Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile
Eleanor of England, or Eleanor Plantaganet, was Queen of Castile and Toledo as wife of Alfonso VIII of Castile. She was the child and second daughter of Henry II, King of England. Her half-siblings were Marie and Alix of France, and her siblings were Henry the Young, Duchess Matilda, King Richard, Duke Geoffrey, Queen Joan. In 1174, when she was 12 years old, Eleanor married King Alfonso VIII of Castile in Burgos and her parents purpose in arranging the marriage was to secure Aquitaine’s Pyrenean border, while Alfonso was seeking an ally in his struggles with his uncle, Sancho VI of Navarre. In 1177, this led to Henry overseeing arbitration of the border dispute, around the year 1200, Alfonso began to claim that the duchy of Gascony was part of Eleanors dowry, but there is no documented foundation for that claim. It is highly unlikely that Henry II would have parted with so significant a portion of his domains, at most, Gascony may have been pledged as security for the full payment of his daughter’s dowry.
Her husband went so far on this claim as to invade Gascony in her name in 1205, in 1206, her brother John, King of England granted her safe passage to visit him, perhaps to try opening peace negotiations. In 1208, Alfonso yielded on the claim, decades later, their great-grandson Alfonso X of Castile would claim the duchy on the grounds that her dowry had never been fully paid. Of all Eleanor of Aquitaine’s daughters, her namesake was the one who was enabled, by political circumstances. In her own marriage treaty, and in the first marriage treaty for her daughter Berengaria, Eleanor was given control of many lands, towns. It was she who persuaded him to marry their daughter Berengaria to Alfonso IX of León, troubadours and sages were regularly present in Alfonso VIII’s court due to Eleanor’s patronage. Eleanor took particular interest in supporting religious institutions, in 1179, she took responsibility to support and maintain a shrine to St. Thomas Becket in the cathedral of Toledo. She created and supported the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas, which served as a refuge and tomb for her family for generations, when Alfonso died, Eleanor was reportedly so devastated with grief that she was unable to preside over the burial.
Their eldest daughter Berengaria instead performed these honours, Eleanor took sick and died only twenty-eight days after her husband, and was buried at Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas. Eleanor was praised for her beauty and regal nature by the poet Ramón Vidal de Besalú after her death and her great-grandson Alfonso X referred to her as noble and much loved. Eleanor was played by Ida Norden in the silent film The Jewess of Toledo, José Manuel, La dot gasconne dAliénor dAngleterre. Entre royaume de Castille, royaume de France et royaume dAngleterre, Cahiers de civilisation médiévale, ISSN 0007-9731, Vol.54, Leonor Plantagenet y la consolidación castellana en el reinado de Alfonso VIII. Cerda, José Manuel, Matrimonio y patrimonio, La carta de arras de Leonor Plantagenet, reina consorte de Castilla, Anuario de Estudios Medievales, vol
Ferdinand III of Castile
Ferdinand III, called the Saint, was King of Castile from 1217 and King of León from 1230 as well as King of Galicia from 1231. He was the son of Alfonso IX of León and Berenguela of Castile, through his second marriage he was Count of Aumale. Ferdinand was canonized in 1671 by Pope Clement X and, in Spanish, he is known as Fernando el Santo, the exact date of Ferdinands birth is unclear. It has been proposed to have been as early as 1199 or even 1198, Ferdinand was born at the Monastery of Valparaíso. Ferdinand has other royal ancestors from his paternal grandmother Urraca of Portugal and his maternal grandmother Eleanor of England a daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. From his birth to 1204 Ferdinand was designated heir to his fathers kingdom of Leon with the support of his mother and the kingdom of Castile despite the fact that he was Alfonso IXs second son. Alfonso IX already had a son and two daughters from his first marriage to Teresa of Portugal but at the time he never acknowledge his first son as his heir, the Castilians saw the elder Ferdinand as a potential rival and threat to Berengarias son.
