Kingdom of Galicia

Kingdom of Galicia

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The Kingdom of Galicia was a political entity located in southwestern Europe, which at its territorial zenith occupied the entire northwest of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

. Founded by Suebi
Suebi
The Suebi or Suevi were a group of Germanic peoples who were first mentioned by Julius Caesar in connection with Ariovistus' campaign, c...

c king Hermeric
Hermeric
Hermeric was the Suevic King of Galicia from perhaps as early as 406 and certainly no later than 419 until his retirement in 438. He was a pagan and an enemy of the Roman Empire throughout his life...

 in the year 409, the Galician capital was established in Braga
Braga
Braga , a city in the Braga Municipality in northwestern Portugal, is the capital of the Braga District, the oldest archdiocese and the third major city of the country. Braga is the oldest Portuguese city and one of the oldest Christian cities in the World...

, being the first kingdom which adopted Catholicism officially and minted its own currency (year 449). After the temporal rule of the Visigothic monarchs (585-711), Galicia became a part of the newly founded Christian kingdoms of the Northwest of the peninsula, Asturias
Kingdom of Asturias
The Kingdom of Asturias was a Kingdom in the Iberian peninsula founded in 718 by Visigothic nobles under the leadership of Pelagius of Asturias. It was the first Christian political entity established following the collapse of the Visigothic kingdom after Islamic conquest of Hispania...

 and León
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...

, while occasionally achieving independence under the authority of its own kings.

Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

 became capital of Galicia in the eleventh century, while the independence of Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 (1128) determined its southern boundary. The accession of Castilian King Ferdinand III
Ferdinand III of Castile
Saint Ferdinand III, T.O.S.F., was the King of Castile from 1217 and León from 1230. He was the son of Alfonso IX of León and Berenguela of Castile. Through his second marriage he was also Count of Aumale. He finished the work done by his maternal grandfather Alfonso VIII and consolidated the...

 to the Leonese kingdom in 1230 brought Galicia under the control of the Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

, the kingdom of Galicia becoming an administrative division within the larger realm.

Galicia resisted central control, supporting a series of alternative claimants, including John of León, Galicia and Seville (1296), Ferdinand I of Portugal
Ferdinand I of Portugal
Ferdinand I , sometimes referred to as the Handsome or rarely as the Inconstant , was the ninth King of Portugal and the Algarve, the second son of Peter I and his wife, Constance of Castile...

 (1369) and John of Gaunt (1386), and was not brought firmly into submission until the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

 imposed the Santa Hermandad in Galicia. The kingdom of Galicia was then administered within the Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

 (1490–1715) and later the Crown of Spain (1715–1833) by a Audiencia Real directed by a Governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 which holds also the office of Captain General
Captain General
Captain general is a high military rank and a gubernatorial title.-History:This term Captain General started to appear in the 14th century, with the meaning of commander in chief of an army in the field, probably the first usage of the term General in military settings...

. The representative assembly
Representative assembly
A representative assembly is a political institution in which a number of persons representing the population or privileged orders within the population of a state come together to debate, negotiate with the executive and legislate...

 of the Kingdom was then the Junta or Cortes of the Kingdom of Galicia
Junta of the Kingdom of Galicia
The Junta, Junta General, Juntas, or Cortes of the Kingdom of Galicia was the representative assembly of the Kingdom of Galicia from the 15th century —when it originated as a general assembly of all the powers of the Kingdom aimed at the constitution of hermandades — and until 1834, when the...

, which briefly declared itself sovereign when Galicia alone remained free of Napoleonic occupation
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 (1808–1809). The kingdom and its Junta were dissolved by Maria Cristina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies in 1834.

Origin and foundation (410)



The origin of the kingdom lies in the 5th century, when the Suebi
Suebi
The Suebi or Suevi were a group of Germanic peoples who were first mentioned by Julius Caesar in connection with Ariovistus' campaign, c...

 settled permanently in the former Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 province of Gallaecia. Their king, Hermeric
Hermeric
Hermeric was the Suevic King of Galicia from perhaps as early as 406 and certainly no later than 419 until his retirement in 438. He was a pagan and an enemy of the Roman Empire throughout his life...

, probably signed a foedus
Foederati
Foederatus is a Latin term whose definition and usage drifted in the time between the early Roman Republic and the end of the Western Roman Empire...

, or pact, with the Roman Emperor Honorius
Honorius (emperor)
Honorius , was Western Roman Emperor from 395 to 423. He was the younger son of emperor Theodosius I and his first wife Aelia Flaccilla, and brother of the eastern emperor Arcadius....

, which conceded them lands in Galicia. The Suebi set their capital in the former Bracara Augusta, setting the foundations of a kingdom which was first acknowledged as Regnum Suevorum (Kingdom of the Suebi), but later as Regnum Galliciense (Kingdom of Galicia).

A century later, the differences between Gallaeci and Suebi people had faded, leading to the systematic use of terms like Galliciense Regnum (Galician Kingdom), Regem Galliciae (King of Galicia), Rege Suevorum (King of Suebi), and Galleciae totius provinciae rex (king of all Galician provinces), while bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

s, such as Martin of Braga
Martin of Braga
Saint Martin of Braga was an archbishop of Bracara Augusta in Hispania , a monastic founder, and an ecclesiastical author...

, were recognized as episcopi Gallaecia (Bishop of Galicia).

Suebic Kingdom (410–585)


The independent Suebic kingdom of Galicia lasted from 410 to 585, having remained a relatively stable for most of that time.

5th century


In 410 Gallaecia
Gallaecia
Gallaecia or Callaecia, also known as Hispania Gallaecia, was the name of a Roman province and an early Mediaeval kingdom that comprised a territory in the north-west of Hispania...

 was divided, ad habitandum, among two Germanic people, the Hasdingi
Hasdingi
The Hasdingi were the southern tribes of the Vandals, an East Germanic tribe. They lived in areas of today's southern Poland, Slovakia and Hungary...

 Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

, which settled the eastern lands, and the Suebi, which established themselves in the coastal areas. As with most Germanic invasions, the number of the original Suebi is estimated to be relatively low, generally fewer than 100,000, and most often around 30,000 people. They settled mainly in the regions around modern northern Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and Western Galicia, in the towns of Braga (Bracara Augusta) and Porto
Porto
Porto , also known as Oporto in English, is the second largest city in Portugal and one of the major urban areas in the Iberian Peninsula. Its administrative limits include a population of 237,559 inhabitants distributed within 15 civil parishes...

, and later in Lugo
Lugo
Lugo is a city in northwestern Spain, in the autonomous community of Galicia. It is the capital of the province of Lugo. The municipality had a population of 97,635 in 2010, which makes is the fourth most populated city in Galicia.-Population:...

 (Lucus Augusta) and Astorga (Asturica Augusta). The valley of the Limia (or Lima) River
Limia River
The Limia River is a river in Galicia, Spain, and Portugal, with an extension of 108 km.The source of the Limia is Talariño Mountain , close to the Paradiña village in the Sarreaus municipality...

 is thought to have received the largest concentration of Germanic settlers, and Bracara Augusta—the modern city of Braga—became the capital of the Suebi, as it had previously been the capital of Gallaecia.

In 419 a war broke out between the Vandal king Gunderic
Gunderic
Gunderic , King of the Vandals and Alans , led the Vandals, a Germanic tribe originally residing near the Oder River, to take part in the barbarian invasions of the western Roman Empire in the fifth century.- History :...

 and the Suebi's Hermeric
Hermeric
Hermeric was the Suevic King of Galicia from perhaps as early as 406 and certainly no later than 419 until his retirement in 438. He was a pagan and an enemy of the Roman Empire throughout his life...

. After a blockade alongside the Nervasian Mountains, the Suebi obtained Roman help, forcing the Vandals to flee into the Baetica. In the absence of competitors, the Suebi began a period of expansion, first inside Gallaecia, and later into other Roman provinces. In 438 Hermeric
Hermeric
Hermeric was the Suevic King of Galicia from perhaps as early as 406 and certainly no later than 419 until his retirement in 438. He was a pagan and an enemy of the Roman Empire throughout his life...

 ratified a peace treaty with the Gallaeci, the native and partially Romanized
Romanization (cultural)
Romanization or latinization indicate different historical processes, such as acculturation, integration and assimilation of newly incorporated and peripheral populations by the Roman Republic and the later Roman Empire...

 people.

Illness led Hermeric to abdicate in favor of his son, Rechila
Rechila
Rechila was the Suevic King of Galicia from 438 until his death. There are few primary sources for his life, but Hydatius was a contemporary Christian chronicler in Galicia....

, who moved his troops to the south and the east, conquering Mérida
Mérida, Spain
Mérida is the capital of the autonomous community of Extremadura, western central Spain. It has a population of 57,127 . The Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993.- Climate :...

 and Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

, the capitals of the Roman provinces of Lusitania
Lusitania
Lusitania or Hispania Lusitania was an ancient Roman province including approximately all of modern Portugal south of the Douro river and part of modern Spain . It was named after the Lusitani or Lusitanian people...

 and Betica. In 448 Rechila died, leaving the expanding state to his son Rechiar
Rechiar
Rechiar or Rechiarius was the Suevic King of Galicia from 448 until his death. He was the first Catholic Germanic king in Europe and one of the most innovative and belligerent of the Suevi monarchs...

, who in 449 became one of the first Germanic kings of post-Roman Europe to converted to Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

. Rechiar married a Visigothic princess, and was also the first Germanic king to mint coins in ancient Roman territories. Rechiar led further expansions to the east, marauding through the Provincia Tarraconensis, which was still held by Rome. The Roman emperor Avitus
Avitus
Eparchius Avitus was Western Roman Emperor from July 8 or July 9, 455 to October 17, 456. A Gallic-Roman aristocrat, he was a senator and a high-ranking officer both in the civil and military administration, as well as Bishop of Piacenza.A representative of the Gallic-Roman aristocracy, he...

 sent a large army of foederates, under the direction of the Visigoth Theoderic II, who defeated the Suebi army by the river Órbigo
Órbigo
The Órbigo River is a river in the provinces of León and Zamora, Spain. It begins at the convergence of the Luna River and the Omaña River in the town of Santiago del Molinillo. It flows from north to south through the province of León and ultimately flows into the Esla River below Benavente.How...

, near modern day Astorga. Rechiar fled, but he was pursued and captured, then executed in 457.

In the aftermath of Rechiar's death, multiple candidates for the throne appeared, finally grouping into two allegiances. The division between the two groups was marked by the Minius River
Minho River
The Minho or Miño is the longest river in Galicia, Spain, with an extension of 340 km.Both names come from Latin Minius...

 (now Minho River), probably as a consequence of the localities of the Quadi
Quadi
The Quadi were a smaller Germanic tribe, about which little is definitively known. We only know the Germanic tribe the Romans called the 'Quadi' through reports of the Romans themselves...

 and Marcomanni
Marcomanni
The Marcomanni were a Germanic tribe, probably related to the Buri, Suebi or Suevi.-Origin:Scholars believe their name derives possibly from Proto-Germanic forms of "march" and "men"....

 tribes, who constituted the Suebi nation on the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

. The Suebi in the north conquered Lugo, proceeding to use that city as their co-capital, while the Suebi in the south expanded into Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 and Conimbriga
Conímbriga
Conímbriga is one of the largest Roman settlements in Portugal, and is classified as a National Monument. Conímbriga lies 16 km from Coimbra and less than 2 km from Condeixa-a-Nova. The site also has a museum that displays objects found by archaeologists during their excavations,...

, which were assaulted, and abandoned after their Roman inhabitants were banished. By 465 Remismund
Remismund
Remismund was the Suevic King of Galicia from c. 464 until his death.According to Isidore of Seville, Remismund was a son of Maldras. Remismund's early career was spent as an ambassador between Galicia and Gaul, which trip he made several times...

, who established a policy of friendship with the Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

 and promoted the conversion of his own people into Arianism
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

, was recognized by his people as the only king of the Suebi.

6th century


After a period of obscurity, with very little remaining information on the history of this area, or in fact Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 in general, the Suebi Kingdom reappears in European politics and history during the second half of the 6th century. This is following the arrival of Saint Martin of Braga, a Pannonian monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

 dedicated to converting the Suebi to Nicene Christianity and consequently into allegiance with the other Nicene Christian regional powers, the Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 and the Eastern Roman Empire.

Under King Ariamir
Ariamir
Ariamir was the Suevic King of Galicia, with his capital at Bracara, from around 561, when he is mentioned by the bishops of the First Council of Braga as the king who summoned them and under whose auspices they deliberated...

, who called for the First Council of Braga
First Council of Braga
In the First Council of Braga of 561 eight bishops took part, and twenty-two decrees were promulgated, among others the following: that in the services of the church the same rite should be followed by all, and that on vigils and in solemn Masses the same lessons should be said by all; that bishops...

, the conversion of the Suebi to Nicene Christianity was apparent; while this same council condemned Priscillianism
Priscillianism
Priscillianism is a Christian doctrine developed in the Iberian Peninsula in the 4th century by Priscillian, derived from the Gnostic-Manichaean doctrines taught by Marcus, an Egyptian from Memphis, and later considered a heresy by the Orthodox Church.-History:Priscillian was described as "a man...

, it made no similar statement on Arianism. Later, King Theodemar
Theodemar
Theodemir or Theodemar was one of the last Suevic kings of Galicia and one of the first Catholics. He succeeded Ariamir sometime between the end of May 561 and the year 566 and ruled until his death....

 ordered an administrative and ecclesiastical division of his kingdom, with the creation of new bishoprics
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

 and the promotion of Lugo, which possessed a large Suebi community, to the level of Metropolitan Bishop
Metropolitan bishop
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of a historical Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital.Before the establishment of...

 along with Braga.

Theodemar's son and successor, King Miro, called for the Second Council of Braga
Second Council of Braga
The Second Council of Braga, held in 572, presided over by Martin of Braga, was held to increase the number of bishops in Galaecia. Twelve bishops assisted at this council, and ten decrees were promulgated: that the bishops should in their visitations see in what manner the priests celebrated the...

, which was attended by all the bishops of the kingdom, from the Briton
Britons (historical)
The Britons were the Celtic people culturally dominating Great Britain from the Iron Age through the Early Middle Ages. They spoke the Insular Celtic language known as British or Brythonic...

 bishopric of Britonia
Britonia
Britonia is the historical name of a settlement in Galicia which was settled in the late 5th and early 6th centuries AD by Romano-Britons escaping the advancing Anglo-Saxons who were conquering Britain at the time...

 in the Bay of Biscay
Bay of Biscay
The Bay of Biscay is a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Brest south to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal, and is named in English after the province of Biscay, in the Spanish...

, to Astorga in the east, and Coimbra
Coimbra
Coimbra is a city in the municipality of Coimbra in Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better-known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the...

 and Idanha in the south. Five of the attendant bishops used Germanic names, showing the integration of the different communities of the country. King Miro also promoted contention with the Arian Visigoths, who under the leadership of King Leovigild were rebuilding their fragmented kingdom which had been ruled mostly by Ostrogoths since the beginning of the 6th century, following the defeat and expulsion of Aquitania
Aquitania
Aquitania may refer to:* the territory of the Aquitani, a people living in Roman times in what is now Aquitaine, France* Aquitaine, a region of France roughly between the Pyrenees, the Atlantic ocean and the Garonne, also a former kingdom and duchy...

 by the Franks. After clashing in frontier lands, Miro and Leovigild agreed upon a temporary peace.

The Suebi maintained their independence until 585, when Leovigild, on the pretext of conflict over the succession, invaded the Suebic kingdom and finally defeated it. Audeca, the last king of the Suebi, who had deposed his brother-in-law Eboric
Eboric
Eboric or Euric was the last legitimate Suevic King of Galicia. He was the adolescent son of Miro and Sisegutia and he succeeded his father in 583, ruling for a year before being deposed by his mother's second husband, Audeca, who threw him in a monastery...

, held out for a year before being captured in 585. This same year a nobleman named Malaric
Malaric
Malaric or Amalaric was the last man to claim the kingship of the Suevi of Galicia. In 585, after the last king, Audeca, was defeated and captured by the Visigoths, Malaric rose in rebellion, but was, according to John of Biclar, "defeated by King Leovigild's generals and was captured and presented...

 rebelled against the Goths, but he was defeated.

As with the Visigothic language, there are only traces of the Suebi tongue remaining, as they quickly adopted the local vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

. Some words of plausible Suebi origin are the modern Galician and Portuguese words laverca (lark
Lark
Larks are passerine birds of the family Alaudidae. All species occur in the Old World, and in northern and eastern Australia; only one, the Shore Lark, has spread to North America, where it is called the Horned Lark...

), meixengra or mejengra (titmouse
Titmouse
The tits, chickadees, and titmice constitute Paridae, a large family of small passerine birds which occur in the northern hemisphere and Africa...

), lobio (vine), escá (a measure, formerly "cup"), groba (ravine), and others. Much more significant was their contribution to names of the local toponymy and onomastics
Germanic personal names in Galicia
Germanic names, inherited from the Suevi which settled Galicia and Northern Portugal in 409 CE, and also from Visigoths, Vandals, Franks and other Germanic peoples, were the most common names among Galician people during the Early and High Middle Ages...

.

The historiography
Historiography
Historiography refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic...

 of the Suebi, and of Galicia in general, was long marginalized in Spanish culture, with the first connected history of the Suebi in Galicia being written by a German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 scholar.

Visigothic monarchy (585–711)


"After the death of Miro king of Galicia, and while his son Eboric
Eboric
Eboric or Euric was the last legitimate Suevic King of Galicia. He was the adolescent son of Miro and Sisegutia and he succeeded his father in 583, ruling for a year before being deposed by his mother's second husband, Audeca, who threw him in a monastery...

 and his son-in-law Audeca were fighting each other for the control of the kingdom, Leovigild subjugated the Suebi and all of Galicia under the power of the Goths." Chronicle of Fredegar
Chronicle of Fredegar
The Chronicle of Fredegar is a chronicle that is a primary source of events in Frankish Gaul from 584 to around 641. Later authors continued the history to the coronation of Charlemagne and his brother Carloman on 9 October 768....

, III. p 116.

"Not only the conversion of the Goths is found among the favors that we have received, but also the infinite multitude of the Sueves, whom with divine assistance we have subjected to our realm. Although led into heresy by others fault, with our diligence we have brought them to the origins of truth. Therefore, most holy fathers, these most noble nations gained by us, as a holy and atoning sacrifice, by your hands I offer to God eternal." King Reccared
Reccared
Reccared I was Visigothic King of Hispania, Septimania and Galicia. His reign marked a climactic shift in history, with the king's renunciation of traditional Arianism in favour of Catholic Christianity in 587.Reccared was the younger son of King Liuvigild by his first wife Theodosia...

, Acts of the Third Council of Toledo.

