Ordoño IV of León

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Ordoño IV
Ordono IV of Leon big.jpg
King of León
Reign 958–960
Predecessor Sancho I
Successor Sancho I
Consort Urraca Fernández
Dynasty Beni Alfons
Father Alfonso IV of León
Mother Oneca Sánchez of Pamplona
Born c. 926
Died c. 962 or 963
Burial Basilica of San Isidoro
Religion Roman Catholicism

Ordoño IV, called the Wicked or the Bad (c. 926–Córdoba, c. 962 or 963) was the king of León from 958 until 960, interrupting the reign of Sancho the Fat for a two-year period.

He was the son of Alfonso IV of León and his queen, Oneca Sánchez of Pamplona,[1] and nephew of Ramiro II of León and of García Sánchez I of Pamplona.

In 958, two years into the reign of Sancho I of León, he benefited from a rebellion of the nobility that would succeed in briefly placing him on the throne. The Leonese nobles, as well as the disaffected Galician and Castilian ones, had grown sick of the obese Sancho. He received particular help in this from his brother-in-law, count Fernán González of Castile, whose daughter he married. However, count Fernán was defeated through Navarrese intervention on Sancho's behalf in 960, and Ordoño was forced out. Upon losing his throne, Ordoño fled first to Asturias, then Burgos, where he abandoned his wife. This lost him the support of Fernán González, who allied himself with García Sánchez I of Pamplona. The Castilian count sent Ordoño to Ghalib al-Nasiri, commander of the 'Middle Frontier' in Medinaceli, from whom he was passed on to the court of the caliph of Córdoba. There he submitted and made plea for aid. The caliph at first offered him help, but this led his rival Sancho likewise to offer his submission, thereby neutralizing any benefit to the caliph helping Ordoño, who died in Cordoba, still dethroned.

During the short period of his reign, he was married, for political reasons, to Urraca, daughter of Fernán González and formerly wife of his cousin Ordoño III of León. After Ordoño IV abandoned her, she would remarry to Sancho II of Pamplona. According to chronicler Sampiro, she bore Ordoño IV two children, but their identity is not known with certainty. Chronicler Ibn Hayyan assigns him a son García, but given that Urraca had a son of that name, the future king García Sánchez II of Pamplona by her third husband, Ibn Hayyan may have mistaken this step-son for a son. Likewise, a minority of modern scholars consider Vermudo II of León to have been son of Ordoño IV by Urraca rather than Ordoño III of León.


  1. ^ Some modern scholars instead believe him to have been son of Alfonso Fróilaz.
Preceded by
Sancho I
King of León
Succeeded by
Sancho I