Abbildungen der Seite

threatened to lead his victorious troops against the king of Saragossa: but both these princes eluded his vengeance by offering to become his feudatories, and to pay him an annual tribute * A. D.

Soon after the close of this expedition, 1068.

Don Ferdinand paid a visit to his bro

ther, the king of Navarre, who had been seized with a dangerous indisposition on the frontiers of Castile ; but, upon receiving private information that Don Garcia intended to secure his person, he took an hasty leave, and returned to his own dominions. About two years after this occurrence, Ferdinand was afflicted with a fit of illness, and his brother came to see him at Leon; but the king caused him to be arrested, shortly after his arrival, and sent prisoner to the castle of Cea. However, the royal captive found means to escape, and began to levy forces for the invasion of Castile before his brother had conceived the idea of such an at tempt. Ferdinand clearly foresaw the mischiefs that would, in all probability, follow this acci- . dent, and, in order to prevent an unnecessary effusion of blood, he sent to offer terms of ac. commodation: but these were rejected with indignation, and an engagement took place between Ages and Atuperta, which terminated in the death of Don Garcia, and the destruction of all his Mahometan auxiliaries. - The other troops were spared by command of the victor; and Garcia's body was interred, with suitable honours, at Najara.

Having rebuilt the church of St. John the Baptist at Leon, and compelled the Saracen prince of Seville to send him the body of St. Isidore to be deposited therein, Ferdinand con

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

vened an assembly of the states, and proposed

a division of his dominicns aniong his three sons Sancho, Alphonso, and Garcias; the eldest of whom was to enjoy the sovereignty of Castile ; the second to inherit the kingdom of Leon and Oviedo ; and the youngest to take possession of Galicia, with the recent conquests in Portugal. This design was approved by a majority of the nobles; and the princes, Sancho and Garcias, were immediately permitted to assume their respective governments in Galicia and Castile.

The Moorish kings of Toledo and Saragossa resolved to take advantage of a division which they considered as the result of mental imbecility, and, accordingly, refused to pay their annual tribute. But they were soon convinced of their error in forming such a liasty resolution; for Don Ferdinand assembled a formidable army, and immediately swept the frontiers of both kingdoms with fire and sword. He even led his victorious troops to Valencia, and set fire to the suburbs of that important city; but a violent indisposition obliged him to close the campaign and to return to Leon, where he ex

pired on the 27th of September 1065, after a 1 glorious reign of twenty-eight years. Besides

his three sons, before mentioned, he left two daughters, Donna Urraca and Danna Elvira, to whom he left some particular cities and lands, that they might be enabled to live in a manner suitable to their dignity, without being dependant upon their brethren.

Don Sancho regarded the decision of his father as extremely arbitrary and unjust, from an opinion that priority of birth gave him a just Q3


[ocr errors]

title to all the three kingdoms; and, upon the death of his mother, he led a numerous army into the territories of his brother Alphonso, with an intention to recover the crown of Leon and Oviedo. This design was set aside, for the present, by the interposition of the two princesses ; but, in the following spring, Sancho renewed his incursion, and a sanguinary battle ensued, which terminated in the defeat and subsequent deposition of Alphonso, who was compelled to assume the monastic habit, and to retire to the abbey of Sahagon. The conqueror then took possession of the vacant throne; and, soon afterwards, penetrated into Galicia, whence his younger brother retired to the court of the king of Seville. However, Sancho did not long ena joy the fruits of his success ; for he was soon alarmed by the unexpected escape of Alphonso, and his life was eventually terminated by assåssination, whilst he was employed at the siege of a city which he desired to wrest from his sister Urraca. A. D.

Don Alphonso had no sooner receiv1072.

ed intelligence of his brother's fate, than

he took leave of his Moorish protector *, and repaired to Zamora, where he received the warmest congratulations from the principal nobility of Leon and Oviedo. The Castilians also consented to acknowledge him as their sove reign, on his clearing himself, by oath, from the murder of the late king; and, on the subo sequent + imprisonment of Don Garcia, the

Galicians * Ali Maymon, king of Toledo.

+ Historians are much divided in their opinions respecto ing Don Garcia's imprisonment; some imputing it to the


Galicians submitted to his authority, so that he once more united the dominions of his father, and became sole monarch of Leon, Galicia, and Castile. Shortly after he had assumed the

A. D. reins of government, Alphonso espoused 1074. Donna Agnes, daughter of the count of Poitiers; and, about the same time, he had an opportunity of expressing his gratitude to the king of Toledo, by putting an end to a war which threatened that prince with very serious consequences. His interference was then requested in the affairs of Navarre, which had been thrown into confusion by the assassination of the last king; and he embraced that opportunity of annexing Biscay and Rioja to his former dominions.

Next year a legate arrived at eourt, by whose assistance Alphonso divorced his queen; and, in the

space of a few months, a new marriage was negotiated between the king and Donna Constantia, daughter of the duke of Burgundy. War was then declared against Hiaya, king of Toledo, and, after four campaigns, the capital of that prince fell into the hands of the Christians. The victor permitted his unfortunate competitor to retire, without molestation, to. Valencia, and even promised to protect the Moorish inhabit, ants in the enjoyment of their religion and laws; but, as he was perfectly aware of the importance of his conquest, he resolved to make it the metropolis of his dominions, and exerted himself successfully to people it with Christians. tyranny or ambition of his brother, and others asserting that he merited it by some intrigue against the government of Leon and Castile.


The Mahometans were overwhelmed with consternation when they saw Toledo -in the hands of their enemies, and a powerful league was immediately formed, under the kings of Seville and Badajos, against Don Alphonso; but that victorious prince made such formidable preparations against an invasion, and obtained the promise of such powerful reinforcements from France and Burgundy, that the infidels laid aside their design after one engagement, and negotiated a peace to the satisfaction of all parties.

Upon the restoration of public tranA. D..

quillity, Alphonske undertook to repair 1087.

and repeople all the cities that had been dilapidated during the late hostilities. About this time, also, he bestowed his only daughter upon Don Raymond, who had rendered him some important services; and, in the

space few years, he had the satisfaction of seeing Aravels, Medina del Campo, Coca, Olmedo, and several other important towns, restored to their pristine appearance, and filled with Christian inhabitants.

In the spring of 1091, Don Garcia expired in the place of his confinement, and his remains were solemnly interred in the church of St. Isi. dore, at Leon. His funeral was soon followed by that of Donna Constantia ; and the sister of Don Raymond became the consort of Alphonso.

Sensible of the mischiefs which might result from the inactivity of his troops, Alphonso determined to renew hostilities against the Saracens, and accordingly made an irruption into Portugal, where he reduced the cities of Coim


of a

« ZurückWeiter »