Alfonso

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Alfonso

 

In medieval Spanish kingdoms:

Alfonso I the Battler. Died in September 1134. King of Aragón and Navarre from 1104. He took Saragossa in 1118 from the Moors and in 1120 gained a victory at Cutanda over the forces of the Almoravids, who were trying to capture Saragossa. He undertook a number of campaigns in Andalusia and the south of France. Alfonso was routed in 1134 by the Moors at the fortress of Braga.

Alfonso III the Great. Born 838; died 910 or 912. King of Asturias from 866. He won a number of regions north of the Tajo River (now Tajus) from the Moors. Striving to consolidate royal authority, Alfonso III engaged in a bitter struggle with the feudal aristocracy, headed by his sons; in 910 he was forced to abdicate.

Alfonso VI the Brave. Born 1030; died June 30, 1109. King of León from 1065 and Castile from 1072. During the Reconquista. he conquered Toledo (1085) and the territories of Valencia and Almería. In 1086 he was routed by the Almoravids at Zalaca and lost a number of conquered lands. In 1108 his troops again suffered great defeat in a battle with the Moors at Uclés.

Alfonso VII. Born 1104; died 1157. King of Castile and León from 1126. He endeavored to unite the states of Christian Spain and gradually established his suzerainty over Aragón, Navarre, Portugal, and a number of territories in France (Foix, Comminges, and Montpellier). In 1135 the cortes of León proclaimed him emperor of Spain. Alfonso VII successfully participated in the Reconquista:. he campaigned in Andalusia and Estremadura and took Córdoba in 1144, but a year later he abandoned it, leaving the city to destruction. In the 1150’s he fought against the Almohads.

Alfonso IX. Born 1171; died Sept. 24, 1230. King of León and Asturias from 1188. In 1188, Alfonso IX convoked the first cortes of León, which gave representation to the third estate. Alfonso IX took Badajoz (1227), Cáceres (1229), and Mérida (1229) from the Moors.

Alfonso X the Wise. Born Nov. 23, 1221; died Apr. 4, 1284. King of Castile and León from 1252. He fought successfully against the Moors, capturing Jerez (1255), Cádiz (1262), and other towns. He tried to be elected emperor of the “Holy Roman Empire.” His striving to centralize the state and consolidate royal power (reflected in his code of laws, the Partidas.) met with the opposition of the great feudal lords and of his son Sancho. In 1282, Alfonso was deprived of royal power and Sancho began to rule. Alfonso X was a poet. He patronized the sciences, particularly astronomy; he ordered astronomical tables incorporating the observations of Arab scholars drawn up at the Academy of Toledo.

Alfonso XI. Born 1311; died Mar. 26, 1350. King of Castile and León from 1312. Began to rule independently in 1325. He relied mainly on the towns in his struggle against the separatist tendencies of the great feudal lords. In 1348, Alfonso XI promulgated (in the cortes of Alcalá) the so-called Ordinance of Alcalá, which established the personal freedom of the peasants while preserving the feudal obligations that were bound up with land dependence. Alfonso XI successfully fought against the Moors, defeating them in 1340 at Rio Salado. He died of the plague during the siege of Gibraltar, which he attempted to take from the Moors.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Alfonso

the murdered prince returns as a ghost to frustrate the usurper and proclaim the true heir. [Br. Lit.: Walpole The Castle of Otranto in Magill I, 124]
See: Ghost
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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