The Founding Abyss

Mark Thurner

in History's Peru

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035383
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038940 | DOI:
The Founding Abyss

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This chapter is an inquiry into the series of events that named and configured Peru as a subject of empire and history and, in particular, into Inca Garcilaso de la Vega's (1539–1616) founding exegesis of “the origin and principle of the name of Peru.” “Peru” is a proper name or signature of history, but before 1500 there was nothing in the world named “Peru.” By the early 1600s, however, “Peru” was one of the most famous names in the world, thanks in part to the words and things engendered by the long reach of the Spanish empire, and to the keen interest of rival European powers and readers in that empire. This chapter tells why Peru's meteoric rise to fame was not a calm affair. Indeed, Peru's violent and resonant founding as a subject of history is of unusual interest precisely because it heralded the sudden birth of globality and its new, universal history.

Keywords: Peru; Spanish empire; Inca; European power; sixteenth century

Chapter.  12036 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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