In 585, Liuvigild
Liuvigild
Liuvigild, Leuvigild, Leovigild, or Leogild was a Visigothic King of Hispania and Septimania from 569 to April 21, 586. From 585 he was also king of Galicia. Known for his Codex Revisus or Code of Leovigild, a unifying law allowing equal rights between the Visigothic and Hispano-Roman population,...

, the Visigothic king of Hispania and Septimania
Septimania
Septimania was the western region of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis that passed under the control of the Visigoths in 462, when Septimania was ceded to their king, Theodoric II. Under the Visigoths it was known as simply Gallia or Narbonensis. It corresponded roughly with the modern...

, annexed the Kingdom of Galicia, after defeating King Audeca, and later the pretender to the throne, Malaric. Thus the kingdom of the Suebi, which incorporated large territories of the ancient Roman provinces of Gallaecia and Lusitania, became the sixth province of the Visigothic Kingdom of Toledo.

The government of the Visigoths in Galicia did not totally disrupt the society, and the Suevi Catholic dioceses of Bracara, Dumio
Dumio
The Monastery of Dumio , is a former paleo-Christian monastery in the civil parish of Dume, municipality of Braga, in northwestern portio of Portugal. Originally a Roman villa, it was the base of a basilica by Suebi tribes, and later Christian monastery headed by Martin of Braga in the 6th century...

, Portus Cale or Magneto
Porto
Porto , also known as Oporto in English, is the second largest city in Portugal and one of the major urban areas in the Iberian Peninsula. Its administrative limits include a population of 237,559 inhabitants distributed within 15 civil parishes...

, Tude
Tui, Galicia
Tui , in Spanish Tuy, is a town in Galicia , in the province of Pontevedra. It is located on the left bank of the Minho River, facing the Portuguese town of Valença....

, Iria
Iria Flavia
Iria Flavia or simply Iria in Galicia, northwestern Spain, was a Celtiberian port, the main seat of the Caporos, on the road between Braga and Astorga. The Romans rebuilt the road as via XVIII or Via Nova and refounded the Celtiberian port as Iria Flavia to complement Vespasian...

, Britonia
Britonia
Britonia is the historical name of a settlement in Galicia which was settled in the late 5th and early 6th centuries AD by Romano-Britons escaping the advancing Anglo-Saxons who were conquering Britain at the time...

, Lucus
Lugo
Lugo is a city in northwestern Spain, in the autonomous community of Galicia. It is the capital of the province of Lugo. The municipality had a population of 97,635 in 2010, which makes is the fourth most populated city in Galicia.-Population:...

, Auria
Ourense
Ourense is a city in northwestern Spain, the capital of the province of the same name in Galicia. Its population of 108,674 accounts for 30% of the population of the province and makes it the third largest city of Galicia.-Population:...

, Asturica, Conimbria
Coimbra
Coimbra is a city in the municipality of Coimbra in Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better-known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the...

, Lameco
Lamego
Lamego is a municipality in northern Portugal, with a population of 27,054 inhabitants Lamego is a municipality in northern Portugal, with a population of 27,054 inhabitants Lamego is a municipality in northern Portugal, with a population of 27,054 inhabitants (the catchment of the city of...

, Viseu
Viseu
Viseu is both a city and a municipality in the Dão-Lafões Subregion of Centro Region, Portugal. The municipality, with an area of 507.1 km², has a population of 99,593 , and the city proper has 47,250...

, and Egitania continued to operate normally. During the reign of Liuvigild, new Arian bishops were raised among the Suebi in cities such as Lugo, Porto, Tui, and Viseu, alongside the cities' Catholic bishops. These Arian bishops returned to Catholicism in 589, when King Reccared
Reccared
Reccared I was Visigothic King of Hispania, Septimania and Galicia. His reign marked a climactic shift in history, with the king's renunciation of traditional Arianism in favour of Catholic Christianity in 587.Reccared was the younger son of King Liuvigild by his first wife Theodosia...

 himself converted to Catholicism, along with the Goths and Suebi, at the Third Council of Toledo
Third Council of Toledo
The Third Council of Toledo marks the entry of Catholic Christianity into the rule of Visigothic Spain, and the introduction into Western Christianity of the filioque clause...

.

The territorial and administrative organization inherited from the Suevi was incorporated into the new Provincial status, although Lugo was reduced again to the category of bishopric, and subjected to Braga. Meanwhile the Suevi, Roman, and Galician cultural, religious, and aristocratic
Aristocracy (class)
The aristocracy are people considered to be in the highest social class in a society which has or once had a political system of Aristocracy. Aristocrats possess hereditary titles granted by a monarch, which once granted them feudal or legal privileges, or deriving, as in Ancient Greece and India,...

 elite accepted new monarchs. The peasant
Peasant
A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally tend to be poor and homeless-Etymology:The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.- Position in society :Peasants typically...

s maintained a collective
Collective
A collective is a group of entities that share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together on a specific project to achieve a common objective...

 formed mostly by freemen and serfs of Celtic, Roman and Suebi extraction, as no major Visigoth immigration occurred during the sixth and seventh centuries.

This continuity led to the persistence of Galicia as a differentiated province within the realm, as indicated by the acts of several Councils of Toledo
Councils of Toledo
Councils of Toledo . From the 5th century to the 7th century, about thirty synods, variously counted, were held at Toledo in what would come to be part of Spain. The earliest, directed against Priscillianism, assembled in 400. The "third" synod of 589 marked the epoch-making conversion of King...

, chronicles such as that of John of Biclar, and in military laws such as the one extolled by Wamba which was incorporated into the Liber Iudicum, the Visigothic legal code. It was not until the administrative reformation produced during the reign of Recceswinth that the Lusitanian dioceses annexed by the Suevi to Galicia (Coimbra, Idanha, Lamego, Viseu, and parts of Salamanca
Salamanca
Salamanca is a city in western Spain, in the community of Castile and León. Because it is known for its beautiful buildings and urban environment, the Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. It is the most important university city in Spain and is known for its contributions to...

) were restored to Lusitania. This same reform reduced the number of mints in Galicia from a few dozen to just three, those in the cities of Lugo, Braga, and Tui.

The most notable person of seventh century Galicia was Saint Fructuosus of Braga
Fructuosus of Braga
Saint Fructuosus of Braga was the Bishop of Dumio and Archbishop of Braga, a great founder of monasteries, who died April 16, 665. He was the son of a Visigothic dux in the region of Bierzo and he accompanied his father at a young age on certain official trips over his estates...

. Fructuosus was the son of a provincial Visigoth dux
Dux
Dux is Latin for leader and later for Duke and its variant forms ....

 (military provincial governor), and was known for the many foundations he established throughout the west of the Iberian peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

, generally in places with difficult access, such as mountain valleys or islands. He also wrote two monastic rulebooks, characterized by their pact-like nature, with the monastic communities ruled by an abbot
Abbot
The word abbot, meaning father, is a title given to the head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not actually the head of a monastery...

, under the remote authority of a bishop (episcopus sub regula), and each integrant of the congregation having signed a written pact with him. Fructuosus was later consecrated as abbot-bishop of Dumio
Dumio
The Monastery of Dumio , is a former paleo-Christian monastery in the civil parish of Dume, municipality of Braga, in northwestern portio of Portugal. Originally a Roman villa, it was the base of a basilica by Suebi tribes, and later Christian monastery headed by Martin of Braga in the 6th century...

, the most important monastery of Gallaecia—founded by Martin of Braga in the 6th century—under Suebi rule. In 656 he was appointed bishop of Braga and metropolitan of Galicia, ostensibly against his own will.

During his later years the Visigothic monarchy suffered a pronounced decline, due in large part to a decrease in trade and therefore a sharp reduction in monetary circulation, largely as a result of the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 occupations in the early 8th century in the south Mediterranean. The Gallaecia were also affected, and Fructuosus of Braga denounced the general cultural decline and loss of the momentum from previous periods, causing some discontent in the Galician high clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

. At the tenth Council of Toledo in 656, Fructuosus was appointed to the Metropolitan seat of Potamio after the renunciation of its previous occupier. At the same time the Will
Will (law)
A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death...

 of the Bishop of Dume Recimiro was declared void
Void (law)
In law, void means of no legal effect. An action, document or transaction which is void is of no legal effect whatsoever: an absolute nullity - the law treats it as if it had never existed or happened....

 after he donated the wealth of the diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

 convent
Convent
A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion...

 to the poor.

The crisis at the end of the Visigoth era dates to the reign of Egica. The monarch appointed his son Wittiza
Wittiza
Wittiza was the Visigothic King of Hispania from 694 until his death, co-ruling with his father, Ergica, until 702 or 703.-Joint rule:...

 as his heir, and despite the fact that the Visigothic monarchy
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 had been traditionally elective
Election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

 rather than hereditary Egica associated Wittiza during his lifetime to the throne (for example, Egica and Wittiza are known to have issued coinage with the confronted effigies of both monarchs). In 701 an outbreak of plague spread westward from Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 to Spain, reaching Toledo
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

, the Visigothic capital, in the same year, and having such impact that the royal family, including Egica and Wittiza, fled. It has been suggested that this provided the occasion for sending Wittiza to rule the Kingdom of the Suevi from Tui
Tui, Galicia
Tui , in Spanish Tuy, is a town in Galicia , in the province of Pontevedra. It is located on the left bank of the Minho River, facing the Portuguese town of Valença....

, which is recorded as his capital. The possibility has also been raised that the thirteenth-century chronicler, Lucas of Tuy, when he records that Wittiza relieved the oppression of the Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 (a fact unknown from his reign at Toledo after his father), may in fact refer to his reign at Lucas' hometown of Tui, where an oral tradition may have been preserved of the events of his Galician reign.

In 702, with the death of Egica, Wittiza as sole king moved his capital to Toledo
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

. In 710, part of the Visigothic aristocracy violently raised Roderic
Roderic
Ruderic was the Visigothic King of Hispania for a brief period between 710 and 712. He is famous in legend as "the last king of the Goths"...

 to the throne, triggering a civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

 with the supporters of Wittiza and his sons. In 711, the enemies of Roderic
Roderic
Ruderic was the Visigothic King of Hispania for a brief period between 710 and 712. He is famous in legend as "the last king of the Goths"...

 got a Muslim army to cross the Straits of Gibraltar and face him at the Battle of Guadalete
Battle of Guadalete
The Battle of Guadalete was fought in 711 or 712 at an unidentified location between the Christian Visigoths of Hispania under their king, Roderic, and an invading force of Muslim Arabs and Berbers under Ṭāriq ibn Ziyad. The battle was significant as the culmination of a series of Arab-Berber...

. The defeat was the end of Roderic and of the Visigothic rule, with profound consequences for the whole of the Iberian peninsula.

Early and High Middle Ages



"Alfonso king of Galicia and of Asturias, after having ravaged Lisbon, the last city of Spain, sent during the winter the insignias of his victory, breastplates, mules, and Moor prisoners, through his legates Froia and Basiliscus." Annales regni Francorum, c 798.

"And so, as I've been told, when Adefonsus departed of this world, as Nepotianus usurped the kingdom of Ramiro
Ramiro I of Asturias
Ramiro I was King of Asturias from 842 until his death. Son of Bermudo I, he succeeded Alfonso II.First, he had to deal with the usurper Nepocian, defeating him at the Battle of the Bridge of Cornellana, by the river Narcea. Ramiro then removed the system of election which allowed his family to be...

, Ramiro went to the city of Lugo in Galicia, and there he reunited the army of the whole province. After a while he burst into Asturias. He was met by Nepotianus, who has reunited a group of Asturians and Basques, at the brige over the river Narcea
Narcea
The Narcea is a river of Asturias. It is a tributary of the Nalón River....

. Nepotianus was immediately left stranded by his own people, being captured when fleeing by two counts, Sonna and Scipio." Chronicle of Alfonso III
Chronicle of Alfonso III
The Chronicle of Alfonso III is a chronicle composed in the early tenth century on the order of King Alfonso III of León with the goal of showing the continuity between Visigothic Spain and the later Christian medieval Spain...

, ad Sebastianum, 21.

For several centuries after the defeat of the Goths, Galicia was united with other neighboring regions under the same monarchs, with only brief periods of separation under different kings. Along with the rest of the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, it was free of Arab presence from the mid-8th century, being gradually incorporated into a growing Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 state. This is usually called the Kingdom of Asturias
Kingdom of Asturias
The Kingdom of Asturias was a Kingdom in the Iberian peninsula founded in 718 by Visigothic nobles under the leadership of Pelagius of Asturias. It was the first Christian political entity established following the collapse of the Visigothic kingdom after Islamic conquest of Hispania...

 in modern sources, although the precise historical details of the these events have been obscured by the national myths of the Iberian nations..

The 9th century saw this state expand southward, with Castilian and Asturian noblemen acquiring most of the northern Meseta, while in Galicia, a similar impulse led to the conquest and re-population of the regions of Astorga, southern Galicia, and northern Portugal down to Coimbra
Coimbra
Coimbra is a city in the municipality of Coimbra in Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better-known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the...

, by noblemen mostly proceeding from northern Galicia. Also significant was the discovery of the tomb of Saint James the Great
Saint James the Great
James, son of Zebedee was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was a son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of John the Apostle...

 at what would become Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

; the shrine constructed there became the religious center of the nation, as well as being the destination of a major international pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

 route, the Way of St. James
Way of St. James
The Way of St. James or St. James' Way is the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried....

. This increased the political and military relevance of Galicia, and its noble families aspired to positions of power within the kingdom through either military force or by matrimonial alliance with the royal family. To the east, this southern expansion led the capital of the Christian kingdom to be moved to the city of León, from which time the state is usually called the Kingdom of León
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...

. This same kingdom was frequently known as either Gallaecia or Galicia (Yillīqiya and Galīsiya) in Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 Muslim sources up to the 14th century, as well as by many European Christian contemporaries.

Society


During the Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

, and later during Roman and Germanic rule, Southern Gallaecia—today north Portugal and south Galicia—was the more dynamic, urbanized, and richest area of Gallaecia. This role was assumed by the rural north during the Early and High Middle Ages, as a consequence not only of the Islamic invasion, but as the final result of a continental wide urban crisis.

The old bishoprics of Braga, Ourense, Tui, Lamego, and others, were either discontinued, or re-established in the north, under the protection of Lugo—which was now a stronghold due to its Roman walls—and Iria
Iria
is a six episode original video animation anime series produced by Ashi Productions and directed by Tetsurō Amino. The series serves as a prequel to the original live-action film Zeiram, taking place several years earlier the female bounty hunter protagonist Iria is still a rookie and detailing...

. Dumio
Dumio
The Monastery of Dumio , is a former paleo-Christian monastery in the civil parish of Dume, municipality of Braga, in northwestern portio of Portugal. Originally a Roman villa, it was the base of a basilica by Suebi tribes, and later Christian monastery headed by Martin of Braga in the 6th century...

 was re-established by the Bay of Biscay
Bay of Biscay
The Bay of Biscay is a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Brest south to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal, and is named in English after the province of Biscay, in the Spanish...

 in Mondoñedo
Mondoñedo
Mondoñedo is a small town and municipality in the Galician province of Lugo, Spain. , the town has a population of 4,508. Mondoñedo occupies a sheltered valley among the northern outliers of the Cantabrian Mountains.-History:...

, Lugo assumed the role of Braga, and the bishops of Lamego and Tui sought refugee in Iria, where they received generous territorial grants. During the 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries most of these bishoprics were re-established in their historical sees, but at this time the bishops of Lugo, Mondoñedo, and Iria became major political players; not just as religious figures, but also as wealthy, and sometimes mighty secular powers. In particular, the bishops of Iria and Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

 were notorious warlord
Warlord
A warlord is a person with power who has both military and civil control over a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. The term can also mean one who espouses the ideal that war is necessary, and has the means and authority to engage in war...

s, due to the many fortresses and military resources they controlled as heads of a military Norman
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 mark, as well as due to the wealth that the pilgrimages and royal grants brought to their lands.

Each bishopric was divided into a number of territories or counties, named condados, mandationes, commissos, or territorios in local charters, which in the north were true continuations of the Suebic dioceses which frequently preserved old tribal divisions and denominations, such as Lemabos, Celticos, Postamarcos, Bregantinos, and Cavarcos. Rights to the tax
Tax
To tax is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities...

 collection and government of each territory was granted by the titular ruler—usually the king—to a count
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

, bishopric, or large monastery, although there existed some singularities. The bishopric of Lugo was divided into counties, each one under the government of an infanzon (a lesser nobleman) as a concession of the bishop, while in the south, large and mighty territories such as the Portucalense became hereditary, passed down to the descendants of the 9th century's conquerors. In the Terra de Santiago (Land of Saint James, the fief of the bishops of Iria-Compostela) each territory was administered by a bishop's vicar, while justice was administered by a council composed of representatives of the local churchmen, knights, and peasants.

Each territory or county could be further divided into decanias. The basic territorial division was the villa, centered on a church, and composed of one or more hamlets or villages, together with all its facilities, lands, and possessions. The villas perpetuated ancient Roman and Suevic foundations, and they were the base for the ecclesiastical organization, and for the economic production of the country, later evolving into the modern parroquias and freguesias (rural parishes). The local economy was subsistence, based mainly on the production of grain and beans, and notably in cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

 breeding. Other valuable—though geographically restricted—products included fruits, salt, wine, honey, olive oil
Olive oil
Olive oil is an oil obtained from the olive , a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps...

, horses, and iron for the production of weapons and tools. There were also specialized artisan
Artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

s who worked on demand, such as masons
Masonry
Masonry is the building of structures from individual units laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are brick, stone, marble, granite, travertine, limestone; concrete block, glass block, stucco, and...

 and goldsmith
Goldsmith
A goldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with gold and other precious metals. Since ancient times the techniques of a goldsmith have evolved very little in order to produce items of jewelry of quality standards. In modern times actual goldsmiths are rare...

s.

While local commerce was common, long range interchanges—generally maintained by Hebrew merchants—were rare and appreciated. Monetary circulation was scarce, composed mainly of old Suebi and Visigothic coinage known locally as solidos gallicianos. War and pillaging against the thriving Al-Andalus was also a very important source for the acquisition of riches, exotic items, and Muslim serfs. Later, pilgrimage of Christians from all over Europe to Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

 brought not only riches, but also a range of continental innovations and trends, from shipbuilding
Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.Shipbuilding and ship repairs, both...

, to new architectural styles such as Romanesque art
Romanesque art
Romanesque art refers to the art of Western Europe from approximately 1000 AD to the rise of the Gothic style in the 13th century, or later, depending on region. The preceding period is increasingly known as the Pre-Romanesque...