The marriage of Ferdinands parents was annulled by order of Pope Innocent III in 1204, Berengaria took their children, including Ferdinand, to the court of her father, King Alfonso VIII of Castile. In 1217, her brother, Henry I, died and she succeeded him on the Castilian throne with Ferdinand as her heir. When Ferdinands father, Alfonso IX of León, died in 1230, his will delivered the kingdom to his older daughters Sancha and Dulce, but Ferdinand contested the will, and claimed the inheritance for himself. Ferdinand thus became the first sovereign of both kingdoms since the death of Alfonso VII in 1157, early in his reign, Ferdinand had to deal with a rebellion of the House of Lara. Since the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 halted the advance of the Almohads in Spain, a series of truces had kept Castile and the Almohad dominions of al-Andalus more-or-less at peace. However, a crisis of succession in the Almohad Caliphate after the death of Yusuf II in 1224 opened to Ferdinand III an opportunity for intervention, al-Adils rebellious cousin, Abdallah al-Bayyasi, appealed to Ferdinand III for military assistance against the usurper.
In 1225, a Castilian army accompanied al-Bayyasi in a campaign, ravaging the regions of Jaén, vega de Granada and, in payment, al-Bayyasi gave Ferdinand the strategic frontier strongholds of Baños de la Encina and Capilla. When al-Bayyasi was rejected and killed by an uprising in Cordoba shortly after. The crisis in the Almohad Caliphate, remained unresolved, in 1228, a new Almohad pretender, Abd al-Ala Idris I al-Mamun, decided to abandon Spain, and left with the last remnant of the Almohad forces for Morocco. Al-Andalus was left fragmented in the hands of local strongmen, only led by Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Hud al-Judhami. There were no great battle encounters - Ibn Huds makeshift Andalusian army was destroyed early on, the Christian armies romped through the south virtually unopposed in the field
Blanche of Castile
Blanche of Castile was Queen of France by marriage to Louis VIII. She acted as regent twice during the reign of her son, Louis IX, during his minority from 1226 until 1234 and she was born in Palencia, Spain,1188, the third daughter of Alfonso VIII, king of Castile, and Eleanor of England. Eleanor was a daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, in her youth, she visited the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas, founded by her parents, several times. In consequence of the Treaty of Le Goulet between Philip Augustus and John of England, Blanches sister, was betrothed to Philips son, Louis. Their grandmother Eleanor of Aquitaine, after meeting the two sisters, judged that Blanches personality was more fit for a consort of France. In the spring of 1200, Eleanor crossed the Pyrenees with her, the marriage was celebrated the next day, at Port-Mort on the right bank of the Seine, in Johns domains, as those of Philip lay under an interdict. Blanche was twelve years of age, and Louis was only a year older so the marriage was consummated a few years later, Blanche bore her first child in 1205.
During the English barons rebellion of 1215-16 against King John, it was Blanches English ancestry as granddaughter to Henry II that led to Louis being offered the throne of England as Louis I. However, with the death of John in October 1216, the changed their allegiance to Johns son. Louis continued to claim the English crown in her right, only to find a nation against him. Philip Augustus refused to help his son, and Blanche was his sole support, Blanche raised money from her father-in-law by threatening to put up her children as hostages. She established herself at Calais and organized two fleets, one of which was commanded by Eustace the Monk, and an army under Robert I, Latin Emperor. With French forces defeated at Lincoln in May 1217 and routed on their way back to their London stronghold, on 24 August, the English fleet destroyed the French fleet carrying those reinforcements off Sandwich and Louis was forced to sue for peace. Philip died in July 1223, and Louis VIII and Blanche were crowned on August 6, upon Louis death in November 1226 from dysentery, he left Blanche, by 38, regent and guardian of his children.
