Timeline of the Inca Empire
Chronological development of the Inca Empire. All dates are approximate.
1200 – The Incas settle in the Cusco Valley. Inca Manco Capac founds the Inca Empire in the City of Cusco.
1230 – Sinchi Roca, son of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, takes over the throne after his father dies. He solidifies Inca power in Cusco by creating an army composed of soldiers who belonged to the nobility cast. Sinchi Roca dresses his soldiers in uniform which intimidated his enemies. He is also credited with bringing great quantity of soil to improve the fertility of the valley and of building the first water canal in the Huatanay and Tullumayo rivers.
1260 – Lloque Yupanqui suceeds his father Sinchi Roca. He keeps good relations with neighboring allies but does not expand Inca territory considerably.
1290 – Mayta Capac, fourth son of Lloque Yupanqui, takes over the throne after his father’s death. Under Mayta Capac the empire starts to expand within a few kilometers from the Cusco Valley defeating the Alcabisas and Culunchimas tribes.
1310 – Capac Yupanqui is appointed the fifth Inca ruler before his father’s death. He is a fierce and ruthless warrior.
1350 – Inca Roca succeeds his father Capac Yupanqui, however he was the son of the Inca and a concubine. He is credited with reforming internal politics and concentrating power in his hands. He creates yachaiwasis or schools for the nobles. Under his reign he establishes friendly ties with nearby tribes.
1380 – Yahuar Huaca is appointed seventh Inca ruler. As a child he was kidnapped by the Ayarmacas because of a marital conflict. Yahuar Huaca is not very healthy and spends most of his time in Cusco. He appoints his second son Pahuac Gualpa Mayta as his successor but is killed by one of his concubines who wanted her son to be the Sapa Inca. Yahuar Huaca is also assassinated along with his other sons.
1400 – As there is no successor to the throne the committee of elders appoints Huiracocha as the emperor as he belongs to the same dynasty. Huiracocha conquers the tribes of Yucaya and Calca. He surrenders Cusco to the Chancas.
1438 – Pachacutec is not designated Sapa Inca until he defeated the Chancas. Pachacutec converts the Incas from a tribe into an empire. He expands the empire in all directions.
1471 – Pachacutec and his son Tupac Yupanqui defeat the Chimu and take over lands in the north reaching what today is Ecuador and Colombia. Machu Picchu is built under is orders. Pachacutec is considered the greatest Sapa Inca.
1493 – Tupac Inca Yupanqui who co-governed with his father becomes his successor. He continues Pachacutec’s expansion, adding more territory to the Tawantinsuyo and reaching its peak.
1493 – Tupac Inca Yupanqui chooses his youngest son, Huayna Capac, to succeed him.
1525 – Huayna Capac dies and civil war brakes out between his sons, Huascar and Atahualpa. Huascar assumes the throne supported by the nobility in Cusco. Meanwhile Atahualpa, who was considered a more capable administrator and warrior, is crowned Sapa Inca in Quito.
1532 – End of the civil war between Huascar and Atahualpa. Francisco Pizarro arrived in Cajamarca.
1533 – Atahualpa is executed by the Spaniards and Cusco is invaded.