.
The elites were composed of counts, duke
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

s, senatores, and other high noblemen, who were frequently related by marriage with the monarch, and who usually claimed the most powerful positions in society, either as governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

s, bishops, or as palatine
Palatine
A palatine or palatinus is a high-level official attached to imperial or royal courts in Europe since Roman times...

 officials or companions of the king or queen. The Galician nobility however were also frequently found as rebels, either as supporters of a different candidate to the throne, or aspiring to it themselves, or simply as disobedient to the king's orders and will. At the service of the noblemen were milles (knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

s) and infanzones; they were often found marching to war with their subalterns on behalf of a patron, or as vicars and administrators.

A sizable section of the society were churchmen—presbyters, deacons, clergymen, lectors, confessos, monks, and nuns—who frequently lived in religious communities, some of which were composed of both men and women living under vows of chastity and poverty. Most of these monasteries were directed by an abbot
Abbot
The word abbot, meaning father, is a title given to the head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not actually the head of a monastery...

 or abbess
Abbess
An abbess is the female superior, or mother superior, of a community of nuns, often an abbey....

, ruled under a pactual tradition heavily influenced by Germanic legal traditions, with a bishop sub regula as the highest authority of the community. Other monasteries used different, sometimes antagonist rules. The Benedictine
Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

 and Augustine rules were uncommon until the 11th century. As in most of Europe, the chartulary
Chartulary
A cartulary or chartulary , also called Pancarta and Codex Diplomaticus, is a medieval manuscript volume or roll containing transcriptions of original documents relating to the foundation, privileges, and legal rights of ecclesiastical establishments, municipal corporations, industrial...

 and chronicle
Chronicle
Generally a chronicle is a historical account of facts and events ranged in chronological order, as in a time line. Typically, equal weight is given for historically important events and local events, the purpose being the recording of events that occurred, seen from the perspective of the...

 proceedings of monasteries and bishoprics are the most important source for the study of local history.

By the 12th century the only known bourgeois were the multinational inhabitants of Compostela, by this stage a fortified and strong city. Meanwhile, the City Council of Santiago for centuries had struggled against their bishops for the recognition of a number of liberties. In the country, most people were freemen, peasants, artisans, or infantrymen, who could freely choose a patron, or buy and sell properties, although they frequently fell prey to the greed of the big owners, leading many of them to a life of servitude
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

. Finally, servos, libertos, and pueros (serf
SERF
A spin exchange relaxation-free magnetometer is a type of magnetometer developed at Princeton University in the early 2000s. SERF magnetometers measure magnetic fields by using lasers to detect the interaction between alkali metal atoms in a vapor and the magnetic field.The name for the technique...

s and slaves), either obtained in war with the Moors
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 or through trial, constituted a visible part of the society; they were employed as household workers (domesticos and scancianes), shepherd
Shepherd
A shepherd is a person who tends, feeds or guards flocks of sheep.- Origins :Shepherding is one of the oldest occupations, beginning some 6,000 years ago in Asia Minor. Sheep were kept for their milk, meat and especially their wool...

s, and farmhands. Local charters also show that, in time, they were freed.

In terms of religion, most were Roman Catholics, although the local rites—known today as Mozarabic rite
Mozarabic Rite
The Mozarabic, Visigothic, or Hispanic Rite is a form of Catholic worship within the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, and in the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church . Its beginning dates to the 7th century, and is localized in the Iberian Peninsula...

s—were notably different to those used in most of Western Europe. No Arian, Priscillianist, or Pagan organizations are known to have survived during the High Middle Ages. However there were still pagans and pagan shrines in the Bierzo region during the 7th century, whilst Arian or Priscillianist tonsure
Tonsure
Tonsure is the traditional practice of Christian churches of cutting or shaving the hair from the scalp of clerics, monastics, and, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, all baptized members...

—seen as long hair, with only a partial tonsure atop the head—was in use in Galicia up to 681, when it was forbidden at a council in Toledo. There were no known Muslim communities in Galicia and northern Portugal, other than Moor serfs. Records of Hebrew people are also uncommon in local charters until the 12th century, except as travelers and merchants.

Personal names in Galicia and northern Portugal were chiefly of Germanic origin, although Christian, Roman, and Greek names were also common. Names were usually composed just of a single surname
Surname
A surname is a name added to a given name and is part of a personal name. In many cases, a surname is a family name. Many dictionaries define "surname" as a synonym of "family name"...

, although noblemen frequently also used a patronymic
Patronymic
A patronym, or patronymic, is a component of a personal name based on the name of one's father, grandfather or an even earlier male ancestor. A component of a name based on the name of one's mother or a female ancestor is a matronymic. Each is a means of conveying lineage.In many areas patronyms...

. Muslim names and patronymics were rare amongst Galicians, as even serfs were frequently given a Germanic or Roman name, which is in contrast with the relative popularity of Muslim names amongst the Leonese.

Interludes of independence: 10th and 11th centuries


"When Fruela
Fruela II of León
Fruela II was the King of Asturias from the death of his father, Alfonso III of Asturias, in 910 to his own death. When his father died, the kingdom was divided, with the third son, Fruela, taking the original portion ; the second, Ordoño, taking Galicia; and the eldest, García, taking León...

, king of Galicia, died (...) the Christians made king his brother Alfonso
Alfonso IV of León
Alfonso IV , called the Monk, was King of León from 925 and King of Galicia from 929, until he abdicated in 931....

, who then found the throne disputed by his elder brother Sancho
Sancho I Ordóñez
Sancho I Ordóñez was king of Galicia from 926 and until his death, in 929. He was the eldest son of king Ordoño II, and as his father did before him, he acquired the rights to Galicia when he and his brothers divided the kingdom among themselves....

, who entered León, capital of the Kingdom of the Galicians, as an opponent (...) Until they decided to depose Sancho and to throw him from Leon, joining under the king Alfonso. Sancho then fled to the extreme of Galicia, where he was received and enthroned by the locals." Ibn Hayyan, Muqtabis, V, c. 1050.

"I Answar, to you, our lord and most serene king Don Sancho
Sancho I Ordóñez
Sancho I Ordóñez was king of Galicia from 926 and until his death, in 929. He was the eldest son of king Ordoño II, and as his father did before him, he acquired the rights to Galicia when he and his brothers divided the kingdom among themselves....

, prince of all Galicia, and to our lady, your wife, queen Goto." Document from the chartulary of Celanova, year 929.

"There king Don Sancho
Sancho II of Castile
Sancho II , called the Strong, or in Spanish, el Fuerte, was King of Castile and León .He was the eldest son of Ferdinand I of Castile and Sancha of León, the eventual heiress to the Leonese crown...

 said (...) 'Don Alfonso, our father because of our sins left the land poorly divided, and he gave to Don Garcia most of the realm, and thou were left the most disinherited and with less lands; and that's why I propose to take from king Don Garcia the land our father gave to him.'" Primera Crónica General de España, 817.

When Alfonso III of León
Alfonso III of León
Alfonso III , called the Great, was the king of León, Galicia and Asturias from 866 until his death. He was the son and successor of Ordoño I. In later sources he is the earliest to be called "Emperor of Spain"...

 was forced by his sons to abdicate in 910, his lands were partitioned, bringing about the first episode of a short-lived distinct kingdom of Galicia. García I
García I of León
García I was the King of León from 910 until his death and eldest of three succeeding sons of Alfonso III the Great by his wife Jimena....

 obtained the Terra de Fora or León
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...

, consisting of the southeastern portion of their father's realm, while Ordoño II
Ordoño II of León
Ordoño II was king of Galicia from 910, and king of Galicia and León from 914 until his death. He was the second son of King Alfonso III the Great and his wife, Jimena of Pamplona....

 held the western lands, that is Galicia (including the recently acquired lands of Coimbra
Coimbra
Coimbra is a city in the municipality of Coimbra in Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better-known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the...

) where he had already been serving as governor, and was now recognized as king in an assembly of magnates held in Lugo. The youngest brother, Fruela II
Fruela II of León
Fruela II was the King of Asturias from the death of his father, Alfonso III of Asturias, in 910 to his own death. When his father died, the kingdom was divided, with the third son, Fruela, taking the original portion ; the second, Ordoño, taking Galicia; and the eldest, García, taking León...

, received the Asturian heartland in the northeast, with Oviedo
Oviedo
Oviedo is the capital city of the Principality of Asturias in northern Spain. It is also the name of the municipality that contains the city....

 as its capital.

From Galicia, Ordoño launched several successful raids on the Islamic south, returning with riches and Muslim serfs, and confirming himself as an able commander. At the death of García in 914, Ordoño also acquired León, and on his death in 924 his younger brother, Fruela, reunited Alfonso's realm. Fruela's death a year later initiated a period of chaos, with several claimants to the crown. Fruela's son, Alfonso Fróilaz
Alfonso Froilaz
Alfonso Fróilaz, called the Hunchback or, in Spanish, el Jorobado, was the king of Galicia for a short time, from 925 to 926. He seems to have claimed Asturias and León as well, as the inheritor of Fruela II, but was driven from the realm by his cousins Sancho, Alfonso, and Ramiro, the sons of...

, received support from Asturias, but was captured and blinded by Sancho
Sancho I Ordóñez
Sancho I Ordóñez was king of Galicia from 926 and until his death, in 929. He was the eldest son of king Ordoño II, and as his father did before him, he acquired the rights to Galicia when he and his brothers divided the kingdom among themselves....

, Alfonso IV
Alfonso IV of León
Alfonso IV , called the Monk, was King of León from 925 and King of Galicia from 929, until he abdicated in 931....

, and Ramiro II
Ramiro II of León
Ramiro II , son of Ordoño II, was King of León from 931 until his death. Initially titular king only of a lesser part of Asturias, he gained the crown of León after his brother Alfonso IV abdicated in 931...

, sons of Ordoño, with the aid of the Basque
Basque people
The Basques as an ethnic group, primarily inhabit an area traditionally known as the Basque Country , a region that is located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France.The Basques are known in the...

 troops of Jimeno Garcés of Pamplona. Vague and conflicting historical records make it uncertain whether Alfonso Fróilaz reigned briefly as king of the entire kingdom, or simply held a remote part of Asturias. In Galicia, Sancho succeeded, being crowned in Santiago de Compostela and marrying a Galician noblewoman. After reigning for just three years he died childless. Alfonso IV then took control of an again-reunited Kingdom of León in 929, however was forced into a monastery by their youngest brother, Ramiro, two years later.

Ramiro II had ties with the Galician nobility through kinship, marriage and patronage, and he and his son, Ordoño III
Ordoño III of León
Ordoño III was the King of León from 951 to 956, son and successor of Ramiro II . He confronted Navarre and Castile, who supported his half-brother Sancho the Fat in disputing Ordoño's claim to the throne....

, whose mother was Galician, reigned with their support. This was not the case when Ordoño was succeeded by his half-brother Sancho I of León
Sancho I of León
Sancho I , called the Fat, was the son of King Ramiro II of León. He succeeded his half-brother Ordoño III in 956 and reigned until his death, except for a two year interruption from 958 to 960, when Ordoño the Wicked usurped the throne...

 in 956. Sancho proved unpopular and ineffectual and the Galician nobles grew fractious, forming a coalition with Fernán González of Castile to overthrow Sancho in favor of Ordoño IV
Ordoño IV of León
Ordoño IV, called the Wicked or the Bad , son of Alfonso IV of León and nephew of Ramiro II, was the king of León from 958 until 960, interrupting the reign of Sancho the Fat for a two year period...

, who was enthroned in Santiago de Compostela in 958. However Sancho reclaimed the crown in 960 with support from his mother's Kingdom of Pamplona, the Leonese nobility, and Muslim assistance. His son, Ramiro III
Ramiro III of León
Ramiro III , king of León , was the son of Sancho the Fat and his successor at the age of only five. During his minority, the regency was in the hands of two nuns: his aunt Elvira Ramírez of León, who took the title of queen during the minority, and his mother Teresa Ansúrez, who was put in a...

, grew increasingly absolutist, alienating the Galician nobility who also resented the lack of Leonese help when the Normans
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 raided Galicia from 968 through 970.

The Galician nobility again rose in rebellion, in 982 crowning and anointing Bermudo
Bermudo II of León
Bermudo II , called the Gouty , was the King of Galicia and León . His reign is summed up by Justo Pérez de Urbel's description of him as "el pobre rey atormentado en la vida por la espada de Almanzor y en muerte por la pluma vengadora de un obispo" Bermudo (or Vermudo) II (956–999), called the...

, son of Ordoño III
Ordoño III of León
Ordoño III was the King of León from 951 to 956, son and successor of Ramiro II . He confronted Navarre and Castile, who supported his half-brother Sancho the Fat in disputing Ordoño's claim to the throne....

, as king in Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

. With their support, he first repelled the army of Ramiro in the battle of Portela de Areas and eventually made himself undisputed ruler of the Leonese kingdom. Once in control, Bermudo lost many of his Galician and Portugueses supporters by repudiating his Galician wife in favor of a new marriage alliance with Castile. His later reign was marked by the ascension of a strong military leader, Almanzor, who led a brief resurgence of the Cordoban Caliphate, reconquering Coimbra or Viseu
Viseu
Viseu is both a city and a municipality in the Dão-Lafões Subregion of Centro Region, Portugal. The municipality, with an area of 507.1 km², has a population of 99,593 , and the city proper has 47,250...

, and even raiding Santiago de Compostela.

In the 1030s, Galicia became the sole holdout to the Leonese conquests of Sancho III of Pamplona. When the Count of Castile—nominally a Leonese vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

, but in fact a de facto independent—was assassinated in León in 1029, Sancho claimed the right to name the successor, giving it to his own son Ferdinand. Taking advantage of the youth of Leonese king Bermudo III
Bermudo III of León
Bermudo III , king of León , son of Alfonso V of León by his wife Elvira Mendes, was the last scion of Peter of Cantabria to rule in the Leonese kingdom...

, Sancho seized disputed border regions, formalizing the arrangement by including the lands in the dowry of Bermudo's sister, who was married to Ferdinand in 1032. Two years later, in 1034, Sancho took Bermudo's capital, becoming de facto ruler of most of the kingdom, whilst leaving Bermudo to rule from his refuge in Galicia. Sancho's death the next year allowed Bermudo to regain not only the entire kingdom, but to briefly become overlord of Ferdinand's Castile. However, in 1037, the Castilian count killed Bermudo in battle, and Galicia passed with the Kingdom of León into the hands of Ferdinand, who then had himself crowned king.
Ferdinand's death in 1065 led to another short-lived Galician state. In 1063 he had opted to partition his realm, giving the eastern Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile was one of the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged as a political autonomous entity in the 9th century. It was called County of Castile and was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region...

 to his eldest son, Sancho II, along with the right to the paria
Parias
In medieval Spain, parias were a form of tribute paid by the taifas of al-Andalus to the Christian kingdoms of the north...

 (tribute) from the Taifa of Zaragoza
Taifa of Zaragoza
The taifa of Zaragoza was an independent Muslim state in Moorish Al-Andalus, present day eastern Spain, which was established in 1018 as one of the taifa kingdoms, which emerged in the 11th century following the destruction of the Caliphate of Córdoba in the Moorish Iberian Peninsula.During the...

. His second son Alfonso VI was given the Kingdom of León
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...

, representing the central portion of the old realm, with the paria
Parias
In medieval Spain, parias were a form of tribute paid by the taifas of al-Andalus to the Christian kingdoms of the north...

 from Toledo
Taifa of Toledo
The taifa of Toledo was a Muslim medieval kingdom located in what is now central Spain. It existed from the fracturing of the long-eminent Muslim Caliphate of Córdoba in 1035 until the Christian conquest in 1085.-History:...

. His youngest son, García II, who had been educated in Galicia under the tutelage of bishop Cresconius of Compostela, received the western half of Bermudo's old kingdom as King of Galicia, along with the right to parias
Parias
In medieval Spain, parias were a form of tribute paid by the taifas of al-Andalus to the Christian kingdoms of the north...

 from the Taifa
Taifa
In the history of the Iberian Peninsula, a taifa was an independent Muslim-ruled principality, usually an emirate or petty kingdom, though there was one oligarchy, of which a number formed in the Al-Andalus after the final collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba in 1031.-Rise:The origins of...

s of Badajoz
Taifa of Badajoz
The Taifa of Badajoz was a medieval Muslim kingdom in what is now parts of Portugal and Spain and centred on the city of Badajoz which exists today as the first city of Extremadura, in Spain....

 and Seville
Taifa of Seville
The Taifa of Seville was a short lived medieval kingdom, in what is now southern Spain and Portugal. It originated in 1023 and lasted until 1091, and was under the rule of the Arab Abbadid family.-History:...

.

As king, Garcia aimed to restore the old episcopal sees of Tui, Lamego, and Braga, which had been dissolved due to Arab and viking assaults. The death of two of his most notable supporters, bishops Cresconius of Compostela and Uistrarius of Lugo, left the young king in a weaker position, and in 1071 the Count of Portugal
County of Portugal
The County of Portugal was the region around Braga and Porto, today corresponding to littoral northern Portugal, from the late ninth to the early twelfth century, during which it was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León.-History:...

, Nuno Mendes, rose in rebellion. García defeated and killed him in the same year at the Battle of Pedroso
Battle of Pedroso
The Battle of Pedroso was fought in January, 1071 near present day Pedroso , Portugal.Forces under García II, the King of Galicia, defeated those under Nuno II Mendes, the last count of Portugal of the House of Vímara Peres. The battle resulted in the death of Nuno Mendes and Garcia II declaring...

, and in recognition of his solidified control adopted the title King of Galicia and Portugal. However his brothers, Alfonso and Sancho, immediately turned on the victor, forcing García to flee, first to central Portugal and later—after defeating him near Santarém
Santarém, Portugal
Santarém is a city in the Santarém Municipality in Portugal. The city itself has a population of 28,760 and the entire municipality has 64,124 inhabitants.It is the capital of Santarém District....

—into exile in Seville in 1072. García's realm was divided, with Alfonso joining the county of Portugal to his Kingdom of León, while Sancho held the north.

This situation was inherently unstable, with Sancho's lands separated by Alfonso's León, and the two soon fought a war in which Sancho proved victorious, forcing Alfonso into exile and reuniting all of Ferdinand's kingdom except the autonomous city of Zamora
Zamora, Spain
Zamora is a city in Castile and León, Spain, the capital of the province of Zamora. It lies on a rocky hill in the northwest, near the frontier with Portugal and crossed by the Duero river, which is some 50 km downstream as it reaches the Portuguese frontier...

, held by his sister Urraca
Urraca of Zamora
Urraca was a Leonese infanta, one of the five children of Ferdinand I the Great, who received the city of Zamora as her inheritance and exercised palatine authority in it...

