was made Count of Sobrarbe
Sobrarbe is one of the Comarcas of Aragon, Spain. It is located in the northern part of the province of Huesca, part of the autonomous community of Aragon in Spain...
The County of Ribagorza or Ribagorça was originally the independent creation of a local Basque dynasty, later absorbed into the Kingdom of Navarre, and then into the Crown of Aragon. Historically it had a strong connexion with the counties of Sobrarbe and Pallars. Its territory was the valleys of...
, two small Pyrenean
The term Pyrenean refers to things of or from the Pyrenees mountain range. See:*Pyrenees, the mountain range dividing France and Spain*Pyrenean Shepherd or Pyrenean Mountain Dog, dog breeds sometimes shortened to Pyrenean...
counties, before 1035 by his father, Sancho III of Navarre
Sancho III Garcés , called the Great , succeeded as a minor to the Kingdom of Navarre in 1004, and through conquest and political maneuvering increased his power, until at the time of his death in 1035 he controlled the majority of Christian Iberia, bearing the title of rex Hispaniarum...
. He succeeded to these domains after his father's death in that year and ruled them as vassal of his brother García Sánchez III until his death. Gonzalo is thought to have been ineffectual and unpopular, with vassals defecting to his brother Ramiro
Ramiro I was de facto the first King of Aragon from 1035 until his death. Apparently born before 1007, he was the illegitimate son of Sancho III of Navarre by his mistress Sancha de Aybar...
during his own life, and one failing to name him in a list of rulers of Ribagorza written within a decade of his death.
The Historia silense
The Historia silense, also called the Chronica silense or Historia seminense, is a medieval Latin narrative history of the Iberian Peninsula from the time of the Visigoths to the first years of the reign of Alfonso VI of León and Castile...
. 1115) does not mention Gonzalo in its version of the division of Sancho III's realm. It even records that Ramiro was given the "remote" region of Aragon on account of his illegitimacy, despite that Gonzalo's division was more remote and his legitimacy unquestioned. The anonymous Chronica naierensis
The Chronica Naierensis or Crónica najerense was a late twelfth-century chronicle of universal history composed at the Benedictine monastery of Santa María la Real in Nájera...
. 1200), basing its account entirely on the Silense
, likewise knows nothing of Gonzalo and blames Ramiro's position on his bastardy. An independent source, though influenced by popular legends and ballads, the Liber regum
. 1200) shows no awareness of Gonzalo.
According to a document of 14 April 1035 preserved in San Juan de la Peña
The monastery of San Juan de la Peña is a religious complex in the town of Santa Cruz de la Serós, at the south-west of Jaca, in the province of Huesca, Spain. It was one of the most important monasteries in Aragon in the Middle Ages. Its two-level church is partially carved in the stone of the...
recording Sancho's grant of Aragon to Ramiro, the castle of Loarre
Loarre is a municipality in the province of Huesca, Spain. As of 2010, it has a population of 371 inhabitants.- External links :...
and monastery of San Emeterio with their dependent villages were detached from that province and given to Gonzalo. Gonzalo subsequently confirms many charters alongside his brother and they often appear together in dating clauses. With the title of king, Gonzalo appears beside all his brothers and the "emperor" Vermudo III of León in the carta de arras
of Ramiro (22 August 1036). In 1037 Gonzalo was reunited with his brothers García and Ramiro—and the churchmen Sancho, Bishop of Pamplona; Paterno, a Cluniac reformer; and Abbot Blasco of San Juan de la Peña—to confirm a donation of Jimeno Garcés, Ramiro's godfather, to the monastery of Leire
Leire is a village in Leicestershire, England. The name is thought to originate from the old British name for the river Soar, which has a tributary with a source south of the village.Present day Leire has a population of around 500....
. In this document García uses the title princeps
(prince) to indicate his superiority, but Ramiro and Gonzalo use the title regulus
(petty king) are referred to as in Aragone
. The three brothers and Ferdinand were all at Anzánigo (Andizaniku
) in 1037 or perhaps 1043, after Ferdinand had succeeded to the Kingdom of León
The Kingdom of León was an independent kingdom situated in the northwest region of the Iberian Peninsula. It was founded in AD 910 when the Christian princes of Asturias along the northern coast of the peninsula shifted their capital from Oviedo to the city of León...
A late source, the Chronicle of San Juan de la Peña
The Chronicle of San Juan de la Peña is an Aragonese chronicle written in Latin around 1370 in the monastery of San Juan de la Peña at the behest of Peter IV of Aragon...
, reports his assassination by one of his own knights, Ramonat de Uasconya
Gascony is an area of southwest France that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution. The region is vaguely defined and the distinction between Guyenne and Gascony is unclear; sometimes they are considered to overlap, and sometimes Gascony is considered a...
named Ramonet?), who threw him from the bridge over the Esera at Montclús, near Lascorz. He was interred at San Victorián. On his death, García awarded his counties to Ramiro, which initiated several centuries of Aragonese
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain...
Gonzalo's death on 26 June appears in the necrology of San Victorián, but the year has been subject to much debate. Among the early modern historians, Zurita places it in 1035 and José de Moret in 1042 or 1043. The Chronicle
places it in 1037, but there is disputed charter of September 1039 confirmed by Gonzalo. As Ramiro confirmed the rights of Bishops of Urgell in Ribagorza in September 1040, it would appear that Gonzalo was dead by then. Pérez de Urbel thus places it between December 1039 and September 1040 and casts doubt on the dates of several documents mentioning Gonzalo after 1040 (a donation of Blasquita from 1041, a charter of Ramiro's from 1042, and a donation of Ramiro to Atón Garcés in 1043). Accepting these, Ubieto Arteta places Gonzalo's assassination in 1046. Nelson gives reason to believe that it was 1043.
- Nelson, Lynn H. "The Aragonese Acquisition of Sobrarbe and Ribagorza." Estudios en Homenaje a Don Claudio Sánchez Albornoz en sus 90 Años, 2 (1982):227–36.
- Pérez de Urbel, Justo. "La división del reino por Sancho el Mayor." Hispania, 14, 54 (1954):3–26.
- Ubieto Arteta, Antonio. "Gonzalo, rey de Sobrarbe y Ribagorza." Pirineos, 8 (1952): 299–325.
- Zurita, Gerónimo
Jerónimo de Zurita y Castro was a Spanish historian of the sixteenth century who founded the modern tradition of historical scholarship in Spain....
. Anales de la Corona de Aragón I. Edited by Antonio Ubieto Arteta and María Desamparados Pérez Soler. Valencia: 1967.