Saturday, August 4, 2012

A fallen nation

In 1532, a great war was coming to an end in the country of Peru, the empire of the Incas. The brothers Oascar and Atahualpa had been fighting great battles with over thirty thousand men each. It was on this day that the battle ended in the death of Oascar.Not long after that, Fransisco de Pizarro arrived in the capital of Cuzco, to meet with the Incan emperor. There was a fight, and the Emperor of the Incas, Atahualpa, was captured. After being captured the emperor promised Pizarro a room full of gold to a certain line on the wall. And so over the days and weeks the gold was collected, until rumors spread that more of the Inca's men were coming to attack the Spaniards. Pizarro, after wavering, ordered Atahualpa executed. Fighting continued, but it was the end of the Incan empire.

Now leave Peru with me, and fast forward almost four hundred years, allow the jungle to reclaim the houses, allow the cries of the last person with a memory of the nation that once was to be forgotten, and then let us come to America.

The grandfather, Hiram Bingham I, was a missionary to the Hawiian Islands, his son was a missionary as well, going to the South Sea Islands. That was Hiram Bingham II, his son, Hiram Bingham III was a history professor for a time and eventually headed up an expedition to Peru to search for the last missing cities.
In 1911-1912, his expedition forded rivers, climbed mountains and hacked through jungles as they searched and then, they found it. Resting on the top of a mountain, surrounded by impenetrable passes and un-fordable rivers, a city that no Spaniard had ever known existed, that no man had ever discovered since the collapse of the Incan empire, the city of Machu Pichu. These ruins were all that was left of an empire that had once stretched the length of a continent, and and had massive pyramids, complex architecture and incredible mathematical precision. What caused it all to fall at its height?
Internal conflict, battles between brothers, a low value of human life, a barbarism of sacrifice in which young girls had their hearts torn out and young boys were cast into pools of water. The nation may have been great, but its pride and corruption brought it low.
People like their bread and circuses, but when the baker is sick, and the clown's foot is hurt, the nation has nothing to sustain them with.
Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott

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