. While besieging this town in 1072, Sancho was assassinated, inducing Alfonso to return and claim the entire realm. García also returned in 1073 from his exile, either with the hope of re-establishing himself in Galicia, or simply having been misled by promises of safety from Alfonso, however he was imprisoned by Alfonso for the rest of his life, dying in 1091. As an aftermath to these events, before 1088 Alfonso deposed the bishop of Compostela, Diego Pelaez, who was charged "on trying to deliver the Kingdom of Galicia ["Galleciae Regnum"] to the king of the English and of the Normans [William the Conqueror], while taking it away from the kings of the Spaniards". This reunion with the Kingdom of León would prove permanent, although both kingdoms maintained their separate personality.

Raymond of Burgundy



In 1091 the daughter of King Alfonso VI, infanta Urraca, married a Burgundian nobleman, Raymond of Burgundy
Raymond of Burgundy
Raymond of Burgundy was the fourth son of William I, Count of Burgundy, and was Count of Amous. He came to the Iberian Peninsula for the first time during the period 1086–1087 with Odo I, Duke of Burgundy...

, who had participated in the Crusades
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 against the Almoravids
Almoravids
The Almoravids were a Berber dynasty of Morocco, who formed an empire in the 11th-century that stretched over the western Maghreb and Al-Andalus. Their capital was Marrakesh, a city which they founded in 1062 C.E...

. His military victories as well as his Anscarid
Anscarids
The Anscarids or Anscarii or the House of Ivrea were a medieval Frankish dynasty of Burgundian origin which rose to prominence in Italy in the tenth century, even briefly holding the Italian throne. They also ruled the County of Burgundy in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and it was one of their...

 lineage justified this union, and Alfonso bestowed on him the government of Galicia between Cape Ortegal and Coimbra
Coimbra
Coimbra is a city in the municipality of Coimbra in Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better-known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the...

, as a personal fief. This union gave rise to the House of Burgundy
Anscarids
The Anscarids or Anscarii or the House of Ivrea were a medieval Frankish dynasty of Burgundian origin which rose to prominence in Italy in the tenth century, even briefly holding the Italian throne. They also ruled the County of Burgundy in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and it was one of their...

, which would rule in Galicia, León, and Castile until the death of king Pedro I of Castile.

Two years after Raymond's marriage, in 1093, another French crusader, his cousin Henry
Henry, Count of Portugal
Henry of Burgundy, Count of Portugal was Count of Portugal from 1093 to his death. He was brother of Hugh I, Duke of Burgundy, and Odo I, Duke of Burgundy, all sons of Henry, the heir of Robert I, Duke of Burgundy. His name is Henri in modern French, Henricus in Latin, Enrique in modern Spanish...

, the grandson of Duke Robert I of Burgundy and nephew of Alfonso's queen, was given the hand of the Alfonso's illegitimate daughter Theresa
Theresa, Countess of Portugal
Theresa of Portugal was the first ruler of independent Portugal...

, receiving lands in Castille. Both Burgundians were close allies in the affairs of the realm, ratifying a pact of friendship where Raymond promised his cousin to give to him the Kingdom of Toledo or the Kingdom of Galicia, together with a third of his treasure, in return for Henry's aid in acquiring the crown as successor of King Alfonso. However, by 1097 King Alfonso granted Henry the counties of Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and Coimbra, from the river Minho
Minho River
The Minho or Miño is the longest river in Galicia, Spain, with an extension of 340 km.Both names come from Latin Minius...

 to the Tagus
Tagus
The Tagus is the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula. It is long, in Spain, along the border between Portugal and Spain and in Portugal, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Lisbon. It drains an area of . The Tagus is highly utilized for most of its course...

, thus limiting the powers of Raymond, who by this time was securing an important nucleus of partisans in Galicia, including Count Pedro Fróilaz de Traba
Pedro Fróilaz de Traba
Pedro Fróilaz de Traba was the most powerful secular magnate in the Kingdom of Galicia during the first quarter of the twelfth century. According to the Historia compostelana, he was "spirited ... warlike ... of great power .....

, whilst appointing his own notary, Diego Gelmírez
Diego Gelmírez
Diego Gelmírez was the second bishop and first archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. He is a prominent figure in the history of Galicia and an important historiographer of the Spain of his day...

, as bishop of Compostela. In successive years he also obtained the government of Zamora, Salamanca, and Ávila, but he died in 1107, two years before King Alfonso, who was now in his seventies. The government of Galicia and their other possessions was retained by Alfonso's widow, Urraca, who styled herself Mistress and Empress of Galicia. King Alfonso, in a council held in León, asked of the magnates of Galicia to swear an oath on the defense of the rights of his grandson, Alfonso Raimúndez, to the kingdom of Galicia, in case his mother Urraca remarried.

On June 30, 1109, King Alfonso VI died. He was succeeded by Queen Urraca, who remarried in 1109 to the king of Aragon, Alfonso the Battler
Alfonso the Battler
Alfonso I , called the Battler or the Warrior , was the king of Aragon and Navarre from 1104 until his death in 1134. He was the second son of King Sancho Ramírez and successor of his brother Peter I...

, a soldier by nature who was immediately received as king in Castille and León, but not in Galicia. As part of the marriage settlement, any children born to the union were to have priority over Raymond's son Alfonso in the succession. In Galicia this union was rejected by the old party of count Raymond, now led by count Pedro Fróilaz, tutor of young Alfonso, although the partisans of Urraca also joined forces. With Leon and Castille quiet and under control, Alfonso moved on Galicia in 1110, and while he did not suffer any major defeat, he had little success, returning three months later to León. Probably as a consequence to this development, Pedro Froila drew Diego Gelmirez to his party. In 1111, the young Alfonso Raimúndez was crowned and anointed king in Compostela.

Separation of the County of Portugal (1128)



On the death of Henry in 1112, his widow Theresa succeeded him as head of the two Counties of Portugal and Coimbra, during the minority of her son, Afonso Henriques. Two trends emerged at this time, firstly a policy of rapprochement with the new King Alfonso VII, and secondly the maintenance of their power with the aim that the heir to the county would be proclaimed king. The increasing importance of Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

—now metropolitan church
Metropolitan bishop
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of a historical Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital.Before the establishment of...

 of Lusitania
Lusitania
Lusitania or Hispania Lusitania was an ancient Roman province including approximately all of modern Portugal south of the Douro river and part of modern Spain . It was named after the Lusitani or Lusitanian people...

, which was in open competition with Braga, metropolitan church of Galicia—and the support for Theresa's rule north of the Miño brought about by her romantic union with Fernando Pérez de Traba altered the status quo. The Archbishop of Braga, who had suffered the nocturnal theft of the relic
Relic
In religion, a relic is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a tangible memorial...

s of Fructuosus of Braga by Diego Gelmirez
Diego Gelmírez
Diego Gelmírez was the second bishop and first archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. He is a prominent figure in the history of Galicia and an important historiographer of the Spain of his day...

 in 1102, and the major Portuguese aristocrats who were pursuing a larger territorial authority, gave support to the royal pretensions of Afonso Henriques. Given this situation, King Alfonso VII marched on Portugal, taking first Tui and other territories north of the river Minho, later besieging Guimarães
Guimarães
Guimarães Municipality is located in northwestern Portugal in the province of Minho and in the Braga District. It contains the city of Guimarães.The present Mayor is António Magalhães Silva, elected by the Socialist Party.-Parishes:-Economy:...

 and obtaining the submission of the Portuguese.

Several months later, in 1128, inspired by the shortcomings of Afonso Henriques, the Galician and Portuguese troops of Theresa and Fernando Perez de Trava entered Portugal, but the men of Afonso scored a decisive victory at the Battle of São Mamede. The later death of Theresa, and Afonso's success against the Moors at the Battle of Ourique
Battle of Ourique
The Battle of Ourique saw the forces of Portuguese Prince Afonso Henriques defeat the Almoravid Moors led by Ali ibn Yusuf.-Background:...

, led to him being proclaimed King of the Portuguese in 1139, this independence being recognized by the king of León in 1143. Still, the statute of frontier lands such as Toroño and Limia in southern Galicia led to frequent border conflicts during most of the Lower Middle Ages.

Compostelan Era (1111–1230)

Excerpts from the Historia Compostelana
Historia Compostelana
The anonymous Historia Compostelana is based on the relation of events by a writer in the immediate circle of Diego Gelmírez, second bishop then first archbishop of Compostela, one of the major figures of the Middle Ages in Galicia...

The laws, the rights, the peace, the justice, called the Galician to arms; everything which is wrong threw the Aragonese into every kind of crime. HC, I.87
Oh shame! The Castilians need foreign forces and are protected by the audacity of the Galicians. What will become of these coward knights when the army of Galicia, their shield and protection, is gone?. HC, I.90
Shipbuilders came from Genoa to Compostela, they presented themselves to the bishop and they reached and agreement for building two ships at a fixed price. It can be guessed the utility of the matter and the joy of the seashore dwellers, and even of all the Galicians, because of the freedom and the protection of the fatherland. HC, I.103.
The queen hurried coming to Galicia to reconcile with the bishop; because she knew that by him she could keep or loose the kingdom of Galicia, because the bishop and the church of Compostela is capital and looking glass of Galicia. HC, I.107.
«The king Don Alfonso, my grandparent, put the condition that in case the queen, my mother, was to stay as a widows, all the kingdom of Galicia would stay under her domain; but if she ever married, the kingdom of Galicia would return to me.» HC I.108



At Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

 on 17 September 1111 the Galician high nobility crowned Alfonso VII, the son of Raymond and Urraca, as king of Galicia, and he was anointed by bishop Diego Gelmírez
Diego Gelmírez
Diego Gelmírez was the second bishop and first archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. He is a prominent figure in the history of Galicia and an important historiographer of the Spain of his day...

; the coronation
Coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

 was led by Pedro Fróilaz de Traba, who had been Alfonso's mentor throughout his childhood. The coronation was intended to preserve the rights of the son of Raymond of Burgundy in Galicia, at a time when Urraca effectively delivered the kingdoms of Castile and León to her new husband, Alfonso the Battler of Aragon
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

 and Navarre
Navarre
Navarre , officially the Chartered Community of Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Aquitaine in France...

.

The ceremony in Compostela was more symbolic than effective, and Diego Gelmírez, Pedro Fróilaz, and other Galician nobles headed first to Lugo, and later to the royal seat in León to enthrone Alfonso VII there. However, they were intercepted at Viadangos, near León, by the troops of Alfonso the Battler. The Galician knights charged, but they were outnumbered and surrounded by the Aragonese infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

, who defeated the Galicians and frustrated their plans. Pedro Fróilaz was taken prisoner
Prisoner
A prisoner is someone incarcerated in a prison, jail or similar facility.Prisoner or The Prisoner may also refer to:* Prisoner of war, a soldier in wartime, held as by an enemy* Political prisoner, someone held in prison for their ideology...

, whilst other nobles were killed, but bishop Gelmírez managed to escape, delivering his protégé, the young king, to his mother, who began acting against her new husband. From then until Alfonso VII came of age and Urraca died, the entire realm lived under a constant state of civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

, experiencing frequent seizures and shifting alliances between mother and child, and between Urraca and her Aragonese husband. This same civil war was evident in the kingdom of Galicia, were partisans of Diego Gelmirez, of Pedro Fróilaz, and of other nobles and warlords, found themselves battling each other either as defenders of either Queen Urraca or King Alfonso VII, or under their own agenda, whilst Alfonso of Aragón and Theresa of Portugal
Theresa, Countess of Portugal
Theresa of Portugal was the first ruler of independent Portugal...

 also had their own supporters.

With Calixtus II, uncle of Alfonso VII, becoming Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

, Diego Gelmírez secured the elevation of Compostela into an archdiocese in 1120 through a steady flow of generous donations sent to Rome. Bishop Diego attempted to gain the recognition of Compostela as the primate of Spain, but failed against Toledo, the old Visigoth capital. Later he claimed the recognition as the metropolitan church of the Kingdom of Galicia, against the rights of the church of Braga, metropolitan since at least the days of Martin of Dumio
Martin of Braga
Saint Martin of Braga was an archbishop of Bracara Augusta in Hispania , a monastic founder, and an ecclesiastical author...

. Calixtus II did not approve Gelmirez's claims, but finally decided to enlarge Compostela's jurisdiction into an anomalous situation in which Compostela exercised power not over its geographical location of the Galician territories, but over the old jurisdiction of Mérida
Merida
Places of the world named Mérida or Merida include:*Mérida, Spain, capital city of the Spanish Community of Extremadura*Mérida, Yucatán, capital city of the Mexican state of Yucatán*Merida, Leyte, a municipality in Leyte province in the Philippines...

, the old metropolitan church of Lusitania, which was then under Muslim control without a bishop. Consequently, the bishops of Coimbra, Lamego, Viseu, or Salamanca, among others, were subjected to the rule of Compostela. Braga, metropolitan of the cities of Galicia other than Compostela, found itself limited by the jurisdiction of the later, becoming the centre of the movement for the independence of Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

. In 1128 the leader of the Galician nobility, Fernando Peres de Trava, together with his lover Countess Theresa of Portugal
Theresa, Countess of Portugal
Theresa of Portugal was the first ruler of independent Portugal...

, who were acting with absolute liberty in most of Galicia and Portugal, were defeated by Afonso Henriques, Theresa's son. This was the foundation of the future kingdom of Portugal.

On his death in 1156, Alfonso VII divided his domains, pressured by the Castilian and the Galician nobles, bequeathing León and Galicia to his second son, Ferdinand II
Ferdinand II of Leon
Ferdinand II was King of León and Galicia from 1157 to his death.-Life:Born in Toledo, Castile, he was the son of King Alfonso VII of León and Castile and of Berenguela, of the House of Barcelona. At his father's death, he received León and Galicia, while his brother Sancho received Castile and...

. Ferdinand, who had been using the title of King of Galicia at least since 1152, had been as a child ward of the influential Count Fernando Peres de Trava, heir and son of Count Pedro Fróilaz, who in turn had been tutor of Alfonso VII. In 1158 the death of his brother Sancho III of Castile
Sancho III of Castile
Sancho III was King of Castile and Toledo for one year, from 1157 to 1158. During the Reconquista, in which he took an active part, he founded the Order of Calatrava...

 permitted him to intervene the Castilian internal affairs, which led him to use the title Rex Hispaniarum. In his own realm, he continued his father's policies by granting Cartas Póvoa or Foros (constitutional charters) to towns such as Padrón
Padrón
Padrón is a concello in the Province of A Coruña, in Galicia within the comarca of O Sar. It covers an area of 48.4 km², is 95 km from A Coruña and, , had a population of 8968 according to the INE....

, Ribadavia
Ribadavia
The town of Ribadavia is located in the southwest of the province of Ourense, Autonomous Community of Galicia, Spain. The urban area lies on the right bank of the Miño and the last course of the Avia. It is considered to be the capital of the comarca of the Ribeiro...

, Noia
Noia
Noia is a town and municipality in Galicia, Spain. It has a population of 14,947 inhabitants , being situated in the Province of A Coruña, some 20 miles west of Santiago de Compostela near the mouth of the Tambre river....

, Pontevedra
Pontevedra
Pontevedra is a city in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula. It is the capital of both the comarca and province of Pontevedra, in Galicia . It is also the capital of its own municipality which is, in fact, often considered as an extension of the actual city...

 and Ribadeo
Ribadeo
Ribadeo is a municipality in the Spanish province of Lugo in Galicia. It has a population of 9619 and an area of 106.2 km². It is the capital of the A Mariña Oriental region .- External links:*....

, most of them possessing important harbors or sited in rich valleys. Thus he promoted the growth of the bourgeoisie
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

 and impulsed local economy through the expansion of commerce. He also contributed to the economic and artistic development of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral of the archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The cathedral is the reputed burial-place of Saint James the Greater, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. It is the destination of the Way of St...

, at least after the death of bishop Martin in 1168, and under the rule of two of his closest subjects, bishops Pedro Gudesteiz and Pedro Suárez de Deza. Ferdinand died in 1188, in Benavente
Benavente
Benavente may refer to: Benavente, Portugal— a municipality in Portugal Benavente, Zamora— a municipality in Zamora province, Spain Benavente, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico one of the five Barrios that make up Hormigueros.As a surname...

, leaving two main pretenders to the throne: his sons Sancho, born of a Castilian noblewoman; and Alfonso, son of the first wife of Fernando Urraca of Portugal
Urraca of Portugal
Infanta Urraca of Portugal was a Portuguese infanta , daughter of Afonso I, 1st King of Portugal and his wife Maud of Savoy.Urraca was born at Coimbra. She married Ferdinand II of León with whom she had Alfonso IX of León. This marriage failed to prevent her father Afonso I from declaring war on...

. Alfonso, supported by the Galician nobility and by the archbishop of Compostela Pedro Suárez de Deza, hasted to Santiago de Compostela carrying the remains of his father, and proclaiming himself King there. In contrast with the later, he dropped the title of "King of the Spains", whilst preferring the use of "King of León" and "King of León and Galicia".

Alfonso's long reign was characterized by his rivalry with Castile and Portugal, and by the promotion of the royal power at the expense of the church and of the nobility, whilst maintaining his father policies intended to urbanize the realm. He was one of the first European monarchs to ever call for a general council, summoning not only the nobility and the Church, but also the inhabitants of the towns and cities, as a precedent to modern representative parliaments. The last years of his reign were also marked by the conquest of large areas of what is now Extremadura
Extremadura
Extremadura is an autonomous community of western Spain whose capital city is Mérida. Its component provinces are Cáceres and Badajoz. It is bordered by Portugal to the west...

 (including the cities of Cáceres
Cáceres, Spain
Cáceres is the capital of the same name province, in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain. , its population was 91,131 inhabitants. The municipio has a land area of 1,750.33 km², and is the largest in geographical extension in Spain....

, Mérida
Merida
Places of the world named Mérida or Merida include:*Mérida, Spain, capital city of the Spanish Community of Extremadura*Mérida, Yucatán, capital city of the Mexican state of Yucatán*Merida, Leyte, a municipality in Leyte province in the Philippines...

 and Badajoz
Badajoz
Badajoz is the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain, situated close to the Portuguese border, on the left bank of the river Guadiana, and the Madrid–Lisbon railway. The population in 2007 was 145,257....

) then in the hands of the Almohad Caliphate, a territory also wanted by the Portuguese.

Alfonso granted constitutional charters to the towns of Betanzos
Betanzos
Betanzos is a municipality in Galicia, Spain, in the Province of A Coruña. In Roman times Betanzos was called Carunium or Brigantium. During the Medieval period the settlement was known as Carunio....

, A Coruña
A Coruña
A Coruña or La Coruña is a city and municipality of Galicia, Spain. It is the second-largest city in the autonomous community and seventeenth overall in the country...

, Baiona
Baiona, Pontevedra
Baiona is a municipality in Galicia, Spain, in the province of Pontevedra.Baiona is a tourist town with a medieval historical center situated by the outlet of the Vigo Bay. Its population of just over 11,000 rises to around 45,000 in the summer, if one includes tourists...

