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(born c. 1475, Trujillo, Extremadura, Castiledied June 26, 1541, Lima) Conquistador who seized the Inca empire for Spain. In 1510 he enrolled in an expedition of exploration in the New World, and three years later he joined Vasco Núñez de Balboa on the expedition that discovered the Pacific. He made two voyages of discovery down the Colombian coast (1524–25, 1526–28) and continued his explorations southward, naming the new territory Peru. In 1531 he set sail for Peru with his 4 brothers, 180 men, and 37 horses. He soon encountered emissaries of the Inca emperor, Atahuallpa, and arranged a meeting. There his men slaughtered the emperor's unarmed retainers and took him hostage. After accepting a rich ransom for Atahuallpa's release, Pizarro had him garroted. He spent the rest of his life consolidating Spain's hold on Peru. He founded Lima (1535), where he was killed by fellow Spaniards he had betrayed.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Pizarro, Francisco, visit Britannica.com.
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