Of her twelve or thirteen children, six had died, and Louis and she had him crowned within a month of his fathers death in Reims and forced reluctant barons to swear allegiance to him. The situation was critical, since Louis VIII had died without having completely subdued his southern nobles, the kings minority made the Capetian domains even more vulnerable. To gain support, she released Ferdinand, Count of Flanders and she ceded land and castles to Philip I, Count of Boulogne, son of Philip II and his controversial wife Agnes of Merania. Several key barons, led by Peter Mauclerc, refused to recognize the coronation of the young king, shortly after the coronation and Louis were traveling south of Paris and nearly captured
The Almohad Caliphate was a Moroccan Berber Muslim movement founded in the 12th century. The Almohad movement was founded by Ibn Tumart among the Berber Masmuda tribes of southern Morocco, around 1120, the Almohads first established a Berber state in Tinmel in the Atlas Mountains. They succeeded in overthrowing the ruling Almoravid dynasty governing Morocco by 1147 and they extended their power over all of the Maghreb by 1159. Al-Andalus followed the fate of North Africa and all Islamic Iberia was under Almohad rule by 1172, nearly all of the Moorish dominions in Iberia were lost soon after, with the great Moorish cities of Cordova and Seville falling to the Christians in 1236 and 1248 respectively. The Almohads continued to rule in Africa until the loss of territory through the revolt of tribes and districts enabled the rise of their most effective enemies. The Almohad movement originated with Ibn Tumart, a member of the Masmuda, at the time and much of the rest of North Africa and Spain, was under the rule of the Almoravids, a Sanhaja Berber dynasty.
Early in his life, Ibn Tumart went to Spain to pursue his studies, in Baghdad, Ibn Tumart attached himself to the theological school of al-Ashari, and came under the influence of the teacher al-Ghazali. He soon developed his own system, combining the doctrines of various masters, Ibn Tumarts main principle was a strict unitarianism, which denied the independent existence of the attributes of God as being incompatible with His unity, and therefore a polytheistic idea. Ibn Tumart represented a revolt against what he perceived as anthropomorphism in Muslim orthodoxy and his followers would become known as the al-Muwahhidun, meaning those who affirm the unity of God. After his return to the Maghreb c.1117, Ibn Tumart spent some time in various Ifriqiyan cities and agitating, heading riotous attacks on wine-shops and on other manifestations of laxity. He laid the blame for the latitude on the dynasty of the Almoravids. His antics and fiery preaching led fed-up authorities to him along from town to town.
After being expelled from Bejaia, Ibn Tumart set up camp in Mellala, in the outskirts of the city, where he received his first disciples - notably, al-Bashir and Abd al-Mumin. In 1120, Ibn Tumart and his band of followers proceeded to Morocco, stopping first in Fez. He even went so far as to assault the sister of the Almoravid emir Ali ibn Yusuf, in the streets of Fez, because she was going about unveiled, after the manner of Berber women. After the debate, the scholars concluded that Ibn Tumarts views were blasphemous and the man dangerous, but the emir decided merely to expel him from the city. Ibn Tumart took refuge among his own people, the Hargha, in his village of Igiliz. He retreated to a cave, and lived out an ascetic lifestyle, coming out only to preach his program of puritan reform
Toledo is a city and municipality located in central Spain, it is the capital of the province of Toledo and the autonomous community of Castile–La Mancha. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its cultural and monumental heritage and historical co-existence of Christian, Muslim. Toledo has a history in the production of bladed weapons, which are now popular souvenirs of the city, people who were born or have lived in Toledo include Brunhilda of Austrasia, Al-Zarqali, Garcilaso de la Vega, Eleanor of Toledo, Alfonso X and El Greco. It was the place of important historic events such as the Visigothic Councils of Toledo, as of 2015, the city has a population of 83,226 and an area of 232.1 km2. The town was granted arms in the 16th century, which by special royal privilege was based on the royal of arms of Spain, Toledo is mentioned by the Roman historian Livy as urbs parva, sed loco munita. At that time, Toletum was a city of the Carpetani tribe and it was incorporated into the Roman Empire as a civitas stipendiaria, that is, a tributary city of non-citizens.
