Pedro Ruiz de Azagra

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Pedro Ruiz de Azagra (died 1186) was a Navarrese nobleman and soldier who established the independent Lordship of Albarracín, which lasted until 1284. He was the second son of Rodrigo Pérez de Azagra. His elder brother was Gonzalo Ruiz and his younger brother, later successor, was Fernán Ruiz.

Pedro married Toda (or Tota) Pérez, the daughter of another Navarrese nobleman, Pedro de Arazuri. These two Pedros left Navarre about the same time, probably because they did not accept the succession of Sancho VI in 1154, after the death of his (elected) father, García Ramírez.[1] He ended up in the service of Muhammad ibn Mardanis, ruler of the taifas of Valencia and Murcia. Between 1166 and 1168[2] (or perhaps as late as 1169–70),[3] Ibn Mardanis entrusted to him the lordship of Albarracín to defend his taifa's northern borders from the expansionist Alfonso II of Aragon. Pedro immediately began Christianising his lordship, refounding churches and erecting a bishopric. His refusal to recognise Aragonese sovereignty extended to his bishop, Martin, who refused to recognise the supremacy of the Bishop of Zaragoza, though ordered to do so by the pope.[1][2] Pedro also repopulated the region of Albarracín, mostly with settlers from Navarre.[1]

Pedro was generally on friendly terms with Navarre and with Alfonso VIII of Castile. In August 1170, he and his brother Gonzalo were part of an embassy sent by Alfonso VIII to meet his fiancée, Eleanor, in Bordeaux and conduct her back to him.[4] Yet even when his father-in-law aligned with Castile, Pedro remained neutral.[1] In 1172, Cerebrun, the Archbishop of Toledo in Castile and the primate of Spain, consecrated the bishop of Santa María de Albarracín and attached it to his diocese.[2] In 1176, Pedro first called himself a "vassal of Saint Mary", a title to be employed by most of his successors, claiming no suzerain on Earth, only the Virgin Mary in heaven.[5]

A certain "Peire Rois" mentioned in the poem Quan vei pels vergiers despleiar, a sirventes by Bertran de Born, is probably Pedro. Composed probably in 1184, the song is Bertran's second anti-Aragonese screed.[4]

Pedro left no sons and was succeeded by his younger brother Fernán. He did leave behind a daughter, named Toda after her mother, and who married Diego López II de Haro and died on 16 January 1216.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Suárez Fernández, 606.
  2. ^ a b c Buresi, 214–5.
  3. ^ Ladero Quesada, 22.
  4. ^ a b Asperti, 53.
  5. ^ Doubleday, 76 and 162 n115.
  6. ^ Her marriage is recorded in the fourteenth-century Nobiliario of Pedro de Barcelos and in the Annales Compostellani, where the death of Toda Perez uxor Didaci Lupi de Faro is recorded on XVII Kal Feb in 1216.


  • Asperti, Stefano (2001). "Per «Gossalbo Roitz»." Convergences médiévales: épopée, lyrique, roman. Mélanges offerts à Madeleine Tyssens. Nadine Henrard, Paola Moreno, and Martine Thiry-Stassin, edd. Paris: De Boeck Université.
  • Buresi, Pascal (2004). La frontière entre chrétienté et Islam dans la pénisule Ibérique: du Tage à la Sierra Morena (fin XIe-milieu XIIIe siècle). Editions Publibook.
  • Doubleday, Simon R. (2001). The Lara Family: Crown and Nobility in Medieval Spain. Harvard University Press.
  • Ladero Quesada, Miguel Ángel (2001). "Sobre la evolución de las fronteras medievales hispánicas (siglos XI a XIV)." Identidad y representación de la frontera en la España medieval, siglos XI–XIV: seminario celebrado en la Casa de Velázquez y la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 14–15 de diciembre de 1998. Carlos de Ayala Martínez, Pascal Buresi, Philippe Josserand, edd. Madrid: Casa de Velázquez, pp. 5–50.
  • Suárez Fernández, Luis (1976). Historia de España antigua y media. Ediciones Rialp.