Alfonso V of León

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Alfonso V
Alfonso V of León.jpg
King of León
Reign 999–1028
Predecessor Bermudo II
Successor Bermudo III
Consort Elvira Mendes
Urraca of Pamplona
Issue Sancha of León
Bermudo III of León
Jimena of León
Dynasty Beni Alfons
Father Bermudo II of León
Mother Elvira García of Castile
Born c. 994
Died 4 July/7 August 1028 (aged 33–34)
Viseu
Burial Basilica of San Isidoro
Religion Roman Catholicism

Alfonso V (994 – 7 August 1028), called the Noble, was King of León from 999 to 1028. Enough is known of him to justify the belief that he had some of the qualities of a soldier and a statesman. Like other kings of León, he used the title emperor to assert his standing among the Christian rulers of Spain.[1]

Alfonso was three years old when he succeeded his father, Bermudo II, in 999.[2] His mother, Elvira García, and count Menendo González, who raised him in Galicia,[3] acted as his co-regents until 1007, when the queen mother retired and became a nun.

Alfonso began the work of reorganizing the Christian kingdom of the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula after a most disastrous period of civil war and Arab inroads.[citation needed]

His name and that of his wife are associated with the grant of the first franchises of León (1017).[4] On a Wednesday, 7 August 1028, Alfonso V was killed by an arrow while besieging the Muslim town of Viseu,[5][6] King Alfonso was buried next to his first wife Elvira, according to his wishes, at the Church of Saint John the Baptist and San Pelayo which later changed its name to the Basilica of San Isidoro when the latter saint's remains were transferred from Seville.[7] The following epitaph was carved on his tomb:

H. IACET ADEFONSUS QUI POPVLATIT LEGIONEM...ET DEDIT BONOS FOROS ET FECIT / ECCLESIAM HANC LVTO ET LATERE. HABVIT PRAELIA CUM / SARRACENIS, ET INTERFECTUS, EST SAGITTA APUD VISEUM / PORTUGAL FUIT FILIUS VEREMUNDI ORDONII / OBIIT ERA M SEXAGESIMA QUINTA III NAS M.[8]

Family[edit]

Alfonso first married Elvira Mendes in 1013, daughter of his tutor Menendo González at whose house he was raised as a child, with whom he had two children.[9]

After Elvira's death on 2 December 1022,[10] Alfonso married Urraca Garcés, sister of King Sancho III of Navarre.[11] Before this marriage took place, the king of Navarre had sent Ponce, abbot at the Monastery of San Pedro de Tavèrnoles, later bishop of Oviedo, and a nobleman named Garcia, to intercede before Abbot Oliba, bishop of Vic, in favor of the marriage of his sister Urraca to the king of León, despite the impediments of consanguinity. Although Bishop Oliba did not authorize the marriage, describing it as incesti connubii in a letter dated 11 May 1023,[12] the royal wedding was celebrated between the date of the bishop's letter and 13 November 1023 when Alfonso V and his new wife, who confirms as Urraka regina, appear together for the first time in a charter in the Cathedral of León.[10][13]

Urraca and her mother Jimena Fernández made a donation on 26 September 1028 to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela confirming as Scemena regina simulque et filia mea Urraca Regina (...) genitoris nostri Fredenandus Ueremudiz et domna Geloria, and a few years later, King Bermudo III on 6 August 1031 referred to his step-mother as Urraca regina Garseani regis filia.

Alfonso and Urraca had one daughter, who was named Jimena as attested in a charter dated 22 December 1036 in a donation made by Muniadona and her son Fernando Gundemáriz, son of Gundemaro Pinióliz, when she confirms as Jimena, daughter of King Alfonso.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sánchez Candeira 1951, p. 16. In a letter to king Sancho III of Navarre, the Catalan bishop Oliva of Vic called Alfonso imperator. A document of the monastery of Celanova (1007) also refers to Alfonso V as rex imperator.
  2. ^ Fernández del Pozo 1999, p. 7.
  3. ^ Fernández del Pozo 1999, p. 7, 24, and 27.
  4. ^ Fernández del Pozo 1999, p. 109.
  5. ^ Fernández del Pozo 1999, pp. 8 and 223–226.
  6. ^ Martínez Díez 2007, p. 155.
  7. ^ Fernández del Pozo 1999, p. 223 and 226.
  8. ^ Fernández del Pozo 1999, p. 100. Translation: "H[ere] lies Alfonso, who [re-]populated León ... and gave good laws and made / this church clay and brick. He had battles with / the Saracens, and was killed with an arrow before Viseu / [in] Portugal[.] He was the son of Vermudo Ordóñez . . ."
  9. ^ Fernández del Pozo 1999, p. 214.
  10. ^ a b Fernández del Pozo 1999, p. 218.
  11. ^ Sánchez Candeira 1951, p. 34.
  12. ^ Martínez Díez 2007, pp. 122–123.
  13. ^ Martínez Díez 2007, pp. 123 and 155.
  14. ^ Fernández Conde et al 2007, p. 198.

Bibliography[edit]

Alfonso V of León
Born: circa 994 Died: 4 July/7 August 1028
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Bermudo II
King of León
999–1028
Succeeded by
Bermudo III