Hamilton, Roland (1936-2016)

Hamilton, Roland (1936-2016)

Date Updated



Foreign Languages

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

University of Madrid, Spain, Spanish, 1993 PhD

San José State, Spanish, 1990 MA

Sacramento State, Spanish, 1986 BA

Teaching Experience

Spanish; Spanish American History, San José State University, 1968-2005

Administrative and Professional Experience

SJSU Coordinator, Spanish sections, 2002-2005.

Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, President, 1972.

Association of Foreign Language Teachers, President, 1973.

Institute of Andean Studies, 1970-

Selected Publications

History of the Inca Empire, University of Texas Press, 1979.

Inca Religion and Customs, University of Texas Press, 1990.

Narrative of the Incas, University of Texas Press, 2002.

The First New Chronicle and Good Government, 2009.

Personal Commentary

When I was born my parents lived in Los Angeles, but my uncle on my mother's side was a medical doctor, and he had a hospital in the little town of Newhall, northwest of Los Angeles. My father took my mother to the hospital of my uncle, Dr. Wesley Innis, and my mother's sister. My uncle and aunt helped my mother give birth to me.

My father had a garment cleaning business in Los Angeles. When I was three years old, my grandmother on my father's side died, and my folks moved with my brother, two years older than me, to live on my grandfather's pear farm near the little town of Camino, between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe on Highway 50.

I enjoyed life on the farm, and played in the yard, the orchard and a nearby forest. I had a pet chick that I called Pete, but when Pete grew up he turned into a hen and lost interest in me and went for the rooster.

When I was about 10 my father bought a big pear farm in an area between Placerville and Coloma, the gold discovery site. I had learned to ride horses back from my grandfather on my mother's side, and soon bought my own horse, Joe. Later I sold Joe and bought a race horse named Blazer. I had great fun galloping Blazer across the wide fields my father owned.

I went on to study Spanish seriously, lived a year in Caracas, Venezuela, where I taught English, and on to Madrid, Spain, where I got a doctorate in Romance Philology, the study of the grammar of Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese. At the time I was teaching Spanish at San José State University, which I did from 1968 until I retired in 2005. Now my professional activity is translating books written in Peru in Spanish and Quechua, the main Indian language of Peru. The University of Texas Press just published my fourth book, The First New Chronicle and Good Government, finished by the author Guaman Poma in 1615.

I met my wife at San José State; she is from Argentina and taught Spanish at San José State. In retirement we live in Los Gatos and do a lot of reading and have conversations on our reading almost every night.

Date Completed: November 30, 2010


Hamilton, Roland (1936-2016)