, Salvaterra de Miño
Salvaterra de Miño
Salvaterra de Miño is a municipality in Galicia, Spain in the province of Pontevedra. The Municipality is located on the southern border of the province of Pontevedra, at the confluence of the valleys of the rivers Tea and Miño, and by the natural limits of the Sierra de Cañiza...

, Verín
Verín
Verín is a small city in the Autonomous Community of Galicia, Spain located in the southeast of the province of Ourense. The population of the concello is about 14,433. It is located 70 kilometers east of the provincial capital of Ourense and 15 kilometers north of the Portuguese city of Chaves...

, Monforte de Lemos
Monforte de Lemos
Monforte de Lemos is a city and municipality in northwestern Spain, in the province of Lugo, Galicia. It covers an area of 200 km² and lies 62 km from Lugo. As of 2005 it had a population of 19,472. It is located in a valley between the shores of Sil River and Miño River, in the area...

, O Valadouro
O Valadouro
O Valadouro, is a municipality in the Galician province of Lugo....

, Milmanda, Bo Burgo de Castro Caldelas
Castro Caldelas
Castro Caldelas is a municipality in Ourense , in the Galicia region of northwestern Spain. It is located to the very north of the province....

, Melide, Sarria
Sarria
Sarria is a municipality in the province of Lugo, northwestern Spain, in the autonomous community of Galicia. Sarria is the most densely populate town on the French Way in Galicia, with 13 700 inhabitants...

 and Triacastela
Triacastela
Triacastela is a municipality in the province of Lugo, Galicia, Spain. It gets its name from the three castles that once stood here, none of which exist today....

, sited in good harbors along the Galician coastline, by the Miño river, or at major crossroads in the country. These new reguengo villages (royal villages under direct royal political and economical control, and administered by their autonomous city councils), each one usually known as a burgo due to its walled circuits, constituted important attraction points for peasants, who could find better life conditions under the direct protection of the king than abroad under the authority of a bishop, a monastery or a nobleman; but they also attracted foreigners, most notably artisans and merchants, who brought new trends and knowledges. These burgs supposed a revolution in the social structure of the time, leading to economic diversification, removing the dominant autarky
Autarky
Autarky is the quality of being self-sufficient. Usually the term is applied to political states or their economic policies. Autarky exists whenever an entity can survive or continue its activities without external assistance. Autarky is not necessarily economic. For example, a military autarky...

 of the previous centuries, and facilitating the development of fishing and pre-industrial activities oriented toward the mass production of some resources, especially salted and dried fish, fish oil, and wine, marketed through the seaports north to England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, and south to the Mediterranean.
'I, Alfonso, by the grace of God King of León and of Galicia, by this writing, which is to be forever valid (...) I grant and confirm to the town council of Bayona, that is, Erizana, the rights and 'foros' or customs for they to live, and to have, and to direct their town in justice, and so the small people with the greater one, and the greater people with the small one, there forever they may live in peace and quietly...'
Foro or Constitutional Charter of Baiona
Baiona, Pontevedra
Baiona is a municipality in Galicia, Spain, in the province of Pontevedra.Baiona is a tourist town with a medieval historical center situated by the outlet of the Vigo Bay. Its population of just over 11,000 rises to around 45,000 in the summer, if one includes tourists...

, 1201.
'We must also consider that there are five kingdoms among the Spaniards, namely that of Aragon, that of the Navarrese, and that of those who specifically are named Spaniards, which capital is Toledo, as well as those of the inhabitants of Galicia and Portugal'
Narratio de Itinere Navali Peregrinorum Hierosolymam Tendentium et Silviam Capientium, AD. 1189.


In this cities and villages the emergence of an associative movement led to the creation of permanent city councils, and to the association of artisan in guilds or confrarías, which would in time acquire a religious hue just to avoid being banned or punished in their patrimonies. This new burgs also allowed a number of minor noble houses to consolidate power by occupying the new administrative and political jobs and offices, in open competence with the new classes: mayors, aldermen (regedores, alcaldes, justiças), agents and other officials (procuradores, notarios, avogados) and judges (juizes) of the town council; or mordomos and vigarios (leader and deputies) of the diverse guilds.

Throughout this century there was also a rapid growth of the rural
Rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

 population, resulting in a larger force of farm labor which consequently allowed the great monasteries to develop new agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 lands. This, coupled with the improvement of farming equipment and techniques, such as the introduction of the heavy wheeled plough
Plough
The plough or plow is a tool used in farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting. It has been a basic instrument for most of recorded history, and represents one of the major advances in agriculture...

, resulted in an increase in productivity
Productivity
Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of production. Productivity is a ratio of what is produced to what is required to produce it. Usually this ratio is in the form of an average, expressing the total output divided by the total input...

 that impacted the people's lifestyles. The distribution of this increased productivity between peasants and lords was regulated by the establishment of foros or lifelong contracts, frequently spanning several generations or vozes. The economic and social transformations led to profound changes in mindset. In the towns, it initiated a religious and intellectual renewal under the mendicant
Mendicant
The term mendicant refers to begging or relying on charitable donations, and is most widely used for religious followers or ascetics who rely exclusively on charity to survive....

 orders, most notably the Franciscans, who instituted social reforms.

Compostela, "capital and looking glass" of the Kingdom of Galicia, became a showcase of this thriving era, reflected in Master Matthew's work in the granite of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral of the archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The cathedral is the reputed burial-place of Saint James the Greater, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. It is the destination of the Way of St...

—especially in the Portico da Gloria and in Prateria's façade—demonstrating a prosperity also witnessed through the numerous surviving Romanesque buildings in Galicia. This period is also responsible for Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 literary creations such as the Codex Calixtinus
Codex Calixtinus
The Codex Calixtinus is a 12th-century illuminated manuscript formerly attributed to Pope Callixtus II, though now believed to have been arranged by the French scholar Aymeric Picaud. The principal author is actually given as 'Scriptor I'....

 and the Historia Compostellana. The Historia is an extensive chronicle on the deeds of the bishop of Compostela, Diego Gelmirez
Diego Gelmírez
Diego Gelmírez was the second bishop and first archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. He is a prominent figure in the history of Galicia and an important historiographer of the Spain of his day...

, and though partisan
Partisan (political)
In politics, a partisan is a committed member of a political party. In multi-party systems, the term is widely understood to carry a negative connotation - referring to those who wholly support their party's policies and are perhaps even reluctant to acknowledge correctness on the part of their...

, it is a source of great significance for the understanding of the contemporary events and of the Galician society in the first half of the 12th century.

Union under the Crown of Castile (1230)


In the early Medieval era, a fluid pattern of union and division was observed among the states of Christian Iberia
Iberia
The name Iberia refers to three historical regions of the old world:* Iberian Peninsula, in Southwest Europe, location of modern-day Portugal and Spain** Prehistoric Iberia...

. While marriage of royals had resulted in the union of some of these states—for example between Navarre and Aragon, and Castile and León—subsequent divisions amongst heirs created a dynamic pattern of union and separation. However, the 12th century initiated a series of unions that would prove permanent.

Alfonso IX married twice. From his first marriage to Teresa of Portugal
Teresa of Portugal
Theresa of Portugal was Queen of Léon as the first wife of King Alfonso IX of Léon...

 he had a son, Ferdinand, and two daughters, Sancha and Aldonza. From his second marriage to Berengaria of Castile, he had five children; Eleanor, who died as a child, a second Ferdinand
Ferdinand III of Castile
Saint Ferdinand III, T.O.S.F., was the King of Castile from 1217 and León from 1230. He was the son of Alfonso IX of León and Berenguela of Castile. Through his second marriage he was also Count of Aumale. He finished the work done by his maternal grandfather Alfonso VIII and consolidated the...

, Alfonso
Alfonso of Molina
Alfonso of León, Lord of Molina was a Prince of León and Castile, the son of King Alfonso IX of León and his second wife Queen Berengaria of Castile. He was the brother of King Ferdinand III of Castile and León, and father of Queen Maria of Molina, wife of King Sancho IV...

, Berengaria, and Constance. The death of Alfonso IX's son from his first marriage, Ferdinand, in 1214 left the younger Ferdinand, from his second marriage, as heir to his father. When the Castilian king, Henry I
Henry I of Castile
Henry I of Castile was king of Castile. He was the son of Alfonso VIII of Castile and his wife Eleanor Plantagenet, ....

, died in 1217 and Berengaria ceded her rights to her son, Ferdinand became King of Castile, against the will of his father.

To preserve the independence of his realm, Alfonso IX applied customary Galician-Leonese inheritance to nominate Aldonza as future Queen of Galicia, and Sancha as Queen of León, enlisting their uncle Afonso II of Portugal
Afonso II of Portugal
Afonso II , or Affonso , Alfonso or Alphonso or Alphonsus , nicknamed "the Fat" , third king of Portugal, was born in Coimbra on 23 April 1185 and died on 25 March 1223 in the same city. He was the second but eldest surviving son of Sancho I of Portugal by his wife, Dulce, Infanta of Aragon...

 to support their succession. Alfonso died in 1230 in Sarria, while on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela to thank the apostle for his help in the conquest of Extremadura, and his body was taken there for burial. Most of the Leonese nobility cleaved to Ferdinand, whom also gained the support of the new Portuguese king, Sancho II
Sancho II of Portugal
Sancho II , nicknamed "the Pious" and "the Caped" or "the Capuched" , , fourth King of Portugal, was the eldest son of Afonso II of Portugal by his wife, Infanta Urraca of Castile...

. After clashes in León and Galicia, Alfonso IX's two former wives, Berengaria and Theresa, reached an agreement whereby Theresa induced Aldonza and Sancha to abandon their regal claims in exchange for an annuity
Annuity (finance theory)
The term annuity is used in finance theory to refer to any terminating stream of fixed payments over a specified period of time. This usage is most commonly seen in discussions of finance, usually in connection with the valuation of the stream of payments, taking into account time value of money...

. As a result, Ferdinand became successor to Alfonso's kingdoms of León and Galicia, bringing about a permanent union into what would come to be called the Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

, wherein the kingdoms continued as administrative entities under the unified rule of a single monarch.

Emergence of the Galician language


Latinate Galician charters from the 8th century onward show that the local written Latin was heavily influenced by local spoken romance, yet is not until the 12th century that we find evidences for the identification of the local language as a language different from Latin itself. During this same 12th century we can find full Galician sentences being inadvertently used inside Latin texts, whilst its first reckoned use as a literary language dates to the last years of the 12th century.

The linguistic stage from the 13th to the 15th centuries is usually known as Galician-Portuguese
Galician-Portuguese
Galician-Portuguese or Old Portuguese was a West Iberian Romance language spoken in the Middle Ages, in the northwest area of the Iberian Peninsula. It was first spoken in the area bounded in the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean and the Douro River in the south but it was later extended south...

 (or Old Portuguese, or Old Galician) as an acknowledgement of the cultural an linguistic unity of Galicia and Portugal during the Middle Ages, as both linguistic varieties differed only in dialectal minor phenomenons, and were considered by the contemporary as just one language.

This language flourished during the 13th and 14th centuries as a language of culture, developing a rich lyric tradition
Galician-Portuguese lyric
In the Middle Ages, the Galician-Portuguese lyric, sometimes called trovadorismo in Portugal and trobadorismo in Galicia, was a lyric poetic school or movement. All told, there are around 1680 texts in the so-called "secular lyric" or lírica profana...

 of which some 2000 compositions (cantigas, meaning 'songs') have been preserved—a few hundreds even with their musical score—in a series of collections, and belonging to four main genres: Love songs where a man sings for his love, Cantiga de amigo
Cantiga de amigo
The Cantiga de amigo or Cantiga d'amigo , literally a "song about a boyfriend", is a genre of medieval erotic lyric poetry, apparently rooted in a song tradition native to the northwest quadrant of the Iberian Peninsula. What mainly distinguishes the cantiga de amigo is its focus on a world of...

 where a woman sings for her boyfriend, crude, taunting and sexual Songs of Scorn, and religious songs
Cantigas de Santa Maria
The Cantigas de Santa Maria are 420 poems with musical notation, written in Galician-Portuguese during the reign of Alfonso X El Sabio and often attributed to him....

.

Its most notable patrons—themselves reputed authors—were kings Dom Dinis in Portugal, and Alfonso X the Learned
Alfonso X of Castile
Alfonso X was a Castilian monarch who ruled as the King of Castile, León and Galicia from 1252 until his death...

 in Galicia, who was a great promoter of both Galician and Castilian Spanish
Castilian Spanish
Castilian Spanish is a term related to the Spanish language, but its exact meaning can vary even in that language. In English Castilian Spanish usually refers to the variety of European Spanish spoken in north and central Spain or as the language standard for radio and TV speakers...

 languages. Not just the kings encouraged literary creation in Galician-Portuguese, but also the noble houses of Galicia and Portugal, as being an author or bringing reputed troubadours into one's home became a way of promoting social prestige; as a result many nobleman , businessmen and clergymen of the 13th and 14th centuries became notable authors, such as Paio Gomes Charinho, lord of Rianxo
Rianxo
Rianxo is a port town in Galicia, Spain, in the Province of A Coruña. It has a population of a little over 11,000 and its two main industries are fishing and tourism. The town's yearly celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe is popular with tourists. Rianxo was the birthplace of several influential...

, and the aforementioned kings.

Aside from the lyric genres, Galicia developed also a minor tradition on literary prose, most notably in translation of European popular series, as those dealing with king Arthur
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

 written by Chretien de Troyes
Chrétien de Troyes
Chrétien de Troyes was a French poet and trouvère who flourished in the late 12th century. Perhaps he named himself Christian of Troyes in contrast to the illustrious Rashi, also of Troyes...

, or those based on the war of Troy, usually paid and commissioned by noblemen who desired to read those romances in their own language. Other genres include history books (either translation of Spanish ones, or original creations like the Chronicle of St. Mary of Iria, by Rui Vasques), religious books, legal studies, and a treaty on horse breeding. Prose literary creation in Galician had stopped by the 16th century, when printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

 became popular; the first complete translation of the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 was not printed until the 20th century.

As for other written uses of Galician, legal charters (last wills, hirings, sales, constitutional charters, city council book of acts, guild constitutions, books of possessions, and any type of public or private contracts and inventories) written in Galicia are to be found from 1230 to 1530—the earliest one a document from the monastery of Melon, dated in 1231—being Galician by far the most used language during the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, in substitution of Latin.

Whilst the written use of Castilian in Galicia was common since 1400, at least in the documents issued by the offices of foreigners established in the country, since 1500 the open substitution of Galician elites by Castilian officials led to the progressive discrimination of Galician language and even of Galician people, although public inscriptions in tombstones and foundations were still common during much of the 16th century. These developments led to the apparition of a series of literary and historical works which goal was the vindication of Galician history, language, people and culture, most notably during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Later Galician language would become a regional language, with just minor literary use up to the 19th century, when a thriving literature developed. As Galician had no official recognition, no legal Galician documents were issued again up to the last quarter of the 20th century.

Galicia and the Castilian Crown



The rule of Ferdinand III
Ferdinand III of Castile
Saint Ferdinand III, T.O.S.F., was the King of Castile from 1217 and León from 1230. He was the son of Alfonso IX of León and Berenguela of Castile. Through his second marriage he was also Count of Aumale. He finished the work done by his maternal grandfather Alfonso VIII and consolidated the...

 initiated a gradual decline in the influence of Galicia in the politics of state, in which the aristocracy and the Galician city councils would lose power to the local bishops. Galicia found itself on the periphery of the enlarged kingdom, which was largely ruled from Toledo or Seville, and increasingly controlled by Castilians. The royal court abandoned Compostela and began a policy of centralization. Despite this, Galician nobles and bishops continued to exercise a degree of autonomy from the Castilian crown until the time of the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

.

In 1231 Fernando established in his newly acquired kingdoms the figure known in Galicia as meyrino maor, a high official and personal representative of the king himself, in 1251 substituted by an adelantado mayor
Adelantado
Adelantado was a military title held by some Spanish conquistadores of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.Adelantados were granted directly by the Monarch the right to become governors and justices of a specific region, which they charged with conquering, in exchange for funding and organizing the...

 (endeantado maior, in Galician language), with even larger attributions. These officials were established in each one of the three old Christian kingdoms (Galicia, León and Castile); in the vassal Kingdom of Murcia; and in the frontier with the Muslims, 'La Frontera'. During the 13th and the 14th centuries this position was occupied either by local noblemen—such as Estevan Fernandes de Castro, Paio Gomes Chariño, or Afonso Suares de Deza—or by members of the royal family as the infante Felipe, son of Sancho IV
Sancho IV of Castile
Sancho IV the Brave was the King of Castile, León and Galicia from 1284 to his death. He was the second son of Alfonso X and Yolanda, daughter of James I of Aragon.-Biography:...

, thus maintaining a state of fluid relations and communications between the Crown and the Kingdom, which would prove fruitful during the conquest and colonization of Seville and other Andalusian cities.

Ferdinand's policy of centralization was continued during the reign of his son Alfonso X; during a period of unrest in Compostela, with the city council confronted with the archbishop, he introduced an alcalde or representative of the Crown into the local government, later delivering the see of Compostela to a Castilian, after forcing archbishop Gonsalvo Gomes to flee to France; thus starting a process that eventually led to the replacement of Galician bishops, abbots and noblemen, by Castilians during 15th, 16th, and successive centuries. Anyway, and in contrast with his father, he again usually favoured the bourgeois through the concession of numerous constitutional charters to new towns, angering the nobility.

While the Castilian (Castile-Toledo) and Leonese (Galicia and León) crowns were linked in the person of the king, both crowns retained political peculiarities. Galicia and León retained the legal code Liber Iudicium and their own parliament (Cortes), whilst the public charters within the kingdom of Galicia continued to be written in Galician, however documents from the royal court were issued only in Castilian. Anyway, the creation in 1282 of a joint Brotherhood (league) of the Kingdoms of León and Galicia showed the existence of a grade of unrest in the old western kingdoms of the Crown.

John, king of León, Galicia and Seville (1296–1301)



The reign of Alfonso X ended in civil war and political instability regarding the succession. The death of his eldest son Ferdinand de la Cerda led Ferdinand's younger brother, Sancho
Sancho IV of Castile
Sancho IV the Brave was the King of Castile, León and Galicia from 1284 to his death. He was the second son of Alfonso X and Yolanda, daughter of James I of Aragon.-Biography:...

, to rebel in a bid to secure the succession, which was ultimately successful. A similar pattern then followed Sancho's own death in 1295, with the reign of his juvenile son Ferdinand IV of Castile
Ferdinand IV of Castile
Ferdinand IV, El Emplazado or "the Summoned," was a king of Castile and León and Galicia...

 being contested by his uncle John
John of Castile, Lord of Valencia de Campos
Infante John of Castile, called the "Rate" was a Infante of Castile and León, son of Alfonso X the Wise, King of Castile and León and Queen Violant of Aragon. In 1296 during the minority of his nephew, Ferdinand IV was declared King of León, from Seville and Galicia, although in 1300 he...

