James II of Aragon
James II, called the Just, was the King of Sicily from 1285 to 1296 and King of Aragon and Valencia and Count of Barcelona from 1291 to 1327. In 1297 he was granted the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica and he used the Latin title Iacobus Dei gracia rex Aragonum, Sardinie, et Corsice ac comes Barchinone. He was the son of Peter III of Aragon and Constance of Sicily. James was born at Valencia as the son of King Peter I and he succeeded his father as King of Sicily in 1285. Upon the death of his brother Alfonso III in 1291, he succeeded to the throne of the Crown of Aragon and he spent May of that year in Catania, inspiring the local monk Atanasiu di Iaci to write the Vinuta di re Iapicu about his time there. By a peace treaty with Charles II of Anjou in 1296, he agreed to give up Sicily, due to the fact that Frederick would not withdraw from the island, Pope Boniface VIII asked James II, along with Charles II of Naples, to remove him. As an enticement to do this the Pope invested James II with the title to Sardinia and Corsica, because of his inability to disguise his apathy on the matter, he returned to Aragon.
Frederick reigned there until his death in 1337, by the Treaty of Anagni in 1295, he returned the Balearic Islands to his uncle James II of Majorca. Aragon retained control over the territories of the Majorca kingdom — Montpellier. In 1298, by the Treaty of Argilers, James of Majorca recognised the suzerainty of James of Aragon, during the period that followed his return to Aragon, James II wanted to gain access to the Muslim world in the south, from which Castile restricted Aragon. In order to achieve this goal, and assisted by his Admiral Don Bernat de Sarrià, Baron of Polop, he formed an alliance with the enemies of the adolescent king of Castile, James II wanted Murcia in order to give his kingdom access to Granada. The allied forces entered from all directions in 1296, where James II was victorious in capturing Murcia, in 1313, James II granted administrative and political autonomy to the Aran Valley, the legal details of which are described in a Latin manuscript called the Querimonia.
The devolution of power was a reward for the Aranese pledging allegiance to James II in a dispute with the kingdoms of France, James was involved in the 1321 leper scare. He ordered the arrest and torture of French lepers seeking shelter in his realm and it was probably during his reign at Sicily that James composed his only surviving piece of Occitan poetry, a religious dansa dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Mayre de Deu. A contemporary, Arnau de Vilanova, wrote a verse-by-verse Latin commentary of the dansa in 1305, the metaphor James uses has been analysed by Alfred Jeanroy, who sees similarities in the Roman de Fauvel. The final verses ask Mary to protect him, the king, from sin, He married four times, — Isabella of Castile, Viscountess of Limoges, daughter of Sancho IV of Castile and his wife María de Molina. The wedding took place in the city of Soria, on 1 December 1291 when the bride was only 8 years old. The marriage, which was never consummated, was dissolved and annulled after Sanchos death in 1295, — Blanche of Anjou, daughter of his familys rival Charles II of Naples and Maria of Hungary
Philip III of Spain
Philip III of Spain was King of Spain and Portugal. A member of the House of Habsburg, Philip III was born in Madrid to King Philip II of Spain and his wife and niece Anna. Philip III married his cousin Margaret of Austria, sister of Ferdinand II, V. Wedgwood, R. Stradling and J. H. Elliott. In particular, Philips reliance on his chief minister, the Duke of Lerma, drew much criticism at the time. For many, the decline of Spain can be dated to the difficulties that set in during the early years of his reign. After Philip IIIs older brother Don Carlos died insane, Philip II had concluded that one of the causes of Carlos condition had been the influence of the factions at the Spanish court. Philip II appointed Juan de Zúñiga, Prince Diegos governor, to continue this role for Philip and they were joined by Cristóbal de Moura, a close supporter of Philip II. In combination, Philip believed, they would provide a consistent, stable upbringing for Prince Philip, Philip does not appear to have been naive – his correspondence to his daughters shows a distinctive, cautious streak in his advice on dealing with court intrigue.
Philip first met the Marquis of Denia – the future Duke of Lerma – then and Philip became close friends, but Lerma was considered unsuitable by the King and Philips tutors. Lerma was dispatched to Valencia as a Viceroy in 1595, with the aim of removing Philip from his influence, the prince received a new, conservative Dominican confessor. The following year, Philip II died after an illness, leaving the empire to his son. Philip married his cousin, Margaret of Austria, in 1599, the sister of the future Emperor Ferdinand II, would be one of three women at Philips court who would apply considerable influence over the king. Margaret continued to fight a battle with Lerma for influence up until her death in 1611. Philip had an affectionate, close relationship with Margaret, and paid her additional attention after she bore him a son in 1605 and they were successful, for example, in convincing Philip to provide financial support to Ferdinand from 1600 onwards. Philip steadily acquired other religious advisors, similarly Mariana de San Jose, a favoured nun of Queen Margarets, was criticised for her influence over the Kings actions.
