García Íñiguez of Pamplona

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García Íñiguez, sometimes García I, II, or III (Arabic: غرسية بن ونّقه البشكنشي‎, Garsiya ibn Wannaqo al Baškuniši; Latin: Garsea Enneconis), (c. 805 – 882) was king of Pamplona from 851/2 until his death.

He was educated in Córdoba, as a guest at the court of the Emir of Córdoba. He was the son of Íñigo Arista, the first king of a Basque dynasty ruling in Pamplona up to the late 9th century. When his father was stricken by paralysis in 842, he became regent of the kingdom (or perhaps co-regent with his uncle Fortún Íñiguez). He and his kinsman Mūsā ibn Mūsā ibn Fortún of the Banu Qasi rebelled against the Cordoban emir in 843. This rebellion was put down by Emir Abd ar-Rahman II, who attacked the Kingdom of Pamplona, defeating García badly and killing Fortún. At his father's death in 851/2 (237 A.H.), he succeeded to the crown.

Following the death of Íñigo Arista, the Banu Qasi leader Mūsā ibn Mūsā pursued a policy of closer allegiance with Muhammad I of Córdoba, leaving García to look to Christian Asturias for an ally. In 859, Mūsā ibn Mūsā allowed a contingent of Vikings to pass through his lands and attack Navarre, resulting in the capture of García, who was forced to pay at least 70,000 gold dinars in ransom. Later the same year, Mūsā ibn Mūsā attacked the Pamplonese city of Albelda. García and his new friend Ordoño I of Asturias together dealt Mūsā a crushing blow, killing, it is said, 10,000 of his magnates in the Battle of Albelda. This, in turn, provoked a Muslim[who?] response and the next year, 860, saw García's son and heir Fortún captured and imprisoned by the Moors.[who?] He languished in Córdoba for the next 20 years. In 870, García formed an alliance with the Muslim rebel Amrūs ibn Umar ibn Amrūs, who had killed Garcia's nephew Mūsā ibn Galindo of Huesca, and the next year was apparently in a new alliance with the sons of Mūsā ibn Mūsā, now in rebellion against Córdoba.

García I favoured the pilgrims who travelled to Santiago de Compostela, and attempted to guarantee peace for that traffic.[citation needed]

García's death has been subject to scholarly dispute, a result of a paucity of records from the last years of his reign. The lack of subsequent mention of him after 870 led to the suggestion that he died in that year, and as his heir was in the hands of his enemies, it was argued that García Jiménez then governed the kingdom as regent. García's son, Fortún Garcés, is then made to succeed upon his released in 880. There is, however, no evidence for such a regency, and Sanchéz Albornoz has cited evidence that García was still living at the time of his son's return. Thus it is likely that Balparda was reporting an accurate tradition when he suggested García and ally Umar ibn Hafsun fought a battle at Aybar against the troops of the Emir of Córdoba in 882, García dying there (although the age provided him, 84 years, is clearly exaggerated).

The identity of García's wife or wives is poorly documented, and has been subject to much speculation. An undated confirmation of an earlier lost charter refers to King García and Queen Urraca Mayor, and this is thought by some to refer to García Íñiguez and an otherwise unknown wife. Based on her name alone, it has been suggested that she was of the Banu Qasi, but other historians have given her different parentage, or even a different king as husband. Likewise, royal princess Leodegundia Ordoñez of Asturias, daughter of Ordoño I of Asturias, is known to have married a ruler of Pamplona, and García Íñiguez is one of those speculated to have been this prince.

García Íñiguez had the following children:

  • Fortún, the future king.
  • Sancho, who was probably the Sancium regem named as son-in-law (generum meum) by Galindo Aznárez I, Count of Aragón in 867. He is also probably the Sancho, lord of Pamplona and head of the Basques, who defeated and captured Muzaffar ibn Muza ibn Di al-Nun at some date between 865 and 875 (during his brother's captivity), as reported by chronicler Ibn Khaldun. Chronicler Al-Udri names Velasquita, wife of Mutarrīf ibn Mūsā ibn Qasi, as a daughter of a sahib Sancho, although Ibn Hayyan reports her as a daughter of García Íñiguez. Sancho's son, Aznar Sánchez, married a daughter of his uncle king Fortún Garcés and had a son, Sancho, and two future queens Toda Aznárez, wife of king Sancho Garcés I, and Sancha Aznárez, wife of king Jimeno Garcés.
  • Onneca, wife of Aznar Galíndez II, Count of Aragón.
  • (perhaps) Velasquita, married to Mutarrīf ibn Mūsā ibn Qasi, Wali of Huesca, son of Mūsā ibn Mūsā, else daughter of his son Sancho.
  • (perhaps) Jimena, wife of Alfonso III of León (assignment of her parentage based on political and onomastic arguments, although chronologically unlikely).
Preceded by
Íñigo Arista
King of Pamplona
Succeeded by
Fortún Garcés


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