, who had been revolting since 1286.

With the help of King Denis I of Portugal, John—who lived exiled in Granada—advanced to Badajoz as pretender to the throne of Castile, but negotiations with Ferdinand's party, together with the assassination of his closest ally the adelantado mayor of Galicia Paio Gómez Charinho, led him to renounce to this goal. Anyway, in 1296 John
John of Castile, Lord of Valencia de Campos
Infante John of Castile, called the "Rate" was a Infante of Castile and León, son of Alfonso X the Wise, King of Castile and León and Queen Violant of Aragon. In 1296 during the minority of his nephew, Ferdinand IV was declared King of León, from Seville and Galicia, although in 1300 he...

 took the lead of the nobility of the old Leonese crown, and with the support of the kings of Aragon and Portugal was proclaimed king of León and Galicia in 1296, a claim which also included the Kingdom of Seville, historically a vassal of Galicia since the eleventh century. Charinho was succeeded by Fernando Ruíz de Castro, a kinsman of the house of Traba, whose wife also supported John and was the source of political activity calling for a rapprochement with Portugal.

This attempted secession lasted five years amid great political and military instability due to opposition from many sectors of society, as well as the party of Sancho's widow Maria de Molina
María de Molina
María de Molina was the wife of Sancho IV of Castile. She was queen consort of Castile and León from 1284 to 1295 and then regent until the coming of age of her son Ferdinand IV.- Biography :...

, supported by the Castilian nobility, and the high Galician clergy. Faced with this resistance, King Dom Denis of Portugal proposed to Queen Maria de Molina that John
John of Castile, Lord of Valencia de Campos
Infante John of Castile, called the "Rate" was a Infante of Castile and León, son of Alfonso X the Wise, King of Castile and León and Queen Violant of Aragon. In 1296 during the minority of his nephew, Ferdinand IV was declared King of León, from Seville and Galicia, although in 1300 he...

 should held for him and for his heirs the Kingdom of Galicia, where he counted with the strong support of Fernando Ruiz de Castro and other noblemen, thus granting him the title of King. In 1301, after loosing the support of the King of Portugal, John was forced to abandon his claim to sovereignty in exchange for a number of minor titles, thus confirming the unity of the Crown of Castile.

Unrest in the cities


After John's challenge, the King decided to send into Galicia his brother Don Felipe, as Adelantado Mayor, later obtaining also the title of Pertigueiro Maior, or first minister and commander of the Terra de Santiago. For near thirty years he would act as alter ego of the King, closely supported by the local nobility.

The beginning of the 14th century was characterized by the civil unrest in the cities of the kingdom, most notably in Lugo, Tui, Ourense and Compostela, originated in the aspiration of their city Councils to become reguengas, that is, to become a direct dependency of the King, and as such virtually autonomous republics under the direction of their elected Councils; whilst their bishops aspired to maintain them under their jurisdictional control, as part of their fiefs. This unrest was no new, as Compostela had knew bloody conflicts of the bourgeois and the bishops since the first years of the 12th century, in times of Gelmirez, when the bishop himself was chased inside the city. In these conflicts, Don Felipe and the local nobility usually supported the councils' pretensions in opposition to the mighty and rich bishops, although most of the time the military and economic relevance of the archbishop of Santiago proved determinant in the maintenance of the status quo.

The conflict in the City of Compostela reached its zenith in September 1320, when after forty years of autonomy and two years of war, the new archbishop, the French Bérenger de Landore, assassinated the nobleman Alonso Suárez de Deza together with the members of the City Council in his castle of A Rocha Forte near Santiago, where he had attracted them for talks. While Berenger's forcefulness pacified temporarily the city, he still had to fight for another year just to take the rest of the fiefdom. However, twenty-five years later the City Council of Compostela obtained the long-sought reguengo status, granted by King Alfonso XI. Similar conflicts are also known in other Galician cities.

In 1348 the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

, locally known as A Mortaldade, reached the ports of Galicia, decimating the population, and causing a severe and lasting economical crisis.

Civil War of the Castilian Crown (1366–1369)



In 1360 the kingdom of Galicia was again at the centre of a succession crisis
Castilian Civil War
The Castilian Civil War lasted three years from 1366 to 1369. It became part of the larger conflict then raging between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France: the Hundred Years' War...

, this time of European dimension. The throne of Castile was disputed between King King Peter I and his half-brother, Henry Count of Trastámara, within the broader context of the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

. This fratricidal conflict lasted between 1354 and 1369, having its origin in the policies of Peter I, who tried to expand his royal power while leaning on the councils of cities and municipalities; this would come at the expense of the high nobility, including Castilian families such as Pimentel, Ponce de León, Mendoza, Fernández de Córdoba, and Alvarez de Toledo; and Galician ones as Castro. As a result, in 1354 a coalition of nobles rose in defence of a pactual monarchy, although this coalition was soon discontinued.

Henry, illegitimate son of Alfonso XI of Castile
Alfonso XI of Castile
Alfonso XI was the king of Castile, León and Galicia.He was the son of Ferdinand IV of Castile and his wife Constance of Portugal. Upon his father's death in 1312, several disputes ensued over who would hold regency, which were resolved in 1313...

 and half-brother of Peter, took advantage of the dissatisfaction among the noblemen to launch a war against Peter, with the support of Peter IV of Aragon
Peter IV of Aragon
Peter IV, , called el Cerimoniós or el del punyalet , was the King of Aragon, King of Sardinia and Corsica , King of Valencia , and Count of Barcelona Peter IV, (Balaguer, September 5, 1319 – Barcelona, January 6, 1387), called el Cerimoniós ("the Ceremonious") or el del punyalet ("the one...

, with whom Peter was already at war, and along companies of mercenaries
Mercenary
A mercenary, is a person who takes part in an armed conflict based on the promise of material compensation rather than having a direct interest in, or a legal obligation to, the conflict itself. A non-conscript professional member of a regular army is not considered to be a mercenary although he...

 such as that commanded by Bertrand du Guesclin
Bertrand du Guesclin
Bertrand du Guesclin , known as the Eagle of Brittany or the Black Dog of Brocéliande, was a Breton knight and French military commander during the Hundred Years' War. He was Constable of France from 1370 to his death...

. Meanwhile, Peter drew his support from the municipalities and part of the nobility, most notably the Galician Castro family headed by Fernando Rodrigues de Castro, Pertegueiro Maior of Santiago and Adelantado Mayor of Galicia, who after defecting Henry in 1355 was playing the same role as the Traba family two hundred years before. Other notable supporters were Sueiro Eans Parada, Men Rodrigues de Seabra, and the Moscoso family.

In 1366 Pedro was forced to flee into Andalusia, while Fernando de Castro routed to Galicia. After a dangerous journey through Portugal, King Pedro made it to Galicia, where an assembly of supporters decided to send him into Gascony
Gascony
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...

, looking for English support, whilst at the same time inner enemies as the archbishop of Compostela were assassinated or prosecuted. This same year, with Pedro abroad, a temporal truce permitted Henry to present himself in Galicia, where he obtained the support of some important aristocrats, most notably Fernan Peres de Andrade,

In 1367, and counting with the additional support of the archers of the English prince Edward of Woodstock, Peter gained a victory at the battle of Najera, which allowed himself to took the war into Andalucia. However, the entry of England's enemy Charles V of France
Charles V of France
Charles V , called the Wise, was King of France from 1364 to his death in 1380 and a member of the House of Valois...

 on Henry's side had a destabilising effect. In 1369 the new archbishop of Santiago, the loyalist Rodrigo de Moscoso, ordered his knights to march urgently into Andalusia on the support of the King and of Fernando de Castro, but the call was ignored. The capture of Peter during the Battle of Montiel
Battle of Montiel
The battle of Najera was of dubious long-term significance as Pedro of Castile and the Black Prince fell out over money. The Black Prince, affected by a dysentery, soon withdrew his support from Pedro and returned to Aquitaine...

 and his subsequent murder left Henry II in control of the Crown of Castile.

Ferdinand I of Portugal king in Galicia



The triumph of the high nobility in Castile, as represented by the death of Peter I and crowning of their candidate, Henry II, was resisted by the majority of Galician nobles, who anyway had been forgiven by the new King. Under the leading of Fernando de Castro the Galician loyalist party, together with the Galician cities, invited Ferdinand I of Portugal
Ferdinand I of Portugal
Ferdinand I , sometimes referred to as the Handsome or rarely as the Inconstant , was the ninth King of Portugal and the Algarve, the second son of Peter I and his wife, Constance of Castile...

 to be their king, assuring him that the Galician nobles and citizens would "raise their voices for him ... and they hand him the cities and recognize as lord and will honor him".

In his triumphant entrance Ferdinand was accompanied by many aristocratic Galician supporters, including the same Fernando de Castro, Count of Trastamara, Alvar Peres de Castro, the lord of Salvaterra
Salvaterra de Miño
Salvaterra de Miño is a municipality in Galicia, Spain in the province of Pontevedra. The Municipality is located on the southern border of the province of Pontevedra, at the confluence of the valleys of the rivers Tea and Miño, and by the natural limits of the Sierra de Cañiza...

, and Nuno Freire de Andrade, Master of the Portuguese Order of Christ
Order of Christ (Portugal)
The Military Order of Christ previously the Royal Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ was the heritage of the Knights Templar in Portugal, after the suppression of the Templars in 1312...

, being acclaimed in the cities and towns: Tui, Redondela
Redondela
Redondela is a small town in the province of Pontevedra, Galicia, northwestern Spain.-Parroquias:* Cabeiro* Cedeira* Cesantes* Chapela* Negros* Quintela* Reboreda* Redondela* Saxamonde* Trasmañó* Ventosela* Vilar de Infesta* O Viso- See also :...

, Ribadavia
Ribadavia
The town of Ribadavia is located in the southwest of the province of Ourense, Autonomous Community of Galicia, Spain. The urban area lies on the right bank of the Miño and the last course of the Avia. It is considered to be the capital of the comarca of the Ribeiro...

, Ourense, Lugo, Padrón
Padrón
Padrón is a concello in the Province of A Coruña, in Galicia within the comarca of O Sar. It covers an area of 48.4 km², is 95 km from A Coruña and, , had a population of 8968 according to the INE....

, Compostela, and finally A Coruña, which was given to the king by its keeper, Joan Fernandes de Andeiro.

During his brief government in Galicia, Ferdinand I set about the restoration of the Galician strongholds, including Tui
Tui, Galicia
Tui , in Spanish Tuy, is a town in Galicia , in the province of Pontevedra. It is located on the left bank of the Minho River, facing the Portuguese town of Valença....

 and Baiona
Baiona, Pontevedra
Baiona is a municipality in Galicia, Spain, in the province of Pontevedra.Baiona is a tourist town with a medieval historical center situated by the outlet of the Vigo Bay. Its population of just over 11,000 rises to around 45,000 in the summer, if one includes tourists...

, and instituted trade liberalization between Galicia and Portugal, supplying grain and wine by sea to the to the war-weakened Galician populace. He also made provisions for the issuance of gold and silver coinage at Tui and A Coruña
A Coruña
A Coruña or La Coruña is a city and municipality of Galicia, Spain. It is the second-largest city in the autonomous community and seventeenth overall in the country...

 to be recognized as valid throughout Galicia and Portugal.

Despite these measures, the presence of the Portuguese monarch was short-lived. Henry II of Castile, with the support of the mercenaries of Du Guesclin, launched an offensive that forced Ferdinand I into Portugal. Later, in 1371, with the Portuguese troops defending themselves of Henry's mercenaries, Fernando de Castro and the Galician nobles were defeated in the battle of Porto de Bois, near Lugo, by Henry's men: Pedro Manrique, governor of Castile, and Pedro Rois Sarmento. Fernando de Castro fled to Portugal, being later banished to Gascony under the terms of the Treaty of Santarém which forced Portugal to expel many of the Galician supporters of Fernando I, dying there in 1377.

In 1372, after Henry had defeated Men Rodrigues de Seabra, Castilian rule was re-established over most of Galicia, although A Coruña resisted till 1373 being regularly supplied by Portuguese ships.

John of Gaunt




The expulsion of Ferdinand I of Portugal and the abandonment of his claim to Galicia was followed a year later by the capture of Tui by Diego Sarmento on behalf of Henry II. However, the town of Coruña remained faithful to Portugal until 1373, whilst João Fernandes de Andeiro, exiled in England, entered negotiations for further support for the loyalist Galician party, at the same time laying the foundation of the secular alliance between England and Portugal. On 10 July 1372 a treaty was signed by which Constance, daughter of Peter I, claimed the legitimate right to succeed her father. Her husband, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and son of King Edward III of England
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

, then claimed the Castilian Crown on her behalf.

John's first attempt to make good on this claim failed when his troops were diverted to Poitou
Poitou
Poitou was a province of west-central France whose capital city was Poitiers.The region of Poitou was called Thifalia in the sixth century....

 to participate in the clashes against France as part of the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

. In July 25, 1386, with the support of a papal bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 of Urban IV confirming his right to the Crown of Castile, he landed in Coruña with some 1500 archers, 1500 lancers and some 4000 other supporters, without fighting or attacking the city. Following negotiations it was agreed that the city would open its gates once the Duke was received in Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

; being admitted there, John's troops, assisted by Galician exiles took control of Pontevedra, Vigo, Baiona and Betanzos without a fight, whilst John himself proceed to Ourense
Ourense
Ourense is a city in northwestern Spain, the capital of the province of the same name in Galicia. Its population of 108,674 accounts for 30% of the population of the province and makes it the third largest city of Galicia.-Population:...

, where he found resistance on behalf of Breton
Breton people
The Bretons are an ethnic group located in the region of Brittany in France. They trace much of their heritage to groups of Brythonic speakers who emigrated from southwestern Great Britain in waves from the 3rd to 6th century into the Armorican peninsula, subsequently named Brittany after them.The...

 troops at the service of John I of Castile
John I of Castile
John I was the king of Crown of Castile, was the son of Henry II and of his wife Juana Manuel of Castile, daughter of Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena, head of a younger branch of the royal house of Castile...

. Meanwhile the port of Ferrol was taken by John's ally the Portuguese king John I of Portugal
John I of Portugal
John I KG , called the Good or of Happy Memory, more rarely and outside Portugal the Bastard, was the tenth King of Portugal and the Algarve and the first to use the title Lord of Ceuta...

, and the town of Ribadavia
Ribadavia
The town of Ribadavia is located in the southwest of the province of Ourense, Autonomous Community of Galicia, Spain. The urban area lies on the right bank of the Miño and the last course of the Avia. It is considered to be the capital of the comarca of the Ribeiro...

—where the local Jews, most of them of Leonese extraction, apparently presented a fierce defence—was assaulted after a siege by the troops commanded by Thomas Percy
Thomas Percy, 1st Earl of Worcester
Thomas Percy, 1st Earl of Worcester, KG was an English medieval nobleman best known for taking part in the rebellion with his nephew Henry Percy, known as 'Harry Hotspur', and brother Northumberland .-Lineage:...

. At the end of these military actions, and specifically with the taking of Ferrol, the Duke controlled the whole Kingdom of Galicia, as reported in the chronicles of Jean Froissart
Jean Froissart
Jean Froissart , often referred to in English as John Froissart, was one of the most important chroniclers of medieval France. For centuries, Froissart's Chronicles have been recognized as the chief expression of the chivalric revival of the 14th century Kingdom of England and France...

, stating «avoient mis en leur obeissance tout le roiaulme de Gallice».

This initial success came to an end when plague decimated the English army in Galicia during 1386 and 1387. Later, in 1387, together with the Portuguese, he launched an unsuccessfully assault into the dry landscapes of Castile; finally John was forced to negotiate with John I of Castile
John I of Castile
John I was the king of Crown of Castile, was the son of Henry II and of his wife Juana Manuel of Castile, daughter of Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena, head of a younger branch of the royal house of Castile...

. In their 1388 peace treaty, the Duke of Lancaster and Constance of Castile renounced their claim to Castile in exchange for monetary compensation, and a marriage alliance between their daughter and the son and heir of Henry II, the future Henry III of Castile
Henry III of Castile
Henry III KG , sometimes known as Henry the Sufferer or Henry the Infirm , was the son of John I and Eleanor of Aragon, and succeeded him as King of the Castilian Crown in 1390....

. The withdrawal of the English armies brought an end to the attempts of the Galician nobility and the town councils to bring about secession of Galicia from the Crown of Castile.

The 15th century



After the defeat of the loyalist party, with their leaders consequently exiled in Portugal or dead abroad, king Henry II and John I
John I of Castile
John I was the king of Crown of Castile, was the son of Henry II and of his wife Juana Manuel of Castile, daughter of Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena, head of a younger branch of the royal house of Castile...

 introduced a series of foreign noble houses in Galicia as tenants of important fiefs. The important County of Trastámara, ancient dominions of the Traba and Castro houses, was given first to Pedro Eníquez de Castro, nephew of King Henry II; later, in 1440 it was divided in the two counties of Trastamara and Lemos, and given to the Osorio house of the frontier lands of Bierzo. In the South some important concession was given to the Sarmento family, which on time would possess the job of Adelantado Mayor of the Kingdom of Galicia as a family legacy; and to the Pimentel of Benavente
Benavente
Benavente may refer to: Benavente, Portugal— a municipality in Portugal Benavente, Zamora— a municipality in Zamora province, Spain Benavente, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico one of the five Barrios that make up Hormigueros.As a surname...

. Some of these families, most notably the Osorio as Counts of Lemos, would become during the 16th and 17th centuries the most influential defenders of any Galician cause. But during the 15th century, in the absence of a solid leadership as those exercised in the past by the archbishop of Santiago or by the Counts of Trastámara, the Kingdom of Galicia was reduced to a set of semi-independent and rival fiefdoms, militarily important, but with little political influence abroad.

The 15th century was characterized by the rapacity of these and other local noble houses (among others, the Moscoso in western Galicia, the Andrade
Andrade
Originally, the name Andrade could have come from any of numerous places of the same name in Galicia or northern Portugal and several Andrade are known from documents dating back to the 12th century. Most likely, however, it originated in the small fief of San Martiño de Andrade Originally, the...

 in the North, the Soutomaior in the South and West, the Ulloa in central Galicia) each one directed by the heir of the lineage, not unusually a woman. The houses, and their minor knights and squires, tried to acquire every type of economic and jurisdictional title (usually as encomendeiros, that is, protectors) over towns and cities, monasteries, bishoprics, and even over royal properties, towns and territories. Castles and mottes were used all along Galicia to hold and keep the noblemen's armies, and as outposts for raiding enemies and victims. The noblemen frequently fought each other for the possession of these strongholds.