It achieved the status of municipium by Flavian times, with this status, city officials, even of Carpetani origin, obtained Roman citizenship for public service, and the forms of Roman law and politics were increasingly adopted. At approximately this time were constructed in Toletum a Roman circus, city walls, public baths, and a municipal water supply and storage system. The Roman circus in Toledo was one of the largest in Hispania, at 423 metres long and 100 metres wide, chariot races were held on special holidays and were commissioned by private citizens to celebrate career achievements. A fragmentary stone inscription records circus games paid for by a citizen of unknown name to celebrate his achieving the sevirate, archaeologists have identified portions of a special seat of the sort used by the city elites to attend circus games, called a sella curulis. The circus could hold up to 15000 spectators, during Roman times, Toledo was never a provincial capital nor a conventus iuridicus. It started to gain importance in late antiquity, there are indications that large private houses within the city walls were enlarged, while several large villas were built north of the city through the third and fourth centuries.
Games were held in the circus into the fourth and early fifth centuries C. E. an indication of active city life. A church council was held in Toledo in the year 400 to discuss the conflict with Priscillianism, a second council of Toledo was held in 527. The Visigothic king Theudis was in Toledo in 546, where he promulgated a law and this is strong though not certain evidence that Toledo was the chief residence for Theudis. King Athanagild died in Toledo, probably in 568 and this changed with Liuvigild, who brought the peninsula under his control. The Visigoths ruled from Toledo until the Moors conquered the Iberian peninsula in the years of 8th century. Today the historic center is pierced of basements, wells, baths, a series of church councils was held in Toledo under the Visigoths
John, King of England
John, known as John Lackland, was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death in 1216. The baronial revolt at the end of Johns reign led to the sealing of Magna Carta, the youngest of five sons of King Henry II of England and Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine, was at first not expected to inherit significant lands. Following the failed rebellion of his brothers between 1173 and 1174, John became Henrys favourite child. He was appointed the Lord of Ireland in 1177 and given lands in England, Johns elder brothers William and Geoffrey died young, by the time Richard I became king in 1189, John was a potential heir to the throne. John unsuccessfully attempted a rebellion against Richards royal administrators whilst his brother was participating in the Third Crusade, John spent much of the next decade attempting to regain these lands, raising huge revenues, reforming his armed forces and rebuilding continental alliances. Johns judicial reforms had a impact on the English common law system. An argument with Pope Innocent III led to Johns excommunication in 1209, Johns attempt to defeat Philip in 1214 failed due to the French victory over Johns allies at the battle of Bouvines.
When he returned to England, John faced a rebellion by many of his barons, although both John and the barons agreed to the Magna Carta peace treaty in 1215, neither side complied with its conditions. Civil war broke out shortly afterwards, with the barons aided by Louis of France and it soon descended into a stalemate. John was born to Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine on 24 December 1166, Henry had inherited significant territories along the Atlantic seaboard—Anjou and England—and expanded his empire by conquering Brittany. The result was the Angevin Empire, named after Henrys paternal title as Count of Anjou and, more specifically, its seat in Angers. The Empire, was fragile, although all the lands owed allegiance to Henry. As one moved south through Anjou and Aquitaine, the extent of Henrys power in the provinces diminished considerably, scarcely resembling the concept of an empire at all. Some of the ties between parts of the empire such as Normandy and England were slowly dissolving over time.
