Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Don Silo prosecuted the same scheme of government which had been introduced by his ! royal patron and colleague ; and gave some convincing proofs of his

military conduct in a subjugation of the Galicians, who had taken up arms against Mis authority. With the exception of some heresies that sprung up in the church, the remainder of his days was passed in tranquilo lity, and he was interred, after wearing the crown nine years, in the church of St. John de Pravia. A.D.

Upon the demise of her royal consort,

Adosinda caused her nephew, Alphonso, 783.

to be proclaimed king: but, notwithstanding the amiable qualities of that young prince, the people refused to acknowledge his authority, under the apprehension that he might eventually prove as tyrannical as his father. Alphonso being apprised of this circumstance, retired to his patrimonial estate in Biscay; and his uncle, Mauregato, contrived to fix himself upon the vacant throne. The reputation of Mauregato was greatly tarnished by his introducing an army of Saracens into the country, and by the anxiety which he evinced for preserving peace with the king of Cordova, who had styled himself the Almir Amuminim, or Commander of the Faithful : but his subjects were afraid to undertake any thing against his authority, and he, therefore, remained in quiet possession of the crown till his death, which happened in the summer of 788.

Don Bermudo, brother of Aurelio, was next invested with the regal dignity ; and evinced a strong predilection for the virtues and conversation of Don Alphonso, whom he recalled from

Biscay,

Biscay, and numbered among his favorite counsellors. The ill grounded aversion that had been conceived against this youth now began to subside; and he acquired such great fame by his conduct in an expedition against the king of Cordova, that Bermudo resolved to resign the sceptre into his hands, and the nobles transferred their allegiance to him with the utmost cheerfulness. Shortly after the election of Alphonso

A. D. II. who, from the purity of his life, was

791. surnamed El Casto, or “ the Chaste," the Spanish court was removed to Oviedo, and many excellent regulations were made in the government. In the third year of this reign, Issem, king of Cordova, ordered one of his generals to make an irruption into Alphonso's territories ; but the invaders were defeated with considerable loss; and the successor of Issem received some powerful shocks from the Spanish monarch. In the year 801, Alphonso seems to. have been deposed by a party of malecontents, and thrust into a monastery; but the generality of his subjects rising in his behalf, he was set at liberty, and conducted, with all possible magni. ficence, to Oviedo, where he continued to sway the sceptre with equal justice and reputation, till his enemies were fully convinced of his irresistible prowess, and his dominions were considerably improved. He then convened an assembly of the states, and, with their consent, resigned the administration into the hands of his cousin Don Ramiro. He passed the remainder of his days in tranquil retirement, and expired, at the venerable age of seventy-seven, amidst universal lamentations.

Don

Don Ramiro was compelled to begin A.D.

his reign with some necessary acts of se842.

verity; for a rebellion was raised against his person and authority by one count Nepotian; the roads and villages were infested with robbers and pretended sorcerers; and the Normans, having made a descent at Corunna, threatened his dominions with the heaviest calamities. However, his domestic enemies received the due réward of their atrocities, and the invaders were repulsed with such dreadful slaughter, that they never thought it advisable to renew their attempt. An irruption of the Moors, under Abdelrahman II. was also rendered abortive by the king's conduct and bravery; and his son, Ordogno, acquired such celebrity on this occasion, that he was immediately admitted to a participation of the administration, and assured of succeeding, on his father's death, to the sole possession

of the throne. Notwithstanding the frustration of his former attempt, Abdelrahman led a fresh army toward Leon, about the year 849; but he was again repulsed with prodigious loss; and the reputation of his opponent received fresh lustre. "Ramiro, being now advanced in years, and fatigued with the affairs of state, devoted the chief of his time to works of piety and charity, and by those means conciliated the affections of the clergy, nobility, and people. He died on the first of February 850, after a glorious reign of seven years; and his obsequies were performed, with becoming solemnity, in the church of Santa Maria at Oviedo. The commencement of Ordogno's reign was

marked

[ocr errors]

marked by a revolt of the Gascons in the

province of Alava, and by the slaughter of eight thousand men,

who had been sent from Oviedo against Mahamut, king of Cordova: but the rebels were quickly reduced to obedience, and, notwithsanding the loss of the aforementioned troops, the Spanish monarch rendered himself formidable to the Moors upon several subsequent occasions. He also reduced the cities of Coria and Salamanca; fortified the most im. portant places in his own dominions; and even raised a maritime force, which had never been attempted by any of his predecessors.

Having persuaded the nobility to remunerate the gallantry of his son, Alphonso, with a share of the government; and having made the best arrangements for the safety and honour of his people; Ordogno submitted to the mortal condi. tion, after an active reign of sixteen years; and was buried in the royal sepulchre of his capital. Alphonso III. afterwards surnamed the

A.D. Great, had scarcely ascended the vacant

866. throne before he was driven into Castile by the approach of Don Froila with a numerous body of forces. However, the usurper was soon taken off by assassination, and the royal fugitive was welcomed, on his return to Oviedo, with universal acclamations. Having thus regained the sceptre, he put his dominions into an excellent state of defence ; suppressed a dangerous revolt in the province of Alava; and gained a decisive victory over an army of infidels whom Mahamut, king of Cordova, had ordered to invade his territories.

Shortly after this event, Alphonso married the celebrated princess Ximene of Navarre, and en

tered

tered into a league offensive - and defensive against the Saracens: in consequence of which he, in the following campaign, passed the Duro, and continued his progress to Coimbra, which he soon reduced and dismantled. From this expedition the Spanish troops returned laden with plunder; and their victorious monarch, after granting a truce to Mahamut, applied himself to the restoration and repeopling of several cities in such parts of his dominions as were most ex. posed to the ravages of the enemy.

As soon as the truce was expired, Mahamut renewed hostilities, and assembled a very power. ful army under the command of a brave and experienced officer. Victory, however, still adhered to the Christian banners; and, after several sanguinary battles, a fresh truce was negotiated at the earnest solicitation of the infidels. Upon his return from this campaign, Alphonso caused a golden cross to be erected in the cathedral at Oviedo, as a monument of his repeated successes; and, about the same time, gave directions for the fortification and embellishment of his capital. Upon the recommencement of hostilities, the king of Leon passed the river Tagus ; destroyed a numerous, army of Saracens ; and ravaged the territories of Mahamut with fire and sword. The Moorish prince, Almundar, on the other hand, made an incursion into the Spanish dominions; but he was soon repulsed with considerable loss, and a third truce was concluded, for six years, upon terms equally honourable and advantageous to Alphonso... A.D.

About this time a new Christian prin884.

cipality arose in Spain, viz. that of Castile, which is now divided into the pro

« ZurückWeiter »