Antonio Terrasa Lozano is a post-doctoral researcher in the CIDEHUS- University of Evora (Portugal), working on a project dealing with the political process of definition of the concepts of juridical border and citizenship in the early modern period in the framework of the Iberian overseas domains, involving Europe, Africa, the East and America. He got his doctoral degree in the European University Institute (Florence, Italy), at the Department of History and Civilization, in February 2009. His PhD dissertation, Patrimonios aristocráticos y fronteras jurídico- políticas en la Monarquía Católica: los pleitos de la Casa de Pastrana en el siglo XVII, deals with aristocratic lineages and their transnational domains, and their relationship with the limits of the monarchic power and the “national” boundaries in the 17th century Catholic Monarchy. He got his master thesis in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, at the early modern period History Department in March 2004. Since May 2010 he is Honorary Collaborator of that department. He is also member of a research team of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid that focuses on aristocratic power and financial capital in the Spanish Monarchy.
The aim of this paper is to analise the transformation of the Incaic princes and emperors’ descendants into Catholic nobility. During the second half of the 16th century the Incas’ descendants were considered royal blooded vassals parents to the Habsburgs. Moreover, since the end of the 16th century, descendants and heirs of the last Incaic rulers became, after getting married, members of several Spanish Grandées families. The whole process implied the elaboration of legitimization discourses, the Incas’ conversion to Christianism and their acceptance of new legal rules and juridical institutions such as encomiendas, mayorazgos and households imported from Castile. As argued in the paper, the Incaic marriages were not a matter of race or religion but of power. Race and too recent conversion to Catholicism were not that important compared to the royal blood and their status of princes.