It was unclear what would happen to the empire on Henrys death, most believed that Henry would divide the empire, giving each son a substantial portion, and hoping that his children would continue to work together as allies after his death. To complicate matters, much of the Angevin empire was held by Henry only as a vassal of the King of France of the line of the House of Capet. Henry had often allied himself with the Holy Roman Emperor against France, shortly after his birth, John was passed from Eleanor into the care of a wet nurse, a traditional practice for medieval noble families. Eleanor left for Poitiers, the capital of Aquitaine, and sent John and this may have been done with the aim of steering her youngest son, with no obvious inheritance, towards a future ecclesiastical career
Urraca of Castile, Queen of Portugal
Urraca of Castile was a daughter of Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor of England. Her maternal grandparents were Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, Urraca was originally considered as a prospective bride for Louis VIII of France, but Eleanor objected to her name, preferring the Castilian name of Urracas sister Blanche, Blanca. In 1206 Urraca married twenty-one-year-old Afonso II of Portugal, who was the infante, in 1212 her husband became king and she became queen. Afonso II indicated in his will in 1214 that Urraca should be the regent for his heir should he pre-decease her, she died before him at a relatively young age in 1220. Urraca was buried at the Alcobaça Monastery
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family, usually in the context of a feudal or monarchical system but sometimes appearing in elective republics. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a house, historians periodize the histories of many sovereign states, such as Ancient Egypt, the Carolingian Empire and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties. As such, the dynasty may be used to delimit the era during which the family reigned and to describe events, trends. The word dynasty itself is often dropped from such adjectival references, until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty, that is, to increase the territory and power of his family members. The longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. Succession through a daughter when permitted was considered to establish a new dynasty in her husbands ruling house, some states in Africa, determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mothers dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
It is extended to unrelated people such as poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team. The word dynasty derives via Latin dynastia from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to power, dominion and it was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, power or ability, from dýnamai, to be able. A ruler in a dynasty is referred to as a dynast. For example, following his abdication, Edward VIII of the United Kingdom ceased to be a member of the House of Windsor. A dynastic marriage is one that complies with monarchical house law restrictions, the marriage of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, to Máxima Zorreguieta in 2002 was dynastic, for example, and their eldest child is expected to inherit the Dutch crown eventually. But the marriage of his younger brother Prince Friso to Mabel Wisse Smit in 2003 lacked government support, thus Friso forfeited his place in the order of succession, lost his title as a Prince of the Netherlands, and left his children without dynastic rights.
In historical and monarchist references to formerly reigning families, a dynast is a member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchys rules still in force. Even since abolition of the Austrian monarchy and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position. The term dynast is sometimes used only to refer to descendants of a realms monarchs. The term can therefore describe overlapping but distinct sets of people, yet he is not a male-line member of the royal family, and is therefore not a dynast of the House of Windsor. Thus, in 1999 he requested and obtained permission from Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco. Yet a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time and that exclusion, ceased to apply on 26 March 2015, with retroactive effect for those who had been dynasts prior to triggering it by marriage to a Catholic
Cuenca is a city in the autonomous community of Castile–La Mancha in central Spain. It is the capital of the province of Cuenca, Cuenca is located across a steep spur, whose slopes descend into deep gorges of the Júcar and Huécar rivers. It is divided two separate settlements, the new city is situated south-west of the old one, which is divided by the Huécar course. The climate of Cuenca is the typical continental Mediterranean of Spains Meseta, winters are relatively cold, but summers are quite hot during the day with occasional cool nights. Spring and autumn seasons are short, with pleasant temperatures during the day, when the Iberian peninsula was part of the Roman Empire, there were several important settlements in the province, such as Segobriga and Gran Valeria. However, the place where Cuenca is located today was uninhabited at that time, Cuenca soon became an agricultural and textile manufacturing city, enjoying growing prosperity. Around the 12th century the Christians, living in northern Spain during the Muslim presence, Castile took over western and central areas of Spain, while Aragon enlarged along the Mediterranean area.
The Muslim Kingdom, Al-Andalus, started to break into small provinces under Christian pressure, in 1076 it was besieged by Sancho Ramírez of Aragon, but not conquered. In 1080 King Yahya al-Qadir of Toledo lost his taifa, and his vizier signed in Cuenca a treaty with Alfonso VI of León, after Alfonsos defeat in the battle of Sagrajas, Cuenca was captured by the king of Seville, Al-Mutamid ibn Abbad. However, when his lands were attacked by the Almoravids, he sent his daughter-in-law Zaida to Alfonso, the first Christian troops entered the city in 1093. However, the Almoravids captured it in 1108 and their governor in the city declared independence in 1144, followed by the whole of Murcia the following year. In 1147 Muhammad ibn Mardanis was elected King of Cuenca and Valencia and he had to defend his lands from the Almohad invasion until his death 1172, after which his son had to sign a pact of tributes with the newcomers. A 17-year-old Alfonso VIII of Castile tried to conquer the city, the citys commander, Abu Bakr, again sought the support of Yaqub Yusuf, but the latter was in Africa and did not send any help.