The Spanish crown at the time ruled through a system of royal councils and these councils were supplemented by small committees, or juntas, as necessary, such as the junta of the night through which Philip II exercised personal authority towards the end of his reign. As a matter of policy, Philip had tried to avoid appointing grandees to major positions of power within his government and relied heavily on the lesser nobles, the so-called service nobility. To his contemporaries, the degree of personal oversight he exercised was excessive, Philip first started to become engaged in practical government at the age of 15, when he joined Philip IIs private committee
Philip IV of Spain
Philip IV of Spain was King of Spain and Portugal as Philip III. He ascended the thrones in 1621 and reigned in Spain until his death, Philip is remembered for his patronage of the arts, including such artists as Diego Velázquez, and his rule over Spain during the challenging period of the Thirty Years War. Philip IV was born in Valladolid, and was the eldest son of Philip III and his wife, Philip had seven children by Elisabeth, with only one being a son, Balthasar Charles, who died at the age of sixteen in 1646. The death of his son deeply shocked the king, who appears to have been a father by the standards of the day. Philip remarried in 1646, following the deaths of both Elisabeth and his legitimate heir. Perceptions of Philips personality have altered considerably over time, victorian authors were inclined to portray him as a weak individual, delegating excessively to his ministers, and ruling over a debauched Baroque court. Victorian historians even attributed the death of Baltasar to debauchery.
The doctors who treated the Prince at that time in fact diagnosed smallpox, Philip was idealised by his contemporaries as the model of Baroque kingship. Philip was a horseman, a keen hunter and a devotee of bull-fighting. Privately, Philip appears to have had a lighter persona, when he was younger, he was said to have a keen sense of humour and a great sense of fun. He privately attended academies in Madrid throughout his reign — these were lighthearted literary salons, aiming to analyse contemporary literature, a keen theatre-goer, he was sometimes criticised by contemporaries for his love of these frivolous entertainments. Others have captured his private personality as naturally kind and affable and those close to him claimed he was academically competent, with a good grasp of Latin and geography, and could speak French and Italian well. Like many of his contemporaries, including Olivares, he had a keen interest in astrology and his handwritten translation of Francesco Guicciardinis texts on political history still exists.
Although Philips Catholic beliefs no longer attract criticism from English language writers, from the 1640s onwards he sought the advice of a noted cloistered abbess, Sor María de Ágreda, exchanging many letters with her. By the end of the reign, and with the health of Carlos José in doubt, there was a possibility of Juan Josés making a claim on the throne. Philip IV came to power as the influence of the Sandovals was being undermined by a new noble coalition, over the course of at least a year, the relationship became very close, with Philips tendency towards underconfidence and diffidence counteracted by Olivares drive and determination. Philip retained Olivares as his confidant and chief minister for the twenty years. Philip himself argued that it was appropriate for the king himself to go house to house amongst his ministers to see if his instructions were being carried out
Alfonso II of Aragon
Alfonso II, called the Chaste or the Troubadour, was the King of Aragon and, as Alfons I, the Count of Barcelona from 1164 until his death. The eldest son of Count Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona and Queen Petronilla of Aragon and he was Count of Provence, which he conquered from Douce II, from 1166 until 1173, when he ceded it to his brother, Ramon Berenguer III. Born at Huesca, called indistinctly from birth Alfonso and Ramon, ascended the throne of Aragon and Barcelona as Alfonso, in deference to the Aragonese. For most of his reign he was allied with Alfonso VIII of Castile, in his Reconquista effort Alfonso pushed as far as Teruel, conquering this important stronghold on the road to Valencia in 1171. The same year saw him capturing Caspe, apart from common interests, kings of Aragon and Castile were united by a formal bond of vassalage the former owed to the latter. Besides, on January 18,1174, in Zaragoza Alfonso married Sancha, another milestone in this alliance was the Treaty of Cazorla between the two kings in 1179, delineating zones of conquest in the south along the watershed of the rivers Júcar and Segura.
