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soon capitulated; and from thence he directed his course to the Asturias; but here he met with so vigorous a repulse that he thought proper to return to Cordova. 3 Next year the Saracen general made himself master of several important towns in Portugal; committed some outrages in Galicia ; and destroyed the city of Compostella: but his progress was suddenly impeded by a disorder which broke out among

his troops; and Bermudo, being apprised of this circumstance, harassed him exceedingly in his retreat.

Exasperated at the dishonourable conclusion of this campaign, Almancor uttered many dreadful imprecations against the Christians, and sent for a powerful reinforcement of troops from Africa, in order to complete the ruin of Galicia: but Bermudo, having obtained the assistance of the Castilians and the king of Navarre, prepared to make a gallant resistance ; and a battle was fought near Osma, in which the infidels were defeated with the loss of a hundred thousand men, besides their camp and baggage. Almancor escaped alive from the engagement, but he soon occasioned his own death by an obstinate absti. nence from food; and the Christian confederates retired to their respective countries in triumph.

Shortly after this great event, Don Bermudo died, in the seventeenth year of his reign, and was buried at a place called Valbuena in Galicia. His son Alphonso was elected to fill the vacant throne, and the regency was placed in the lands of the queen dowager.

There have been fewinstances of a regency better conducted than that which subsisted during the minority of Alphonso V.: for the attempts

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of the Moors were happily frustrated A.D. 1014.

peace and decorum were preserved in

the interior of the kingdom; and the prince himself received such an excellent edua cation, that he became one of the best and wisest characters that had ever graced the throne of Leon and Oviedo. Upon his assuming the reins of government, he espoused the daughter of his tutor, Melendo Gonçalez; and obtained a considerable degree of popularity by rebuilding the towns that had been destroyed, and repeopling the tracts of country which had been abandoned in the preceding reign. By his solicitations the nobility were persuaded to re-edify the ruined capital; and he enjoyed the satisfaction of convening the first assembly of states after it had resumed something of its prise tine splendor. He, also, caused the city of Zamora to be thoroughly repaired and tertified; and undertook an expedition against the infidels: but, having imprudently exposed himself at the siege of a place called Viseo, he was mortally wounded, by an arrow, in the twenty-eighth year of his reign, and the thirty-fourth of his age. His remains were interred at Leon, amidst the universal lamentations of his subjects, by whom he had been equally beloved and admired on account of his piety, courage, and munificence.

Bermudo III. son of the deceased A.D. 1027.

monarch, was unanimously elected king :

and the regency, during his minority, was vested in the queen dowager and some of the principal nobles. These persons exerted. themselves successfully to restore the tranquillity of the kingdom ; the sedateness and opening abilities of the young monarch gave

unspeakable

unspeakable pleasure to the courtiers; and the generality, of the people were delighted with proposals of a marriage between the young count of Castile and the infanta Donna Sancha, aş such an union seemed to promise great ad, vantages to all the Spanish Christians in general, and to the kingdom of Leon in particular: the intended bridegroom, however, was suddenly assassinated, and the general rejoicings were consequently turned into lamentation.

Don Bermudo had no sooner assumed the ma, nagement of his own affairs, than he, resolved to form an alliance with Don Sanchez, who had rendered himself extremely powerful by annexing the county of Castile and several important provinces to his hereditary kingdom of Navarre, Accordingly, he demanded the daughter of that monarch in marriage; and the nuptials were solemnized, toward the close of the

year, with extraordinary magnificence, Some commotions appear to have broken out, about this time, in Galicia; but Bermudo marched thither with such celerity, and approved himself so able a commander, that the insurgents laid down their arms, and their leaders eluded the royal vengeance by a precipitate retreat.

The friendship which had, for some time, subsisted between the kings of Leon and NaVarre, was at length interrupted by a claim which the latter made upon the city of Palentia; and this dispute rose to such a height that each party had reçourse to hostilities, and Sanchez, after reducing all the country between the rivers Cea and Puiserga, determined to bring his opponent to a decisive battle. This design, however, was overruled by some preVOL. XV.

Q

lates;

lates; and a peace was, at length, negotiated, by which Bermudo ceded the recent conquests, as the portion of his sister, Donna Sancha, and the king of Navarre gave Castile to his second son Ferdinand, who, upon espousing the infanta, should assume the title of king. The marriage was accordingly celebrated, with all imaginable splendor ; and the people of Navarre, Castile, and Leon, were equally pleased with a conjunction of interests which seemed to promise them ample security against the future attacks of the infidels.

Notwithstanding the magnificence which Bermudo had displayed at his sister's wedding, it is evident that he had concluded a peace with great reluctance: for, on the first intimation of Don Sanchez's death, he besieged and took the city of Palentia, and made formidable preparations for recovering the whole district which he had ceded to his late brother-in-law. However, his ambition terminated in his destruction; for Don Ferdinand, assisted by his brother Garcias, assembled a body of troops to arrest his progress; and the royal invader was mortally wounded in an engagement which took place in the neighbourhood of Carrion.

Bermudo's army were no sooner acquainted with this fatal event, than they were overwhelmed with confusion, and would certainly have been cut to pieces by the opposite party, if Ferdinand had not interposed, and, with great per sonal danger, appeased the fury of his troops This, however, he effected; and caused the body of the fallen king to be sent back to Leon, that it might be interred with due solemnity. By these means the victor conciliated the esteem

of

of the people; and disposed the nobility to acknowledge him for their lawful sovereign. Accordingly, he made his public entry into Leon, and the ceremony of his coronation was performed in the cathedral on the 22d of June 1037. The Galicians, indeed, rose in arms, under pretence of maintaining their ancient liberties; but these were soon reduced to obedience; and the generality of the nation acquiesced in a revolution by which the kingdom of Leon and Oviedo was united with that of Castile.

Ferdinand, having taken possession of the throne of Leon, determined to obviate all the prejudices and unfavourable prepossessions of his new subjects, by an uniform adherence to the precepts of justice, and an assiduous application to the discharge of his public duties. Accordingly, he visited all the provinces and capital towns; enlarged the privileges of the Galicians ; frequently expatiated on the rights of the queen ; evinced the most profound respect for the clergy and nobility; and prosecuted his predecessor's plan of redressing grievances with indefatigable diligence,

Having devoted several years to the reformation of his people and the improvement of his new territories, he, at length, resolved to make war upon the Saracens; and his arms were crowned with such brilliant success that, in the space of four campaigns, he reduced the fortress of Xena, and the cities of Viseo and Coimbra; swept the frontiers of Castile ; ravåged all the country about Medina Cæli; and enriched his troops with a prodigious quantity of slaves and plunder. He also invaded the dominions of the Moorish king of Toledo; and

2

threatened

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