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a multitude of slaves and a prodigious quantity of wealth. At his return, he caused the funeral obsequies of his brother to be celebrated with great magnificence; and soon afterwards aca quired fresh celebrity by the defeat of a Moorish army which had attempted to ravage his teru ritories. He also obliged the prince of Arragon to become his feudatory; and formed a powerful alliance with the king of Navarre, by espouso ing his sister Donna Theresa.

Aben Ahaya, prince of Arragon, seems to have had no other object than his own safety in view, when he consented to become a vassal to Ramiro; for he took the earliest opportunity of acquainting the king of Cordova with the transz action, and of imploring him to raise a formi. dable army against the Christians. Hereupon Abdelralıman made a powerful irruption into* the territories of Leon, and drew over reinforcements from Africa till his army was augmented to the number of one hundred and fifty thousand men, with whom he reduced all the country be yond the Duro: but while the infidels were congratulating themselves upon this great success, Ramiro marched out against them, and gained a decisive victory in the plains of Simancas. The enemy, though weakened by the loss of eighty thousand men, determined to make a* fresh effort to retrieve their reputation: but their hopes were blasted, and the king of Leon returned in triumph to his capital, where he caused the traitor Aben Ahaya to be thrown into prison; and formed a plan for extending his dominions to that chain of mountains which divides the two Castiles. ? After inflicting a temporary chastisement upon


some rebellious noblemen, and devoting a con siderable space of time to the reparation and embellishment of his principal towns, Ramiro made a fresh irruption into the Moorish territories; gained a decisive victory over a numerous army which had been ordered to stop his

progress; and returned to Leon with a prodigious acquisition of wealth. However, he did not long enjoy the fruits of his success; for he was seized, on his return, with an indisposition which induced him to resign his crown, and which soon put a period to his life, after he had held the government for about nineteen years and three months. Ordogno III. was permitted to ascend

A. D. his father's throne; and his subsequent

950. actions justified the high opinion which most of the nobles had entertained of his abilities. The commencement of his reign was disturbed by some attempts of his brother Sanchez, who insisted upon receiving some share of the regal dignity; and even prevailed on the king of Navarre to enforce this demand at the head of an army: but the design was baffled by Ori dogno's prudence; and the invaders retired with out committing any hostilities.

The confederates had no sooner withdrawn their troops than an insurrection broke out in Galicia, and the king found himself obliged to repair thither in person. On his appearance, however, and promises of clemency, the male. contents returned to their allegiance, and marched, under their sovereign's command, into the territories of the Saracens, where they acquired much wealth and reputation. An unfortunate disagreement between the king and count Fer

dinand Gonçalez was also compromised, and the arms of Leon were crowned with extraordic nary success. In the summer of 955, the king died, after governing with great applause for five years

and a-half; and the crown was conferred upon Don Sanchez, who had hitherto resided at the court of Navarre, but had hasten ed to Leon upon the first intimation of his brother's' death.

Sanchez, whom historians have distinguished by the surname of “Gross," appears to have been a person of shallow judgment and less ac tivity. The artifices of his enemy, count Gonçalez, terrified him into a second retreat to the court of Navarre; and the intriguing Castilian immediately set up Don Ordegno, the son of Alphonso IV. as lawful heir to the kingdom of Leon and Oviedo. The new king, however, rendered himself so despicable to his subjects, that he was soon compelled to flee into the Asia turias, and Sanchez was reinstated in all his dignities.

Having received intelligence of his competitor's death, and having rendered himself popu. lar by espousing the daughter of a powerful grandee, Sanchez laid aside all his fears, and hoped to enjoy the crown without further molestation. In this, however, he was sadly disa appointed: for he was soon alarmed by a descent of the Normans upon Galicia; and by the rebellious disposition of Sisenand, bishop of Compostella. A formidable insurrection, also, under count Gonçalez, threatened to annihilate his

power; and, though his forces proved victorious, the chief rebel contrived to take him off by poison.


After mature deliberation, the nobili

A. D. ty resolved to confer the regal dignity

967. the apon son of their deceased monarch, though he was, at that time, but five years old. They also appointed his mother, the queen dow. ager, and his aunt, Donna Elvira, to act as regents of the kingdom; and instructions were issued out for renewing the peace with Cor. dova.

Shortly after this arrangement, Sisenand found means to escape from prison, and to reinstate himself in the bishopric of Compostella: but his ambition and his life were soon terminated by a formidable host of Normans, who made a fresh descent upon the Spanish coast, and mark. ed their progress with blood and rapine, till they were, at length, attacked and cut to pieces near the mountains of Castile. As soon as Ramiro III, had entered

A. D. his seventeenth year, he espoused a lady of great family, and soon afterwards 979. assumed the reins of government. His subsequent conduct, however, was so displeasing to the nobility, that they resolved on deposing him, and placing their sceptre in the hands of Don Bermudo, son of Ordogno III. In consequence of this resolution, a powerful army was raised, on the frontiers of Galicia, and an engagement ensued, in which more soldiers. perished than in any battle that had ever been fought with the Saracens, though neither party was able to claim the victory. However, the sudden death of Ramiro put a stop to this dreadful effusion of blood: and Bermudo II. was proclaimed king with the unanimous consent of the nation.


A. D.

Bermudo had no sooner assumed the

insignia of royalty than he determined 982.

to exert all his authority in reforming the manners of the people, which had degenes rated exceedingly, and in enforcing the precepts and discipline of the church; but whilst he was occupied with this design, the Moors made a sudden irruption into his dominions, and made them selves masters of the important city of Simencas, the inhabitants of which were either murdered or reduced to slavery. Shortly after this occurrence, the city of Zamora fell into the hands of the infidels; and Mohammed Almancor, prime minister to the king of Cordova, put himself at the head of a formidable army, in order to penetrate into the interior of Bermudo's kingdom. Hereupon Bermudo prepared for battle, and his troops acquitted themselves with such gallantry, near the banks of the Ezla, that, though they were overpowered by numbers, the enemy was incapacitated from pursuing their advantages till the next campaign. However, Almancor swore that he would soon take ample vengeance upon the city of Leon; and Bermudo was so wellconvinced of his enemy's superior prowess, that ordered all his treasures to be removed; caused the bodies of the kings, his predecessors, to be transported to the Asturias, and retired thither in person, with most of his prelates and nobility.

Early in the ensuing spring, Almançor led a numerous army against Leon, which he carried by assault, and demolished so completely, that, with the exception of a single tower, there did not remain one of its edifices or fortifications. The victor then marched to Astorga, which

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