Southern areas of Valencia including Denia were thus secured to Aragon, Alfonso reached an agreement, the Treaty of Sangüesa, with Sancho VI of Navarre dividing the territory of the Taifa of Murcia between them. During his reign Aragonese influence north of the Pyrenees reached its zenith and his realms incorporated not only Provence, but the counties of Cerdanya and Roussillon. Béarn and Bigorre paid homage to him in 1187, Alfonso II provided the first land grant to the Cistercian monks on the banks of the Ebro River in the Aragon region, which would become the site of the first Cistercian monastery in this region. He died at Perpignan in 1196 and he was a noted poet of his time and a close friend of King Richard the Lionheart. The debate had begun by Guilhem de Saint-Leidier and was taken up by Azalais de Porcairagues and Raimbaut of Orange. Wife, Sancha of Castile, daughter of king Alfonso VII of Castile, b.1155 or 1157, d.1208 Peter II, King of Aragon, married firstly King Imre of Hungary and secondly Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor.
Alfonso II, Count of Provence and Razès, married Count Raymond VI of Toulouse. Sancha, married Count Raymond VII of Toulouse, in March 1211 Ferdinand, cistercian monk, Abbot of Montearagón
Aragon is an autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces, Huesca and Teruel, the current Statute of Autonomy declares Aragon a nationality of Spain. Aragons northern province of Huesca borders France and is positioned in the middle of the Pyrenees, within Spain, the community is flanked by Catalonia to the east and Castile–La Mancha to the south, and Castile and León, La Rioja, and Navarre to the west. Aragon is home to many rivers—most notably, the river Ebro, Spains largest river in volume and it is home to the Aneto, the highest mountain in the Pyrenees. As of 2015, the population of Aragon was 1,317,847, with more than half of it living in Zaragoza. As of 2015, half of Aragons population,50. 45%, Huesca is the only other city in the region with a population greater than 50,000. The majority of Aragonese citizens,71. 8%, live in the province of Zaragoza,17. 1% in Huesca and 11.
1% in Teruel, the population density of the region is the second lowest in Spain, only 26, 8/km2, after Castilla La Mancha. Only four cities have more than 20,000 inhabitants, Zaragoza 700,000, Huesca 50,000, Teruel 35,000 and Calatayud 20,000. Spanish is the language in most of Aragon, and it is the only official language, understood. The strip-shaped Catalan-speaking area in Aragon is often called La Franja, with such a low population density large areas of Aragon remain wild and relatively untouched. It is a land of natural contrasts, both in climate and geologically, from the green valleys and snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees to the dry plains. Aragons Pyrenees include splendid and varied mountain landscapes with soaring peaks, deep canyons, dense forests and its rugged peaks include the Aneto, the highest in the range, the misty Monte Perdido, Perdiguero and many others. The park is one of the last sanctuaries of birds of prey in the range. Many beautiful mountain butterflies and flowers can be seen in the summer, the principal valleys in the mountains include those of Hecho, Tena and others.
The green valleys hide pretty villages with nice Romanesque churches and typical Pyrenean houses with flowers on the balconies, the oldest Romanesque cathedral in Spain is located in the medieval town of Jaca in the very northern part of Huesca Province. In the Pyrenean foothills, or pre-Pyrenees, the Mallos de Riglos are a natural rock formation. Ancient castles nestle on lonely hills, the most famous being the magnificent Loarre Castle, further south, the Ebro valley, irrigated by the river Ebro, is a rich and fertile agricultural area covered with vast fields of wheat and other fruit and vegetable crops. Many beautiful and little-known settlements and Roman ruins dot the landscape here, some of the most notable towns here include Calatayud, Sos del Rey Catolico and others
Ramiro II of Aragon
Ramiro II, called the Monk, was King of Aragon from 1134 until withdrawing from public life in 1137. He was the youngest son of Sancho Ramírez, King of Aragon and Navarre and his father had placed him as a child into the Benedictine monastery of Saint Pons de Thomières in the Viscounty of Béziers. As a respected monk there he was elected abbot of the Castillian royal monastery of Santos Fecundo y Primitivo in Sahagún, wanting to limit Ramiros power within the Kingdom of Navarre-Aragon, his brother Alfonso the Battler had blocked his elections as bishop of Burgos and as bishop of Pamplona. In 1134 he had been elected bishop of Barbastro-Roda when the death of his childless brother made him one of the candidates for succession to the crown, the reign of Ramiro the Monk, as he is known, was tumultuous. At the beginning of his reign he had problems with his nobles, who thought he would be docile and easily steered to their wishes, in order to produce an heir, he married Agnes, daughter of Duke William IX, Duke of Aquitaine.
