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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor



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Sebastian Garcilaso De La Vega

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GARCILASO (or GARCIA-LASO) DE LA VEGA, Sebastian, Spanish soldier, born in Badajoz, Spain, about 1495; died in Cuzco, Peru, in 1559. He was of the same family as the Spanish poet of the same name. Sebastian went to Mexico with Pedro de Alvarado, and when the latter returned to Guatemala, after the invasion of Quito, Garcilaso remained in Peru, and became a follower of Francisco Pizarro. After Pizarro's assassination he joined the royal governor, and was wounded at the battle of Chupas, 16 September, 1542. He then joined Gonzalo Pizarro, and was forced by him, on pain of death, to assist in his insurrection against the viceroy, Pedro de la Gasca.

 

In the decisive battle of Xaquixaguana, 9 April, 1548, Garcilaso went over to Gasca's side at the turning-point of the contest, and was afterward appointed governor of Cuzco, which office he held until his death. He was noted for his humanity to the Indians, and founded a hospital and other benevolent institutions for them. He married an Indian princess, the niece of Huaina Capac, who was the son of the Tupac Yupauqui.

 

GARCILASO INCA DE LA VEGA, Peruvian historian, their son, born in Cuzco, 12 April, 1537. The time of his death is uncertain, but it is supposed that he died in Cordova, Spain, a few years after 1617. He was educated by a learned priest, who was his father's chaplain. He became interested in the history of his country at an early age, collecting all the traditions he could gather from the Indians, making journeys through every part of Peru, and transcribing the oldest songs and hymns of the country. His mother assisted him in his researches, and furnished whatever details she was acquainted with concerning her unfortunate family.

 

A short time after the death of his father he embarked at Callao for Spain, 21 January 1560. He served with credit, under Juan de Austria, in the war against the Moors in Granada, and, after wasting the best years of his life in military service, found himself poor and needy. In 1584 he translated the " Dialogues on Love " of Leon Abravanel, and at the same time employed himself in writing the "History of Florida," which he published in Lisbon. In 1600 he began the first part of the "Comentarios Reales" (Lisbon, 1609), and in 1612 concluded the second part (Cordova, 1617), which forms a general history of Peru. His works have been translated into German, French, and English.

 

As a Peruvian historian, he had unusual facilities for acquiring accurate information. Many of the conquerors were in the habit of meeting in his father's house in Cuzco and recounting their valiant deeds, and he knew intimately Gonzalo Pizarro, brother of the conqueror. He often exhibits such an ardent patriotism and love of liberty that it appears strange his works should have been allowed to be published in any part of the Spanish empire during the reign of Philip II. He protests against the destruction of ancient buildings and records, and, although he hints that he has been compelled to restrain himself in his exposition of Spanish cruelty in the expression "No todo se dice" (all is not told), his history of the ancient Peruvians is the most thorough as well as the most correct that we have.

 

He published "La traducción del Indio de los tres Diologos de Amor de Leon Abravanel, por Garcilaso Inca de la Vega, dirijidos a la sacra Catolica Real Magestad, Don Felipe II." (Madrid, 1590) ; "La Florida del Inca, Historia del Adelantado Hernando de Soto, y de otros heroicos Caballeros espanoles y indios" (Lisbon, 1605, Madrid, 1723 and 1804). The "History of Florida" was translated into French by Richelet (Paris, 1670; reprinted in 1707, with a preface by the Abbé Lenglet-Dufresnoy). It was translated into German by H. L. Meier (Zelle, 1753). " Primera Parte de los Comentarios Reales, que tratan del origen de los Incas, Reyes que fueron del Peru," etc. (Lisbon, 1609); translated into French by Dabilard (Paris, 1744). The German translation by G. C. Bottgeer (Nordhausen, 1787) is not complete. The second part, entitled "Historia General del Peru," appeared at Cordova in 1617, and numerous editions have since been published in Lisbon and Madrid. An English translation by Sir Paul Rigault, knight, was published in London in 1688. It was translated into French by Baudoin (Paris, 1633, 1650, 1658). An Amsterdam edition of this translation (1737) is very much sought after on account of its engravings by Bern.

 

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia by John Looby, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

 

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

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