The latter fell in October, putting an end to Arab domination in Cuenca, Alfonso VIII granted the city a title, and it was considered to be Muy noble y muy leal. It was given a set of laws, the Fuero, written in Latin, that ruled Cuencas citizens, the diocese of Cuenca was established in 1183, its second bishop was St. Julian of Cuenca, who became patron saint of the city. During the next few centuries Cuenca enjoyed prosperity, thanks to textile manufacturing, the cathedral started to be built at that time, in an Anglo-Norman style, with many French workers, since Alfonso VIIIs wife, Leonor de Plantagenet, was French. During the independence war against Napoleons troops the city suffered great destruction, the 20th century began with the collapse of the Giraldo cathedrals tower in 1902, which affected the façade. It had to be rebuilt by Vicente Lámperez, with two new towers at both ends of the façade, which have remained unfinished without the upper part of them
Gascony is an area of southwest France that was part of the Province of Guyenne and Gascony prior to the French Revolution. The region is defined, and the distinction between Guyenne and Gascony is unclear, by some they are seen to overlap, while others consider Gascony a part of Guyenne. Most definitions put Gascony east and south of Bordeaux and it is currently divided between the region of Aquitaine and the region of Midi-Pyrénées. Gascony was historically inhabited by Basque-related people who appear to have spoken a language similar to Basque, the name Gascony comes from the same root as the word Basque. From medieval times until today, the Gascon language has been spoken, Gascony is the land of dArtagnan, who inspired Alexandre Dumass character dArtagnan in The Three Musketeers. It is home to Henry III of Navarre, who became king of France as Henry IV. In pre-Roman times, the inhabitants of Gascony were the Aquitanians, the Aquitanians inhabited a territory limited to the north and east by the Garonne River, to the south by the Pyrenees mountain range, and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean.
In the 50s BC, Aquitania was conquered by lieutenants of Julius Caesar, later, in 27 BC, during the reign of Emperor Augustus, the province of Gallia Aquitania was created. In 297, as Emperor Diocletian reformed the administrative structures of the Roman Empire, the territory of Novempopulania corresponded quite well to what we call now Gascony. The Aquitania Novempopulana or Novempopulania suffered like the rest of the Western Roman Empire from the invasions of Germanic tribes, the Visigoths were defeated by the Franks in 507, and fled into Spain and Septimania, as well as Albania. Novempopulania became part of the Frankish Kingdom like the rest of southern France, Novempopulania was far away from the home base of the Franks in northern France, and was only very loosely controlled by the Franks. Modern historians reject this hypothesis, which is sustained by no archeological evidence, for Juan José Larrea, and Pierre Bonnassie, a Vascon expansionism in Aquitany is not proved and is not necessary to understand the historical evolution of this region.
This Basque-related culture and race is, whatever the origin, attested in Medieval documents, the word Vasconia evolved into Wasconia, and into Gasconia. The gradual abandonment of the Basque-related Aquitanian language in favor of a local vulgar Latin, was not reversed, the replacing local vulgar Latin evolved into Gascon. It was heavily influenced by the original Aquitanian language, quite paradoxically the Basques from the French side of the Basque Country traditionally call anyone who does not speak Basque a Gascon. Meanwhile, Viking raiders conquered several Gascon towns, among them Bayonne in 842–844 and their attacks in Gascony may have helped the political disintegration of the Duchy until their defeat against William II Sánchez of Gascony in 982. In turn, the weakened ethnic polity known as Duchy of Wasconia/Wascones, unable to get round the general spread of feudalization and his 1152 marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine allowed the future Henry II to gain control of his new wifes possessions of Aquitaine and Gascony.
This addition to his already plentiful holdings made Henry the most powerful vassal in France, in 1248, Simon de Montfort was appointed Governor in the unsettled Duchy of Gascony