Once wed, his wife bore a daughter, who was betrothed to Ramon Berenguer IV, Ramon accepted Ramiro as King and Father, renounced his family name in favor of the House of Aragon and united the County of Barcelona with the Kingdom. Ramon became the Prince of the Aragonese people and effective chief of the kingdoms armies and he became known for the famous and passionate legend of the Bell of Huesca. He died there on 16 August 1157, the crown formally passing to his daughter Petronilla, «Aproximación a la historia de la Corona de Aragón». El poder y la de la Edad Media a la Edad Moderna. Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior, Generalitat Valenciana y Ministerio de Cultura de España, the Medieval Crown of Aragon, A Short History. A History of Aragon and Catalonia, Ramiro II de Aragón, el rey monje
Peter, Constable of Portugal
Peter of Coimbra was the son of Infante Peter, Duke of Coimbra, who became the fifth Constable of Portugal and third Grand Master of the Order of Saint Benedict of Aviz. The Consell de Cent granted Peter the crown of Aragon, sometimes called Peter V, his status as king of Aragon, along with that of John IIs other challengers, is disputed. His parents were Infante Peter, Duke of Coimbra, and Isabella of Urgell and his fathers position as the regent of the Kingdom of Portugal gained him special advantages. Afonso, Marquis of Valença, the son of his half-uncle Afonso, 1st Duke of Braganza, had expected to become constable, but Peters father had appoint him instead. This political move along with Afonso Vs marriage to Isabella of Coimbra, Peters sister, in 1448, when King Afonso V of Portugal became of age and took reign, the Duke of Coimbra stepped down as regent. Afonso V, because of influence of the Duke of Braganza and their disagreements led to the Battle of Alfarrobeira, where the Duke of Coimbra died and Peter was exiled to Castile.
In 1454, Peter reconciled with King Afonso V and the Duke of Braganza, thus allowing him to return to Portugal, to further improve his bond with Afonso V, Peter helped Afonso V take Alcácer Ceguer and Tangiers. In 1463, the Catalan institutions, which were in war with John II of Aragon. He was chosen King of Aragon, Count of Barcelona, and he reigned de facto in Catalonia and parts of Aragon, but only de jure in Valencia, which was occupied by John II of Aragon. The territory under his control only included Barcelona and parts of Aragon, with the support of his aunt Isabella, the Duchess of Burgundy, he became engaged to Margaret of York, sending her an engagement ring and a marriage contract. Margaret would marry Isabellas own son Charles the Bold, after a long series of military problems, Peter died from illness in 1465, in Granollers. He is buried in Church of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona, after his death, the Catalans offered the crown to René of Anjou. Nobreza de Portugal e do Brasil – Vol.
I, pages 268-270, genealogical information on Infante John, Lord of Reguengos
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II, called the Catholic, was King of Sicily from 1468 and King of Aragon from 1479 until his death. As a consequence of his marriage to Isabella I, he was King of Castile as Ferdinand V from 1474 until her death in 1504 and he was recognised as regent of Castile for his daughter and heir, from 1508 until his own death. In 1504, after a war with France, he became King of Naples as Ferdinand III, reuniting Naples with Sicily permanently, in 1512, he became King of Navarre by conquest. Ferdinand is today best known for his role in inaugurating the discovery of the New World, since he and that year he fought the final war with Granada which expunged the last Islamic state on Iberian soil, thus bringing to a close the centuries-long Reconquista. At his death he was succeeded by Joanna, who co-ruled with her son, Charles V, Ferdinand was born in Sada Palace, Sos del Rey Católico, Kingdom of Aragon, as the son of John II of Aragon by his second wife, Juana Enríquez. He married Infanta Isabella, the half-sister and heiress of Henry IV of Castile, on 19 October 1469 in Valladolid, Kingdom of Castile, Isabella belonged to the royal House of Trastámara, and the two were cousins by descent from John I of Castile.
