||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Portuguese Wikipedia. (February 2014)|
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia. (February 2014)|
Madragana Ben Aloandro, later Maior or Mór Afonso - (Faro, Algarve, Portugal, born ca. 1230) was a famous Algarvian mistress to king Afonso III of Portugal, in the 13th century, when he ended the Reconquista in Portugal by taking Faro in 1249. Faro was at that time the last part of the Kingdom of the Algarve still in Muslim hands, and there her father was the Alcaide.
She was christened in time, receiving her new name as Maior Afonso, or Mor Afonso, Mor being short for Maior, a common female name in medieval Portuguese. Afonso was given her in baptism as her new patronymic, meaning "the daughter of" Afonso - and that suggests that her elderly royal lover was also her godfather, that she took his spiritual fatherhood when christening. Her father's name was Aloandro Ben Bekar (also known in Portuguese as Aloandro or Aldroando Gil after his christening), a member of the Banu Harun.
Madragana was also called in ancient Portuguese chronicles Mouroana, Mouroana Gil and Madraganil - all of which are Christian names.
There is, however, some controversy regarding her ethnicity. Author, Duarte Nunes de Leão, a Portuguese royal chronicler of the 16th century, stated that Madragana was a Moor. That was denied in the 18th century by António Caetano de Sousa, in which he is followed by many modern authors.
When passion with the King waned, she was married to Fernão Rei, and they had at least one daughter, Sancha Fernandes. Note that Rei means King, in Portuguese, and so Fernão Rei is supposed to have been originally a servant of the king (Fernão do Rei - Ferdinand of the King).
Madragana bore two royal children:
- Dom Martim Afonso Chichorro (ca. 1250-after 1313), married to Dona Inês Lourenço de Sousa (or Dona Inês Lourenço de Valadares) (born ca. 1250).
- Dona Urraca Afonso (born ca. 1260), married twice: 1st in 1265 to Pedro Anes Gago de Riba Vizela (ca. 1240-1286); 2nd ca. 1275 to Dom João Mendes de Briteiros (born ca. 1250).
- Most probably because she had been previously christened according to the Mozarabic Rite, the re-christening being done in the Roman Rite.
- Sometimes spelled Mourana (also in the variety Mourana Gil). Notice that the origin of the name Mourana is not the Portuguese for Moor, Mouro, but the Portuguese traditional name Ouroana, or Aureana.
- Duarte Nunes de Leão, Crónica d'El Rei Dom Afonso III, 1600; modern edition: Duarte Nunes de Leão, Crónica dos Reis de Portugal, Porto, Lello & Irmão, 1975.
- António Caetano de Sousa, História Genealógica da Casa Real Portuguesa, Coimbra, Atlântida-Livraria Editora, 1946 (modern edition).
- Anselmo Braamcamp Freire, Brasões da Sala de Sintra, 3 vols., Lisbon, Imprensa Nacional-Casa de Moeda, 1973; Felgueiras Gayo & Carvalhos de Basto, Nobiliário das Famílias de Portugal, Braga, 1989; José Augusto de Sotto Mayor Pizarro, Linhagens Medievais Portuguesas, 3 vols., Porto, Universidade Moderna, 1999; Manuel Abranches de Soveral, "Origem dos Souza ditos do Prado", in Machado de Vila Pouca de Aguiar. Ascendências e parentescos da Casa do Couto d'Além em Soutelo de Aguiar, Porto, 2000.