Sancho II of Pamplona

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sancho II
Sancho II of Pamplona, in the Codex Vigilanus
King of Pamplona
Tenure 970 - 994
Predecessor García I
Successor García II
Count of Aragon
Tenure 943 - 994
Predecessor Andregoto Galíndez
Successor García II
Spouse Urraca Fernández
Issue García Sánchez II, King of Pamplona and Count of Aragon
Ramiro Sánchez
Gonzalo Sánchez
Urraca Sánchez
House House of Jiménez
Father García Sánchez I
Mother Andregoto Galíndez
Died 994
Burial Monastery of Santa María la Real of Nájera
Religion Catholicism

Sancho Garcés II (Basque: Antso II.a Gartzez; c. 938 – 994), known as Sancho II and nicknamed Abarca, was King of Pamplona and Count of Aragon from 970 until his death in 994. He was the eldest son of García Sánchez I of Pamplona and Andregoto Galíndez of Aragon.[1] He ruled both the Kingdom of Pamplona and the County of Aragon in personal union, being the first member of the Jiménez dynasty to do so. He recognised the Kingdom of Viguera during his reign.


Sancho Garcés was born c. 938, son of García Sánchez I of Pamplona, the second King of Pamplona from the Jiménez dynasty, and his first wife Andregoto Galíndez, daughter of Galindo Aznárez II, Count of Aragon. His maternal grandfather died without any male children, thus passing down the rights to the Count of Aragon to Sancho's mother, who in turned passed them down to him, who became Count of Aragon while still underage. After the death of is father in 970, he became King of Pamplona and was known as Sancho II.

He appears mentioned on the ocassion of a donation to the monastery of San Juan de la Peña in 987, when he titled himself "king of Navarre", being the first to use said title. This title, however, did not come into common usage until the late eleventh century.

Under Sancho, the kingdom solidified some of the gains of his predecessor, but also suffered several significant military setbacks at the hands of Umayyad troops. Navarre was linked with the Kingdom of León and the County of Castile by familial bonds, and the realms frequently worked in concert, with the Navarrese monarchy supporting the young Ramiro III of León.

In 972, he founded the monastery of San Andrés de Cirueña. In 976, at the monastery of Albelda, the cultural and intellectual centre of his kingdom, the Codex Vigilanus was completed. It is one of the most important illuminated manuscripts of medieval Spain, containing the canons of the Councils of Toledo, a copy of the Liber Iudiciorum, and the first Western representation of the Arabic numerals, among many other texts.

Upon the death of the Caliph of Cordoba, Al-Hakam II, in 976, and the succession of his son Hisham II, who had been taught by Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir, the prospects of the Christian kingdoms seemed dim. The troops of Al-Mansur defeated the Christians at Torrevicente, south of Soria. Afterwards, the Muslims returned to triumph at Taracueña, near Osma. In 975, Sancho was defeated by the Moors at San Esteban de Gormaz and it has been suggested that he was captured at the Battle of Estercuel that year.[2]

In 981 at the Battle of Rueda, a dozen kilometers from Tordesillas, the Christians suffered another humiliating defeat.

Because he could not defeat Al-Mansur by arms, Sancho went to Córdoba as an ambassador for his own kingdom, bringing many gifts for the victorious Al-Mansur, making a pact with him and agreeing to give the Muslim his daughter Urraca in marriage. From this union was born Abd al-Rahman Sanchuelo, the second successor of Al-Mansur who tried to usurp the Caliphate of Córdoba from the Umayyad heir. He faced further incursions from Almanzor in 989, 991 and 992, the last of which resulted in a second submission at Córdoba, and the next year he sent his son Gonzalo on an embassy to the Caliphate. In 994, the year of his death, the kingdom saw yet another incursion by a caliphate army.

He died in 994[3] and was burried in the monastery of Santa María la Real of Nájera.

Marriage and family[edit]

Sancho Garcés was married to Urraca Fernández, daughter of Fernán González and members of the Castilian nobility. They had the following children:



  1. ^ Martínez Díez 2005, p. 462, volume II.
  2. ^ Antonio Ubieto Arteta (1950), "Monarcas navarros olvidados: los reyes de Viguera", Hispania, 10(38), 6 note 10, argues that his younger brother Jimeno, who appears as a hostage at the court of al-Hakim II in Córdoba later in 975, may have been exchanged for Sancho's freedom.
  3. ^ Martínez Díez 2005, p. 546, volume II.
  4. ^ Martínez Díez 2007, p. 29 and 36.
  5. ^ a b Martínez Díez 2007, p. 36.
  6. ^ Martínez Díez 2005, pp. 525 and 604, volume II.
  7. ^ Martínez Díez 2007, p. 29.
  8. ^ Salas Merino, Vicente (2008). La Genealogía de Los Reyes de España [The Genealogy of the Kings of Spain] (in Spanish) (4th ed.). Madrid: Editorial Visión Libros. pp. 216–218. ISBN 978-84-9821-767-4. 


Sancho II of Pamplona
Born: after 935 Died: December 994
Preceded by
García Sánchez I
King of Pamplona
Succeeded by
García Sánchez II