They were married with a prenuptial agreement on sharing power. He became jure uxoris King of Castile when Isabella succeeded her brother in 1474 to be crowned as Queen Isabella I of Castile. The two young monarchs were initially obliged to fight a war against Joan of Castile, the purported daughter of Henry IV. When Ferdinand succeeded his father as King of Aragon in 1479, the Crown of Castile, for the first time since the 8th century, this union created a single political unit referred to as España, the root of which is the ancient name Hispania. The various states were not formally administered as a single unit, the completion of the Reconquista was not the only significant act performed by Ferdinand and Isabella in that year. That document was signed with the defeated Moorish Emir of Granada Muhammad XII and it allowed Mudéjar Moors and converso Marrano Jews to stay, while expelling all unconverted Jews from Castile and Aragon. 1492 was the year in which the monarchs commissioned Christopher Columbus to find a maritime route for access to Asia.
In 1494 the Treaty of Tordesillas divided the world beyond Europe between Portugal and Castile for conquest and dominion purposes – by a north–south line drawn down the Atlantic Ocean. Ferdinand violated the 1492 Alhambra Decree peace treaty in 1502 by dismissing the clearly guaranteed religious freedom for Mudéjar Muslims, Ferdinand forced all Muslims in Castile and Aragon to convert, converso Moriscos, to Catholicism, or else be expelled. Some of the Muslims who remained were mudéjar artisans, who could design and this was practised by the Spanish inquisitors on the converso Marrano Jewish population of Spain. The main architect behind the Spanish Inquisition was King Ferdinand II, Ferdinand destroyed over ten thousand Arabic manuscripts in Granada alone, burning them. The latter part of Ferdinands life was taken up with disputes with successive Kings of France over control of Italy
Peter III of Aragon
Peter the Great was the King of Aragon of Valencia, and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death. At the invitation of some rebels, he conquered Sicily and became its king in 1282, pressing the claim of his wife, Constance of Hohenstaufen and he was one of the greatest of medieval Aragonese monarchs. Peter was the eldest son of James I of Aragon and his second wife Violant of Hungary, among betrothals of his youth, he was betrothed to Eudoxia Laskarina, the youngest daughter of Emperor Theodoros II of Nicaea, in or before 1260. This contract was dissolved, after Eudoxias brother lost the throne in 1261. On 13 June 1262, Peter married Constance and heiress of Manfred of Sicily, during his youth and early adulthood, Peter gained a great deal of military experience in his fathers wars of the Reconquista against the Moors. On James Is death in 1276, the lands of the Crown of Aragon were divided amongst his two sons, Peter the Great and Constance of Sicily were crowned in Zaragoza in November 1276 by the archbishop of Tarragona.
Peters first act as king was to complete the pacification of his Valencian territory, however, a revolt soon broke out in Catalonia, led by the viscount of Cardona and abetted by Roger-Bernard III of Foix, Arnold Roger I of Pallars Sobirà, and Ermengol X of Urgell. The rebels had developed a hatred for Peter as a result of the severity of his dealings with them during the reign of his father, now they opposed him for not summoning the Catalan corts, and confirming its privileges after his ascension to the throne. At the same time, a succession crisis continued in the County of Urgell, meanwhile, a good portion of the county had been repossessed by Peters father, James I, and was thus inherited by Peter in 1276. In 1278, Ermengol X, Álvaros eldest son, succeeded in recovering most of his lost patrimony, in 1280, Peter defeated the stewing rebellion led by Roger-Bernard III after besieging the rebels in Balaguer for a month. Most of the leaders were imprisoned in Lleida until 1281. When Muhammad I al-Mustansir, the Hafsid Emir of Tunisia who had put himself under James the Conqueror, died in 1277, Peter first sent an expedition to Tunis in 1280 under Conrad de Llansa designed to re-establish his suzerainty.
In 1281, he prepared to lead a fleet of 140 ships with 15,000 men to invade Tunisia on behalf of the governor of Constantine. The fleet landed at Alcoyll in 1282 and it was these Aragonese troops that received a Sicilian embassy after the Vespers of 30 March asking Peter to take their throne from Charles of Anjou. This made Peter III the heir of Manfred of Sicily in right of his wife, the Italian physician John of Procida acted on behalf of Peter in Sicily. John had fled to Aragon after Charles success at Tagliacozzo, John travelled to Sicily to stir up the discontents in favour of Peter and thence to Constantinople to procure the support of Michael VIII Palaeologus. Michael refused to aid the Aragonese king without papal approval, and so John voyaged to Rome and there gained the consent of Pope Nicholas III, who feared the ascent of Charles in the Mezzogiorno. John returned to Barcelona but the pope died, to be replaced by Simon de Brion, a Frenchman and an ally of Charles