement was used, the several blocks were adjusted with so much exactness and united so closely that it was impossible to introduce even the blade of a knife between them.” Many of these stones were of vast size; some of them being full thirty-eight feet long, by eighteen broad, and six feet thick. <3
22 Ibid., ubi supra.- Inscripciones, Medallas, Templos, Edificios, Antigüedades, y Monumentos del Peru, MS. This manuscript, which formerly belonged to Dr. Robertson, and which is now in the British Museum, is the work of some unknown author, somewhere probably about the time of Charles III.,-a period when, as the sagacious 33 Acosta, Naturall and Morall Historie of the East and West Indies, Eng. trans. (London, 1604), lib. 6, cap. 14.—He measured the stones himself.-See also Garcilasso, Com. Real., loc. cit.
We are filled with astonishment when we consider that these enormous masses were hewn from their native bed and fashioned into shape by a people ignorant of the use of iron; that they were brought from quarries, from four to fifteen leagues distant, 24 without the aid of beasts of burden; were transported across rivers and ravines, raised to their elevated position on the sierra, and finally adjusted there with the nicest accuracy, without the knowledge of tools and machinery familiar to the European. Twenty thousand men are said to have been employed on this great structure, and fifty years consumed in the building. However this may be, we see in it the workings of a despotism which had the lives and fortunes of its vassals at its absolute disposal, and which, however mild in its general character, esteemed these vassals, when employed in its service, as lightly as the brute animals for which they served as a substitute. scholar to whom I am indebted for a copy of it remarks, a spirit of sounder criticism was visible in the Castilian historians.
24 Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 93.-Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., MS.Many hundred blocks of granite may still be seen, it is said, in an unfinished state, in a quarry near Cuzco.
95 Sarmiento, Relacion, MS., cap. 48.-Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., MS. -Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 7, cap. 27, 28.—The Spaniards, puzzled by the execution of so great a work with such apparently inadequate means, referred it all, in their summary way, to the evil ; an opinion which Garcilasso seems willing to indorse. The author of the Antig. y Monumentos del Peru, MS., rejects this notion with becoming gravity.
The fortress of Cuzco was but part of a system of fortifications established throughout their dominions by the Incas. This system formed a prominent feature in their military policy; but before entering on this latter it will be proper to give the reader some view of their civil institutions and scheme of government.
The sceptre of the Incas, if we may credit their his. torian, descended in unbroken succession from father to son, through their whole dynasty. Whatever we may think of this, it appears probable that the right of inheritance might be claimed by the eldest son of the Coya, or lawful queen, as she was styled, to distinguish her from the host of concubines who shared the affections of the sovereign. The queen was further distinguished, at least in later reigns, by the circumstance of being selected from the sisters of the Inca, an arrangement which, however revolting to the ideas of civilized nations, was recommended to the Peruvians by its securing an heir to the crown of the pure heaven-born race, uncontaminated by any mixture of earthly mould.”
» Sarmiento, Relacion, MS., cap. 7.-Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 1. cap. 26.-Acosta speaks of the eldest brother of the Inca as succeeding in preference to the son (lib. 6, cap. 12). He may have confounded the Peruvian with the Aztec usage. The Report of the Royal Audience states that a brother succeeded in default of a son. Dec. de la Aud. Real., MS.
57 "Et soror et conjux." According to Garcilasso, the heir-apparent always married a sister. (Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 4, cap. 9.) Ondegardo notices this as an innovation at the close of the fifteenth century. (Relacion Primera, MS.) The historian of the Incas, however, is confirmed in his extraordinary statement by Sarmiento. Relacion, MS., cap. 7.*
["The sister-marriage of the Incas," remarks Mr. Tylor, "had in their religion at once a meaning and a justification,"—as typifying,
o wise men,'
In his early years, the royal offspring was intrusted to the care of the amautas, or teachers of Peruvian science were called, who instructed him in such elements of knowledge as they possessed, and especially in the cumbrous ceremonial of their religion, in which he was to take a prominent part. Great care was also bestowed on his military education, of the last importance in a state which, with its professions of peace and good will, was ever at war for the acquisition of empire.
In this military school he was educated with such of the Inca nobles as were nearly of his own age; for the sacred name of Inca—a fruitful source of obscurity in their annals—was applied indifferently to all who descended by the male line from the founder of the monarchy. At the age of sixteen the pupils underwent a public examination, previous to their admission to what may be called the order of chivalry. This examination was conducted by some of the oldest and most illustrious Incas. The candidates were required to show their prowess in the athletic exercises of the warrior; in wrestling and boxing, in running such long courses as fully tried their agility and strength, in severe fasts of several days' duration, and in mimic combats, which, although the weapons were blunted, were always attended with wounds, and sometimes with death. During
28 Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. I, cap. 26.
namely, the supposed relation of the sun and moon, like the Egyptian Osiris and Isis. (Primitive Culture, i. 261.) It may, however, indicate also different ideas from those of our race in regard to consanguinity. See Morgan, Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family (Smithsonian Contributions).-ED.]