We obey that letters (…) but regarding the fulfillment of what we are asked, we say that what these letters demand of us is very burdensome, and it would be impossible for us to accomplish it (…) There were not called the deputies of this Kingdom of Galicia, most notably those of the cities (…) For in this Kingdom there is an archbishopric, four bishoprics, and other towns and places of our lord the Prince, and of three Counties, and of many other great knights; and it would be very accomplishing and very necessary for the King and for this Kingdom to invoke its deputies.
Letter of the City Council of Ourense
Ourense
Ourense is a city in northwestern Spain, the capital of the province of the same name in Galicia. Its population of 108,674 accounts for 30% of the population of the province and makes it the third largest city of Galicia.-Population:...

 to the King, 1454.

Similar conflict were frequent between city councils and the Church, even occasioning the dead of the bishop of Lugo in 1403, and the bishop of Ourense in 1419. All these wars, together with the thievery exert by bandits, created a climate of violence, war, and insecurity all along Galicia. These practices were possible and successful partly because of the remoteness of the King: during the whole 15th century no monarch ever come to visit Galicia, except for the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

 in 1486. This absence on one hand transformed the King in a remote ideal of Justice, whilst in the other affirmed the sensation of impunity and defencelessness among the inhabitants of the Kingdom.

The remoteness of the monarch is also notorious in the Kingdom of Galicia having lost his vote in the Cortes (Parliament) sometime during the late 14th or early 15th centuries. In 1423, in the absence of other Galician cities, the city of Zamora (located in León, but historically linked to Galicia) asked to be treated accordingly with its claimed condition of capital of the Kingdom of Galicia, honour which was recognised to the city, with their deputies sitting next to the monarch at his right. Till 1640 Zamora represented the Kingdom of Galicia in the Cortes, usually against the will and the advice of the Galician cities.

Under this difficult circumstances, with constant wars, conflicts and unpunished crimes, the cities of Galicia, which progressively acquired a leading role during this century, entered in a period of fiscal untowardness in between 1430 and 1460; they refused to pay certain taxes to the King (John II
John II of Castile
John II was King of Castile from 1406 to 1454.He was the son of Henry III of Castile and his wife Catherine of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster by Constance of Castile, daughter of King Peter of Castile.-Regency:He succeeded his father on 25 December 1406, at the age of...

 and Henry IV
Henry IV of Castile
Henry IV , King of the Crown of Castile, nicknamed the Impotent , was the last of the weak late medieval kings of Castile...

) because of the many and onerous services the Kingdom rendered to the King; because of the absence of justice which had led to the economic destruction of the Kingdom: Due to the decline of thy justice and thou not having remedied this (…) thou have a great burden in thy conscience; and because of the absence of Galician deputies in the Parliament to defend the interests of the Kingdom

Irmandinhos Wars


During the entire 15th century, a time of social and economical crisis all along Europe, the violence grew in a series of wars and insurrection that perturbed all of the Kingdom of Galicia; these insurrections were replies to the violence exerted by the bishops and the noblemen on the churchmen, artisans and peasants. The insurgents usually were organized in irmandades
Hermandad
Hermandad, literally "brotherhood" in Spanish, was a peacekeeping association of armed individuals, which became characteristic of municipal life in medieval Spain, especially in Castile....

 (meaning 'brotherhoods'), groups of men who in exceptional circumstances, and allegedly with the King's approval, armed themselves to act as a policemen in defence of peace and justice.

A brotherhood was established in Compostela in 1418, taking advantage of the temporal absence of the archbishop, and violently taking hold of the city in 1422, overruling the City Council. Another one, called Fusquenlla or 'The Mad Brotherhood', rose up in the north of the kingdom against the House of Andrade
Andrade
Originally, the name Andrade could have come from any of numerous places of the same name in Galicia or northern Portugal and several Andrade are known from documents dating back to the 12th century. Most likely, however, it originated in the small fief of San Martiño de Andrade Originally, the...

. The armies of the brotherhood, directed by the lesser nobleman Roi Xordo, were finally defeated by the Andrade's armies by the gates of Compostela in 1431. Later, in 1453, the troops of the bishop of Ourense and that of the Council of the city fought fiercely for the possession of the local castles, even using tronos (cannons, literally 'thunders'), and forcing the bishop into the exile. In 1458 a brotherhood was established bringing together some important noblemen (the House of Moscoso and Sueiro Gomes de Soutomaior among others) and the cities and towns of Compostela, Noia
Noia
Noia is a town and municipality in Galicia, Spain. It has a population of 14,947 inhabitants , being situated in the Province of A Coruña, some 20 miles west of Santiago de Compostela near the mouth of the Tambre river....

, and Muros
Muros
Muros is a fictional character from the Philippine telefantasyes Encantadia and Etheria. He was second in command to Aquil in Encantadia and took over his role as the head of the Lirean army when the latter was killed during the final battle in the original series...

, against the archbishop of Santiago, who was first caught as a prisoner, being kept and paraded in a cage for two years, later being banished for ten years after their supporters had paid an onerous rescue. Similar revolts were producing all along the kingdom, in Betanzos
Betanzos
Betanzos is a municipality in Galicia, Spain, in the Province of A Coruña. In Roman times Betanzos was called Carunium or Brigantium. During the Medieval period the settlement was known as Carunio....

, Viveiro
Viveiro
Viveiro is a town and municipality in the province of Lugo, in the northwestern Galician autonomous community of Spain. It borders on the Cantabric Sea, to the west of Xove and to the east of O Vicedo...

, Lugo
Lugo
Lugo is a city in northwestern Spain, in the autonomous community of Galicia. It is the capital of the province of Lugo. The municipality had a population of 97,635 in 2010, which makes is the fourth most populated city in Galicia.-Population:...

 and Allariz
Allariz
The town of Allariz is in the province of Ourense, Autonomous Community of Galicia, Spain. It occupies the center of the western half of the province, connecting with the towns of Taboadela, Paderne, Sandiás, Vilar de Santos, Rairiz de Veiga, Xunqueira de Ambía, A Merca and A Bola...

. All of these Galician brotherhoods acted autonomously, sometimes even against King's will and direct orders.

In 1465 the Crown of Castile was again in crisis, with King Henry IV
Henry IV of Castile
Henry IV , King of the Crown of Castile, nicknamed the Impotent , was the last of the weak late medieval kings of Castile...

 under siege by Castilian noblemen who were supporting an aristocratic candidate to the throne. Henry reacted sending letters all around the realm, calling for the establishment of brotherhoods to defend the status quo. From 1465 to 1467 local brotherhoods were organized all along Galicia, gaining the adhesion of churchmen, artisans, peasants, and some noblemen.

In the spring of 1467 a General Council of the Kingdom of Galicia (Junta General do Reyno de Galizia) was held in Melide. After an angry debate it was decided that noblemen should deliver all of their strongholds and castles to the officials of the Irmandade, resulting in many assistant noblemen fleeing to exile, while others resisted the armies of the Irmandiños ('little brothers'), only to be slowly beaten back into Castile and Portugal; as described by a contemporary, 'the sparrows pursued the falcons'. For the rest of the year the armies of the Brotherhood marched all over Galicia, fighting the lords and demolishing tens of strongholds.

From 1467 to 1469 the Kingdom of Galicia was governed by the Irmandade, directed by the city dwellers, whilst its armies—composed mostly of armed peasants—were commanded by sympathizing noblemen, as the veteran soldiers they were. General Councils of the Kingdom were later held in Betanzos
Betanzos
Betanzos is a municipality in Galicia, Spain, in the Province of A Coruña. In Roman times Betanzos was called Carunium or Brigantium. During the Medieval period the settlement was known as Carunio....

 and Santiago de Compostela in 1467, in Lugo in 1468, and in Ourense in 1469. But in autumn of 1469 the exiled noblemen, joining forces, marched into Galicia: Pedro Alvares de Soutomaior entered from Portugal with gunmen and mercenaries; the archbishop Fonseca of Compostela from Zamora; and the Count of Lemos from Ponferrada
Ponferrada
Ponferrada is a city in the province of León, Castile and León, Spain. It lies on the Sil River, a tributary of the river Miño, in the El Bierzo valley, completely surrounded by mountains. It is the last major town along the French route of the Way of St. James before it reaches its destination...

. Meanwhile, other noblemen who had resisted inside the Kingdom also pushed forward. In 1469 and 1470 the Irmandiño armies were defeated all along the Country, except in some well defended cities such as A Coruña.

After the defeat of the Brotherhood, the noblemen, regaining their states and granting themselves sonorous titles ordered the reconstructions of a number of strongholds, usually using the rebels as labour force. This same year of 1470 the noblemen assigned a pact of mutual help, which supposed the beginning of a long war against the archbishop of Santiago, were Pedro Alvarez de Soutomaior, called Pedro Madruga, turned as the leader of the nobility.

The situation of the Kingdom of Galicia in 1473 is described by a noblemen in his last will:

Catholic Monarchs


“The archbishop [Alfonso II de Fonseca] did a great service for the King when against the will of that whole Kingdom [of Galicia], being everyone in resistance, the archbishop received the Hermandad in Santiago; and in one day he made the Hermandad to be received and proclaimed from the Minho
Minho River
The Minho or Miño is the longest river in Galicia, Spain, with an extension of 340 km.Both names come from Latin Minius...

 till the Sea, which was as investing the King and Queen as lords of that Kingdom”
Annales de Aragón by Jerónimo Zurita, Book XIX.46
“It was then when the taming of Galicia began, because not just the local lords and knights, but all the people of that nation were the ones against the others very bold and warlike”
Annales de Aragon, XIX.69.

At the dead of Henry IV in 1474 civil war broke between his daughters, Joanna and Isabella
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

. Isabella had married her cousin Fernando II of Aragon, being supported by Aragonese and Catalans, while Joanna married the king of Portugal Afonso V
Afonso V of Portugal
Afonso V KG , called the African , was the twelfth King of Portugal and the Algarves. His sobriquet refers to his conquests in Northern Africa.-Early life:...

, so obtaining this country's support. In Galicia archbishop Fonseca sided with Isabella, while Pedro Álvarez de Soutomaior
Pedro Madruga
Pedro Álvarez de Soutomaior, popularly known as Pedro Madruga , was one of the most notable figures of Medieval Galicia and an example of the typical European feudal knight....

, who had large interests in Portugal and in southern Galicia, took a stand for Joanna, being rewarded by the king of Portugal with the title of Count of Caminha
Caminha
Caminha is a municipality in the north-west of Portugal, 21 km north from Viana do Castelo, located in the Viana do Castelo District.The municipality has a total area of 137.4 km² and 16,839 inhabitants ....

. Notwithstanding, most noblemen behaved cautiously, awaiting to join the winner's side.

In October 1476 Fonseca launched against the well defended city of Pontevedra
Pontevedra
Pontevedra is a city in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula. It is the capital of both the comarca and province of Pontevedra, in Galicia . It is also the capital of its own municipality which is, in fact, often considered as an extension of the actual city...

, held by Pedro Madruga, an army composed of 200 lancers and 5000 infantrymen, with no effect, while a Basque navy commanded by Ladrón de Guevara took Baiona and assaulted Viveiro
Viveiro
Viveiro is a town and municipality in the province of Lugo, in the northwestern Galician autonomous community of Spain. It borders on the Cantabric Sea, to the west of Xove and to the east of O Vicedo...

; but the tenacity of Pedro resulted in a draw. In 1479, the armies of Fonseca moved south again, against Pedro Madruga, and after a series of battles forced the Count of Caminha into Portugal, although Tui
Tui, Galicia
Tui , in Spanish Tuy, is a town in Galicia , in the province of Pontevedra. It is located on the left bank of the Minho River, facing the Portuguese town of Valença....

, Salvaterra de Miño
Salvaterra de Miño
Salvaterra de Miño is a municipality in Galicia, Spain in the province of Pontevedra. The Municipality is located on the southern border of the province of Pontevedra, at the confluence of the valleys of the rivers Tea and Miño, and by the natural limits of the Sierra de Cañiza...

 and other towns and strongholds were still held by his people and their Portuguese allies. In 1480, a peace treaty recognised Isabella and Fernando, the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

, as queen and king. By the peace treaty with Portugal and Juana, all the enemies of Isabel, and namely Pedro Madruga, were granted pardon.

This same year, and against the advise of Galician nobility, the Catholic monarchs sent to Galicia a Castilian police and military corps, the Santa Hermandad, soon criticised not only as an institution composed mostly by foreigners, but also as a heavy burden to the local economy, raising and consuming more than 6 million maravedi per year—the budget of Columbus' first journey to America was of just 2 million maravedi—whilst also becoming growingly unpopular due to its arbitrariness and rudeness with the local inhabitants.

This corps, reinforced with mercenary troops and under the pretension of pacifying the country and getting rid of adventurers and thieves, was also used as field army at the service of the policies of the monarchs. As personal representatives, the Catholic Monarchs also sent a new plenipotentiary Governor of the Kingdom of Galicia—an office first established in 1475—and a Justiçia Mayor (Attorney general), together with a series of other officials and collection agents. They also appointed royal aldermen in some of the cities and towns.

From 1480 to 1485, the Santa Hermandad and the new official, endorsed with local supporters, worked jointly harassing economically and militarily the noblemen, who were largely against the new order impulsed by the Monarchs. But the resistance was ended with the dead of their leader, the Count of Lemos, together with the wars fought and gained against Marshal Pardo de Cela and Count Pedro Madruga; the first one was beheaded in Mondoñedo in 1483, whilst Pedro was deposed in 1485 by his own son, Álvaro, a long shot to save the lineage of Soutomaior.

The establishment in 1500 of the Real Audiencia del Reino de Galicia (a permanent royal tribunal), and later the forced reformation and submission of the Galician monasteries to the Castilian ones, represented the integration de facto of the Kingdom of Galicia in the Crown of Castile.

Modern age



The Junta or General Assembly of the Kingdom



The Junta, Junta General, Juntas, or Cortes of the Kingdom of Galicia was the representative assembly
Representative assembly
A representative assembly is a political institution in which a number of persons representing the population or privileged orders within the population of a state come together to debate, negotiate with the executive and legislate...

 of the Kingdom from the 15th century, when it originated as a general assembly of all the powers of Galicia aimed at the constitution of hermandades (brotherhood), and until 1834, when the Kingdom and its General Assembly were officially disbanded by a Royal decree.

Initially the Juntas Generales was an assembly where representatives of the three states of the Kingdom (noblemen, churchmen, and the commoners) met, but it soon followed the evolution prompted by the King in other representative institutions, such as the Cortes
Cortes
Cortes is surname of Spanish and Portuguese origin. Cortes or Cortés may also refer to:-Institutions:* The Cortes , the national legislative assembly of Spain...

 of Castile, becoming the assembly monopolized by the bourgeoisie
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

 and lesser nobility (fidalgos
Hidalgo
Hidalgo officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Hidalgo is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 84 municipalities and its capital city is Pachuca de Soto....

), who controlled most of the local councils
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 of the cities and towns of the Kingdom, and at the expenses of Church and nobility. From 1599 the composition of the assembly became fixed and reduced to just seven deputies, each one representing one of the Kingdom provinces, and appointed by the local council of the province's capital —Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

, A Coruña
A Coruña
A Coruña or La Coruña is a city and municipality of Galicia, Spain. It is the second-largest city in the autonomous community and seventeenth overall in the country...

, Betanzos
Betanzos
Betanzos is a municipality in Galicia, Spain, in the Province of A Coruña. In Roman times Betanzos was called Carunium or Brigantium. During the Medieval period the settlement was known as Carunio....

, Lugo
Lugo
Lugo is a city in northwestern Spain, in the autonomous community of Galicia. It is the capital of the province of Lugo. The municipality had a population of 97,635 in 2010, which makes is the fourth most populated city in Galicia.-Population:...

, Mondoñedo
Mondoñedo
Mondoñedo is a small town and municipality in the Galician province of Lugo, Spain. , the town has a population of 4,508. Mondoñedo occupies a sheltered valley among the northern outliers of the Cantabrian Mountains.-History:...

, Ourense
Ourense
Ourense is a city in northwestern Spain, the capital of the province of the same name in Galicia. Its population of 108,674 accounts for 30% of the population of the province and makes it the third largest city of Galicia.-Population:...

, and Tui
Tui
As a noun, Tui may refer to:* Tu'i , a title of nobility in Polynesia and some of Melanesia* Tui Awards, New Zealand's annual music industry awards* Tui , a brand of New Zealand beer produced by Tui Breweries...

— from among its members. Other towns, namely Viveiro
Viveiro
Viveiro is a town and municipality in the province of Lugo, in the northwestern Galician autonomous community of Spain. It borders on the Cantabric Sea, to the west of Xove and to the east of O Vicedo...

 and Pontevedra
Pontevedra
Pontevedra is a city in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula. It is the capital of both the comarca and province of Pontevedra, in Galicia . It is also the capital of its own municipality which is, in fact, often considered as an extension of the actual city...

, tried during the 17th and 18th century to regain a direct representative in the assembly, to no effect.

The Junta have no direct intervention in law making, and were permitted little control on the Royal administration, but it could nevertheless rise armies, ships and taxes, conceding or denying the King's petitions on behalf of the local powers of the Kingdom, and it could also petition the King directly, being recognized as the voice and representative of the Kingdom and the depositary of its will, traditions and rights (foros). Notwithstanding, the King never consented on the petition of the assembly to meet at will, and from 1637 he decreed that the meetings of the assembly can only take place when in presence of one representative of the monarch, with voice, usually the Governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

-Captain General
Captain General
Captain general is a high military rank and a gubernatorial title.-History:This term Captain General started to appear in the 14th century, with the meaning of commander in chief of an army in the field, probably the first usage of the term General in military settings...

 of the Kingdom, so trying to maintain a tighter grip on the institution and its agreements.

As a reaction of the abdication of king Ferdinand VII in favour of Napoleon, the Junta declared itself sovereign and supreme authority of the Kingdom in June 18th, 1808, during the Peninsular war
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

, becoming so the legitimate and de facto government of the Kingdom until Galicia was conquered by the Napoleonic troops in 1809. At the effect of having a broader base and representativeness, it briefly admitted among its members churchmen (the bishop of Ourense
Ourense
Ourense is a city in northwestern Spain, the capital of the province of the same name in Galicia. Its population of 108,674 accounts for 30% of the population of the province and makes it the third largest city of Galicia.-Population:...

) and titled noblemen.

Policies of Philip II (1556–1598)



In 1556, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 abdicated the throne and divided his realm between his brother Ferdinand I of Habsburg, and his son Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

. In practice this resulted in the disappearance of the European empire of the Habsburgs and the idea of a universal Catholic monarchy. Ferdinand was declared Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 and king of Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 and Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, while Philip inherited the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 and Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 and Castile, including the Kingdom of Galicia.

