Pedro de Cieza de León, the “prince of Peruvian chroniclers,” traveled widely in South America between 1535 and 1550, acting as a conquistador, a member of the royalist army that defeated Gonzalo Pizarro in Peru and a protoethnographer and chronicler of the realm. These travels, aided by his political connection to the president of the Audiencia, Pedro de la Gasca, then became fodder for a series of four manuscripts describing the conquest and settlement of Peru and the cultures of its native peoples. Part 3 of this project, here published as The Discovery and Conquest of Peru, relies less on his own acute observations than Cieza’s subsequent interviews with native and European informants and access to his patron’s private papers. It is a colorful and engaging narrative of the (mis)adventures of Francisco Pizarro and his cohort as they managed to subjugate and...

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