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History's PeruThe Poetics of Colonial and Postcolonial Historiography$
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Mark Thurner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035383

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035383.001.0001

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The Arts of History and the Arts of Rule

The Arts of History and the Arts of Rule

(p.27) 2 The Arts of History and the Arts of Rule
History's Peru

Mark Thurner

University Press of Florida

This chapter explores the enduring complicities between the “arts of history” and the “arts of rule” in colonial Peru, principally via the foundational texts of Inca Garcilaso. This chapter probes the ways in which the arts of rule and the arts of history conspired in the invention of words and things Peruvian. If the subject of history named “Peru” was born in a colonial abyss of history that shook the world, Inca Garcilaso's arts of history equipped that subject with a numinous past in that world which it had only recently joined. The impulse to chronicle the events of conquest and relate the customs, rights, and ancient things of the fabled land of “Peru” was from the beginning driven by the need to legitimize Spanish rule in faraway but regimented lands, that is, to name, claim sovereignty, and then rule over vast lands and peoples already graced with republics, lords, and mosques.

Keywords:   art of history, art of rule, colonial Peru, Inca Garcilaso, Spanish rule, republics, lords, mosques

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