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The Conquistadors

The conquistadors were a special breed of men: brutal, ruthless adventurers who would stop at nothing to carve out wealth and fame for themselves and an empire for Spain. Men like Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro left anonymity behind and forever left their bloody mark on the New World.

Juan Pizarro, Francisco's Reckless Younger Brother
The name Francisco Pizarro is well-known: he was the ruthless conquistador who brought down the mighty Inca Empire. But he never could have done it without his brothers. Juan Pizarro was reckless, cruel and greedy and although he was the first Pizarro to die a bloody death, he would not be the last.

Biography of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa
Vasco Nuñez de Balboa (1475-1519) was a Spanish conquistador and explorer of the early colonial era. He is credited with leading the first European expedition to discover the Pacific Ocean (which he referred to as the "South Sea"). He was an able administrator and popular leader who cultivated strong ties with local tribes.

The Conquistadors
Spain owed its mighty Empire to the wealth that flowed in from the New World, and it owed its New World colonies to the conquistadors, ruthless soldiers of fortune who brought the powerful Aztec and Inca Empires to their knees. You can despise these men for their barbarity, greed and cruelty, but you must respect their courage and audacity.

Biography of Diego de Almagro
Diego de Almagro was an important conquistador who played a key role in the conquest of the mighty Inca Empire. He was later defeated and executed by his former friend and ally Francisco Pizarro in the civil wars that followed the conquest.

Biography of Pedro de Alvarado
Hundreds of Spanish conquistadores came to the New World in search of glory and gold. These men were all violent and ruthless, but one man stood out from the rest for his cruelty: Pedro de Alvarado, conqueror of the Maya.

Biography of Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés, with dwindling provisions and 600 soldiers, was able to defeat the mighty Aztec Empire and its tens if not hundreds of thousands of warriors. Later, he served as governor of New Spain and was given the title of Marquis by the King of Spain.

Biography of Lope de Aguirre
Lope de Aguirre, conquistador and soldier of the Spanish Empire, was a typical mercenary until 1561, when he went mad seeking El Dorado in the dense Amazonian rainforest. What followed is the stuff of legend.

Biography of Pánfilo de Narváez
Biography of Pánfilo de Narváez, Spanish conquistador and explorer

Biography of Francisco de Orellana
Francisco de Orellana was a Spanish conquistador who joined the ill-fated expedition into the interior of South America led by Gonzalo Pizarro in 1541. After Pizarro and Orellana became separated, Orellana continued downstream, eventually discovering the Amazon River and making his way to the Atlantic Ocean.

Biography of Ambrosius Ehinger
Ambrosius Eheinger (1500-1533) was a German explorer and conquistador who died while exploring South America in his search for El Dorado.

Biography of Sebastian De Benalcazar
Sebastian de Benalcazar (1500-1551) was a Spanish conquistador and explorer who took part in Francisco Pizarro's conquest of the Inca Empire. He is today best remembered as the founder of the cities of Quito, Popayan and Cali.

Biography of Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada
Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who successfully subjugated the Muisca people of present-day Colombia in 1538.

Georg Hohemut Von Speyer’s 1535 Expedition
In 1535, German Georg Hohemut von Speyer and a band of European followers set off into the dense jungles of northern South America in the vain search for a wealthy native kingdom to plunder.

Biography of Phillipp Von Hutten
Phillipp Von Hutten (1505-1546) was a German administrator and explorer. He was one of many who got caught up in the fruitless search for the mythological city of El Dorado and died exploring the unknown interior of South America.

Biography of Hernando Pizarro
Hernando Pizarro was one of five brothers who participated in an expedition (led by his brother Francisco Pizarro) which discovered and conquered the Inca Empire in the 1530's. After the conquest, Hernando participated in the civil wars that broke out among the conquistadors. Of the five brothers, only Hernando lived into old age: the others...

Biography of Gonzalo Pizarro
Gonzalo Pizarro was the brother of Francisco Pizarro, leader of the Spanish conquistador expedition which brought down the mighty Inca Empire in the 1530's. Later, Gonzalo would take an active part in the civil wars that broke out among the conquistadors before openly rebelling against the Spanish crown over the New Laws of 1542.

Biography of Francisco Pizarro
Francisco Pizarro was a Spanish conquistador who led the expedition in 1532 that defeated the mighty Inca Empire of Peru. He ruled Peru as an agent of the King of Spain for almost ten years before he was assassinated in Lima.

The Pizarro Brothers
The five Pizarro brothers led 160 conquistadors on a daring conquest of the Inca Empire in 1532.

Ten Facts About Francisco Pizarro
In 1532, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro began his bloody conquest of the mighty Inca Empire. This adventure made him and his soldiers very wealthy men indeed. How much do you know about the illiterate footsoldier who held an Emperor for ransom?

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