Battle of the Burbia River

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Battle of Río Burbia
Part of the Reconquista
Península ibérica 814.svg
Contemporary division of the Peninsula.
Date 791
Location Villafranca del Bierzo, Castile and León, Spain
Result Córdoban Victory
Emblema del Reino de Asturias.svg Kingdom of Asturias Emirate of Córdoba
Commanders and leaders
Emblema del Reino de Asturias.svg Bermudo I of Asturias Yusuf ibn Bujt
Hisham I of Córdoba
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The Battle of Río Burbia or the Battle of the Burbia River was a battle fought in the year 791 between the troops of the Kingdom of Asturias, commanded by King Bermudo I of Asturias, and the troops of the Emirate of Córdoba, led by Yusuf ibn Bujt. The battle occurred in the context of the Ghazws of Hisham I against the Christian rebels of the northern Iberian Peninsula.[who?] The battle took place near the Río Burbia, in the area which is today known as Villafranca del Bierzo. The battle resulted in Andalusian victory.

The Battle[edit]

The Emir, in his attempt to annex the Kingdom of Asturias, organized two armies for the purpose of enforcing this annexation. The first army was tasked with conquering Galicia, and the second with conquering western Basque lands. When Hisham I was returning to Córdoban territory with the spoils of his conquests, the Asturian army attacked. The Cordoban army, under the competent leadership of general Yusuf ibn Bujt, were able to successfully repel the attack and to further turn the ambush into a victory.


The retreat of the Asturian army provoked the abdication of King Bermudo in favor of Alfonso II of Asturias, son of King Fruela I of Asturias, grandson of Alfonso I of Asturias, and great-grandson of Pelagius of Asturias. Alfonso's first move as the new king would be to move the capital to Ovetao or Oviedo, an old Roman city. He was crowned according to the rights of the old Visigothic Kings in Toledo on September 14, 791.

Bermudo returned to his old clerical lifestyle in the same year, dying in the year 797. He would be remembered as a generous, magnanimous and illustrious king.

This defeat forced the postponement of the Reconquista for many years.[citation needed]


See also[edit]

Coordinates: 42°43′00″N 6°39′00″W / 42.7167°N 6.6500°W / 42.7167; -6.6500