Astur-Leonese dynasty

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The Victory Cross, a symbol of the Astur-Leonese dynasty

The Asturian or Astur-Leonese dynasty (Spanish dinastía asturiana or astur-leonesa), known in Arabic as the Banī Adhfūnsh ("sons of Alfonso"),[1] was the ruling family of the kingdom of Asturias and León from 739 until 1037. Under their rule, the Astur-Leonese kingdom went from a small mountain enclave to one of the dominant powers in Hispania.

The first ruling family of Asturias lasted only two generations: Pelagius (718–737) and Fafila (737–739). The latter was succeeded by his brother-in-law, Alfonso I, the son of Duke Peter of Cantabria and wife of Fafila's sister, Ermesinda. He founded a dynasty that was to last almost 300 years.[2]

For the first century, rule alternated between Alfonso's descendants and those of his brother, Fruela of Cantabria. With the death of Alfonso I's grandson, Alfonso II (842), Fruela's descendants took the throne permanently, headed by Ramiro I. At the death of Alfonso III (910), the kingdom was divided between his sons. The 10th century was thus characterized by family infighting, which was only brought to an end by the succession of Bermudo II in 984. During this period, however, the power of the neighbouring Kingdom of Pamplona waxed and in 1034 the Pamplonans captured León. The rule of the dynasty was brought to an end three years later when Bermudo III was killed in battle against his brother-in-law, Ferdinand of Castile, of the Jiménez dynasty of Pamplona, who thereafter assumed the throne.

The historiography produced by and for the dynasty, such as the Chronicle of Alfonso III (late 9th century), made Duke Peter a descendant of the Visigothic king Reccared I and stressed the dynasty's supposed Gothic descent.[3]

Family tree[edit]

Family tree of the Astur-Leonese dynasty
Pelagius
King of Asturias
718-737
Peter of
Cantabria
Favila
King of Asturias
737-739
ErmesendaAlfonso I
King of Asturias
739-757
Fruela
Fruela I
King of Asturias
757-768
AdosindaSilo
King of Asturias
774-783
Mauregatus
King of Asturias
783-789
Aurelius
King of Asturias
768-774
Bermudo I
King of Asturias
789-791 (abd.)
† 797
Alfonso II
King of Asturias
791-842
Nepotian
King of Asturias
842
Ramiro I
King of Asturias
842-850
kinsmen
Ordoño I
King of Asturias
850-866
Fruela
usurper
866
Alfonso III
King of Asturias
866-909 (abd.)
† 910
García I
King of León
909-914
Ordoño II
King of
Galicia 909-924
& León 914-924
Fruela II
King of
Asturias 909-925
Galicia & León
924-925
Ramiro
pretender
Sancho Ordóñez
King of Galicia
926-929

Alfonso IV
King of
León 926-931 &
Galicia 929-931
(abd.) † 933
Ramiro II
King of León
931-951
Alfonso Fróilaz
King of León
925-926
(dethr.) † 932
Ordoño IV
King of León
958-960
(dethr.) † c.962
Ordoño III
King of León
951-956
Sancho I
King of León
956-958 (dethr.)
960-966
Elvira
Ramírez

regent
Bermudo II
King of
Galicia 982-999
& León 984-999
Ramiro III
King of León
966-84
(dethr.) † 985
Alfonso V
King of León
999-1028
OrdoñoVelazquita
Bermudo III
King of León
1028-1037
SanchaFerdinand I
of Castile

King of León
from 1037

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Thus Ibn Khaldun in a chapter on "the kings of the sons of Alfonso of Galicia, kings of Spain after the Goths" in his Kitab al-Ibar. See Justin Stearns, "Two passages in Ibn al-Khaṭīb's account of the kings of Christian Iberia", Al-Qanṭara 25.1 (2004): 157–182.
  2. ^ Roger Collins, The Arab Conquest of Spain, 710–797 (Basil Blackwell, 1989), pp. 151–152.
  3. ^ Julio Escalona, "Family Memories: Inventing Alfonso I of Asturias", in Building Legitimacy: Political Discourses and Forms of Legitimation in Medieval Societies, ed. I. Alfonso, H. Kennedy and J. Escalona (Leiden: Brill, 2004), pp. 223–62.

References[edit]