The 42-year reign of Philip II was noted from the beginning by war—against the Netherlands, France, England, Portugal and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

—motivated by the personal ambition of the monarch, who tried not only to avoid the loss of his domains, but to expand it. He created a battlefield across the Atlantic and northern Europe that had not only disastrous consequences for the Galician economy, but also for the society and people of the Kingdom of Galicia.


With his private crusade against the Lutherans, the Catholic monarchy prevented the participation of the Kingdom of Galicia in the three most important revolutionary processes of the age, the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, the opening up of the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

, and the Scientific revolution
Scientific revolution
The Scientific Revolution is an era associated primarily with the 16th and 17th centuries during which new ideas and knowledge in physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and chemistry transformed medieval and ancient views of nature and laid the foundations for modern science...

. In 1562, Philip II deployed the Holy Office, via the Spanish Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

, in the Kingdom of Galicia, after the failure of Charles V's attempts to do so due to the opposition of the Galician clergy.

The Inquisition was an instrument of cultural and religious repression without precedent, which began operating in Portugal from 1575, led by the Castilian Inquisitor Quijano del Mercado. The Inquisition's stated aim was to prevent the "contamination" of the Kingdom of Galicia by the reformist ideas of the Lutherans, which arrived in Galicia via English, Dutch and French traders. This situation also had serious commercial consequences, because one of the tasks of the Inquisition was to review the merchant ships, requiring them to receive visitation rights and condemning to be burned at the stake
Burned at the Stake
Burned at the Stake is a 1981 film directed by Bert I. Gordon. It stars Susan Swift and Albert Salmi.-Cast:*Susan Swift as Loreen Graham / Ann Putnam*Albert Salmi as Captaiin Billingham*Guy Stockwell as Dr. Grossinger*Tisha Sterling as Karen Graham...

 any sailors likely to be Protestant. The Inquisition even went as far as proposing the closure of all Galician seaports to avoid religious assimilation. Such measures eventually exceeded the patience of the inhabitants of cities like A Coruña, where in 1589 the city requested the end of inquisitorial activity at the seaport due to the serious reduction of maritime traffic in the city in this period.

"Rodrigo Montero, cleric, priest and rector of the Fort of San Felipe ... declared that ... the armies of the King our Lord (Philip II), have stayed here in winter and summer in the seaport town of Ferrol ... have done great harms to the residents of the town of Ferrol ... as they (the Spanish troops) took the houses where Ferrol people lived and the troops forced them to leave it and look for others ... troops have removed and cut the vines and breaking civilian's walls ... also razed and felled the forests and wood in people's forests ... took by force the boats to the inhabitants of the said town of Ferrol and the troops forced them to recruit and work for them without payment ... these services didn't allow the Ferrol's men go fishing and feed their wives and children and ... the troops also ate and destroyed the fruits of their trees and cabbages, vegetables and turnips and more lelgumbres of their orchards ... stole them also wood tabals from the civilians houses got repairing their vessels and the benefit of the said vessels ... |- (Rodrigo Montero, 2 September 1603)


Philip II's reign saw the continuation of the expulsion of the Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 from May 30, 1492, linguistic
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 persecution (from 1566 the adoption of Castilian was enforced, and the use of Arabic was punished by the Crown), and religious persecutions effectively constituted ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

. For example, in Alpujarra in the Kingdom of Granada in 1568, which was at the time led by self-proclaimed Granadian king Muhammad ibn Umayya, was ordered the forced dispersal of 80,000 Granadian Muslims throughout the realm, and the introduction of Christians in their place. Thousands of Galician families were sent to Granada for that purpose between the years 1572–77, with many of them dying in the process.

In the field of war, the militarization motivated by the war against the Netherlands, which was largely a strategic battle used to garner support for the crown, contrasted with the lack of defence in Galicia resulting from the Catholic Monarchs removing the Galician strongholds to prevent a revolt of the kingdom. Thus, in 1580 the Board of the Kingdom of Galicia requested troops for Philip II to defend the coast, just months after a strong military recruitment had taken place. However these troops were not used to protect the kingdom, but instead to attack Portugal in to try to put Philip on the Portuguese throne.

Despite claims to the contrary, the military campaign against Portugal was not carried out by professional soldiers billeted at A Coruña, Ferrol, or Baiona, and was not paid by the crown, but was rather conducted by ill-equipped peasant troops, and paid for by Galician nobles such as Pedro Fernandes de Castro II, the Count of Monterrei, Gaspar de Zúñiga e Azevedo, and others. The war against England (1585–1604), motivated by the traditional English support of Portugal and Holland, also had disastrous consequences for the Kingdom of Galicia. This was due to both the disruption of trade relations with northern Europe, which since the Middle Ages had provided enormous wealth to the kingdom, and also by the onset of constant attacks by England in order to end the maritime expeditions sent by Philip II as the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
This article refers to the Battle of Gravelines, for the modern navy of Spain, see Spanish NavyThe Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English...

 in 1588.

The outcome of these royal policies was the complete ruin of Galician villages such as Ferrol, where the civilians were ruined due to the expulsion from their homes by Philip's soldiers, who seized all their crops and property, and drove the fishermen into forced labor. Towns like A Coruña also suffered constant attacks by the English fleet, such as by Francis Drake
Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He also carried out the...

 in 1589, with the cities being protected by civilians troops and heroic people as Maria Pita
Maria Pita
María Mayor Fernández de Cámara y Pita , known as María Pita, was a Spanish heroine of the defense of Corunna in 1589 against the English Armada.-Biography:María Pita was married four times and had two children...

.

The last Habsburgs (1598-1700)



The death of Philip II in 1598 didn't change the socio-political future of Galicia, but the worsening insecurity and poverty in the kingdom. Although the reign of Philip III of Spain
Philip III of Spain
Philip III , also known as Philip the Pious, was the King of Spain and King of Portugal and the Algarves, where he ruled as Philip II , from 1598 until his death...

 (1598-1621) was marked by a more conciliatory foreign policy and peaceful than that of his father, however, in general the 17th century (reigns of Philip IV and Charles II) was witnessed of dramatical wars between the Habsburg´s territories against Holland, England, France and especially Portugal, which had a remarkable social and economic impact in Galicia.

Thus, while the conflicts against the Ottomans had a great impact in the kingdom with the devastating attack in the Rias Baixas in 1617, the unpopular war against Portugal (1640-1668) and the war waged by the Habsburg monarchs against the Netherlands for decades, accounted a constant bleeding of Galician peasants, who were sent to the war front from the Atlantic seaports. Fray Felipe de la Gandara, official chronicler of the kingdom of Galicia complained that during 25 years (between the years 1624 and 1659), "the kingdom of Galicia has served for now during the glorious reign of His Majesty (Philip IV) until the year 1659 with more than 68,000 men and 18,001,000 ducats".

The war effects also made ​​the point in the economy, the kingdom continued suffering a trade serious paralysis with all its Atlantic traditional customers; England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

, and even particularly serious with its main customer, Portugal, whose border had been closed for over three decades due to war with what the Habsburgs sought to avoid the independence of the Portuguese kingdom.

The provisions of the Spanish monarchs against trading timber in the kingdom, also contributed to deepen the crisis. With the imposition a new (and controversial) administrative figure; the juez de plantíos y dehesas ("judge of forests and plantings") the Castilian Council
Council of Castile
The Council of Castile , known earlier as the Royal Council , was a ruling body and key part of the domestic government of the Crown of Castile, second only to the monarch himself. It was established under Queen Isabella I in 1480 as the chief body dealing with administrative and judicial matters...

 reclaimed the economical rights in the Galician forest holdings for the construction warships dedicated to the war. While the Galicia inhabitants came to be arrested for the simple collection of firewood to heat their houses as he denounced the Galicia Council (Junta del Reyno de Galicia).

Restoration of voting at the Council of Castile (1623)



From the reign of King John II of Castile
John II of Castile
John II was King of Castile from 1406 to 1454.He was the son of Henry III of Castile and his wife Catherine of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster by Constance of Castile, daughter of King Peter of Castile.-Regency:He succeeded his father on 25 December 1406, at the age of...

, the kingdom of Galicia was no longer involved in the Crown Council, and from about 1476 Zamora
Zamora, Spain
Zamora is a city in Castile and León, Spain, the capital of the province of Zamora. It lies on a rocky hill in the northwest, near the frontier with Portugal and crossed by the Duero river, which is some 50 km downstream as it reaches the Portuguese frontier...

 in León acted on behalf of Galicia in the assembly of the Crown of Castile. However, from 1518 the Galician cities and towns began to demand to regain their legitimate voting in the Council of Castile
Council of Castile
The Council of Castile , known earlier as the Royal Council , was a ruling body and key part of the domestic government of the Crown of Castile, second only to the monarch himself. It was established under Queen Isabella I in 1480 as the chief body dealing with administrative and judicial matters...

, and rejected the Zamoran leaders speaking for them.

The recovery of their voting rights at the Council of Castile was a goal shared by the Galician aristocracy and the kingdom's oligarchs
Oligarchy
Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, commercial, and/or military legitimacy...

. In 1520 the Archbishop of Santiago, Afonso III da Fonseca, and the Counts of Benavente and Andrade complained about it during the celebration of the Castilian Council in the Galician capital, Compostela, but to no avail. The involvement of Galician elites achieved an assembly between nobles and prelates of the kingdom in the town of Melide in central Galicia on December 4, 1520. This was headed by Afonso III da Fonseca, and they sent a new demand to the emperor on the subject of the vote, however Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 again refused to give Galicia an independent voice.

Quando eu non tibera a obrigaçon que o mundo save pola nobreça que en Vmd coñeço o fijera A esos meus señores seus fillos de Vmd e primos meus ueyjo infinitas ueçes as mans e deus os faga en to do seus fillos de Vmd e de miña señora Dona Costança. A quens garde noso señor como eu seu criado desejo. Çamora, oje, sabado. Seu sobriño de Vmd. Don Juan de Lanços y de Andrade
Year 1598. Sent to Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, this letter is one of the few witnesses in Galician language
Galician language
Galician is a language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Castilian Spanish, as well as in border zones of the neighbouring territories of Asturias and Castile and León.Modern Galician and...

 during the 17th century.


A year after the emperor's refusal, the Galician city council took a new initiative, and in 1557 the kingdom representation offered 20,000 ducats to demand its vote in the Castilian Council. This aspiration was put to successive meetings, until in 1599 the kingdom's audience accepted the Galician cities' demands, and agreed to negotiate exclusively that subject. Two delegations were chosen to go to Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, but the new economic offer was rejected.

However, as of 1621, there arose circumstances that led to the success of the Galician aspirations. The monarchy needed the political and financial cooperation of their kingdoms in order to sustain their war efforts, following the end of twelve years of truce. The oligarchy and the Galician city councils were able to seize that occasion, and despite the resistance of Zamora
Zamora, Spain
Zamora is a city in Castile and León, Spain, the capital of the province of Zamora. It lies on a rocky hill in the northwest, near the frontier with Portugal and crossed by the Duero river, which is some 50 km downstream as it reaches the Portuguese frontier...

, and the eagerness of other cities with exclusionary voting at the Courts, the Crown sacrificed political expediency for the sake of military necessity, and in 1623 the kingdom of Galicia regained the vote, dependant upon paying 100,000 ducats to build a navy to defend its own coastline. The influence of Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, Count Gondomar, was crucial to the success of this action, and Philip IV
Philip IV of Spain
Philip IV was King of Spain between 1621 and 1665, sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands, and King of Portugal until 1640...

 signed the resolution on October 13, 1623.

The Enlightenment (1746–88)


Not a few times I thought which was the reason why in Galicia has introduced the use or abuse of writing in Castilian, ... who have introduced it? ... Not the Galicians, but the Foreigners (Castilians) who in the early sixteenth century flooded the Kingdom of Galicia, not to cultivate their lands, but to eat the best flesh and blood, and to receive the best jobs, such as ecclesiastical as civil, they have been, not knowing the Galician language, nor by word or in writing, have introduced the monstrosity of writing in Castilian, for a people that speaks just the pure Galician.
Year 1762. "Obra de los 660 Pliegos". Martín Sarmiento
Martín Sarmiento
Martín Sarmiento or Martiño Sarmiento, also Father Sarmiento , was a Spanish scholar, writer and Benedictine monk, illustrious representative of the Enlightenment in Spain.He wrote on a wide variety of subjects, including Literature, Medicine, Botany,...

.


During the 18th century, like in other European kingdoms, arose a movement representing a new interest in empirical ideas, in philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, political economy
Political economy
Political economy originally was the term for studying production, buying, and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as with the distribution of national income and wealth, including through the budget process. Political economy originated in moral philosophy...

, and science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

s such as physics, chemistry, and biology—what today is named the Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

. In this context began a process of construction and a recovery of consciousness of the historical personality, the cultural and economic diversity of the Kingdom of Galicia due to important Galician Enlightenment writers who knew Galicia as a differentiated society, and as a kingdom with special needs.
In the vast task of modernizing the kingdom to use to best advantage their human and natural resources, the Galician societies and academies played a prominent role, such as the Academy of Agriculture of the Kingdom of Galicia (inaugurated on January 20, 1765), The Economic Society of Friends of the Kingdom of Galicia (February 15, 1784), and the Societies of Friends of the Country to Santiago de Compostela (1784) and Lugo (1785), as well as ambitious proposals such as the Royal Fishermen´s Pawnshop of the Kingdom of Galicia (1775).

The Enlightenment writers were the first to denounce the difficulties of the kingdom, most of them arising from the negative politics that the kingdom suffered by the Catholic Monarchs and the Habsburgs´ polities. They began reporting on the state of roads, the unnecessary imports, the mass emigration, the linguistic acculturation polities, and the economic marginalization of the kingdom. Due to their demands, they achieved, among others successes, the constitution of a Maritime and Land Consulate in A Coruña, allowing to the Galicia to trade with the American colonies.

In the enormous contribution to language and culture of the kingdom, two ecclesiastics stand out, Benito Jerónimo Feijóo y Montenegro and Martín Sarmiento
Martín Sarmiento
Martín Sarmiento or Martiño Sarmiento, also Father Sarmiento , was a Spanish scholar, writer and Benedictine monk, illustrious representative of the Enlightenment in Spain.He wrote on a wide variety of subjects, including Literature, Medicine, Botany,...

. Montenegro was the first to denounce the misery of the Galician peasants, proposing changes in the administration of the kingdom. Sarmiento, with extensive knowledge of botany
Botany
Botany, plant science, or plant biology is a branch of biology that involves the scientific study of plant life. Traditionally, botany also included the study of fungi, algae and viruses...

 and natural medicines, devoted himself to philology
Philology
Philology is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history and linguistics.Classical philology is the philology of Greek and Classical Latin...

; he wrote the Catalogue of voices and phrases of the Galician language (1745–1755), and was a great defender of the Galician language
Galician language
Galician is a language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Castilian Spanish, as well as in border zones of the neighbouring territories of Asturias and Castile and León.Modern Galician and...

, defending it against those who tried discredit it. Economic themes were also highlighted by other Galician aristocrats, such as Joseph Cornide Saavedra, Pedro Antonio Sánchez, and Lucas Labrada, as well as ecclesiastics like Francisco de Castro, and merchants like Antonio Raimundo Ibáñez. They were all authors of many works of vital importance in economic development, such Report on sardine fishing off the coast of Galicia (1774), and the Economic description of the Kingdom of Galicia (1804).

XIXth century


The Kingdom of Galicia and the Junta continued to formally exist until the State Liberal Reform of 1833, at the time of the provincial division under the regency of María Cristina
Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies
Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies was Queen consort of Spain and Regent of Spain .-Early years and first marriage:...

. Galicia regained its territorial unity for twenty-four days by the constitution of the Junta de Gobierno de Galicia following a liberal armed uprising in 1846, the Mártires de Carral, but never regained the status of a kingdom.

Symbols of the kingdom



The purple lion


The custom of painting symbols such as the heraldic
Heraldry
Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms. Heraldry comes from Anglo-Norman herald, from the Germanic compound harja-waldaz, "army commander"...

 shields of war was forged in the battlefields of Europe after the middle decades of the 12th century, due to a confluence of circumstances of different natures. One was the need to differentiate between allies and adversaries on the battlefield, partly due to facial protection in medieval helmets obscuring the combatant's faces, but also due to the high ornamental value of decorated shields with bright, crisp, and alternate shapes in the context of the chivalrous
Chivalry
Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood which has an aristocratic military origin of individual training and service to others. Chivalry was also the term used to refer to a group of mounted men-at-arms as well as to martial valour...

 society.

The first heraldic signs were used by kings as a personal mark to identify himself. Shortly after they began to be shared by the upper social levels close to the royalty, and finally were used to represent the territory in which they exercised their jurisdiction, the kingdom.

One of the first kings in Europe who made use of a heraldic emblem was the Leonese king, Alphonse VII
Alfonso VII of León
Alfonso VII , born Alfonso Raimúndez, called the Emperor , became the King of Galicia in 1111 and King of León and Castile in 1126. Alfonso first used the title Emperor of All Spain, alongside his mother Urraca, once his mother vested him with the direct rule of Toledo in 1116...

. At the beginning of the 12th century he began timidly using a purple lion
Lion
The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger...

 in accordance with its ancient symbolism, as Leo Fortis, the "strong lion", symbolized power and primacy of the monarch, but would also have represented a punning reference
Canting arms
Canting arms are heraldic bearings that represent the bearer's name in a visual pun or rebus. The term cant came into the English language from Anglo-Norman cant, meaning song or singing, from Latin cantāre, and English cognates include canticle, chant, accent, incantation and recant.Canting arms –...

 to the name of his kingdom, León. The emblem was developed with his son Ferdinand II
Ferdinand II of Leon
Ferdinand II was King of León and Galicia from 1157 to his death.-Life:Born in Toledo, Castile, he was the son of King Alfonso VII of León and Castile and of Berenguela, of the House of Barcelona. At his father's death, he received León and Galicia, while his brother Sancho received Castile and...

, and was finally established by Alphonse IX
Alfonso IX of Leon
Alfonso IX was king of León and Galicia from the death of his father Ferdinand II in 1188 until his own death...

.

The Chalice, symbol of the kingdom


Parallel to the process of development and consolidation of European royal emblems from the late 13th century, collections of them, the Armorials, displayed lists of kingdoms and their royal symbols. In the case of Galicia, antiquity and the prominence which the Kingdom had had during centuries saw it inclusion in the early European armorials, however the absence of an exclusive symbol for Galician kings, who were also kings of León since the 12th century, forced to the medieval heraldists to use Canting arms
Canting arms
Canting arms are heraldic bearings that represent the bearer's name in a visual pun or rebus. The term cant came into the English language from Anglo-Norman cant, meaning song or singing, from Latin cantāre, and English cognates include canticle, chant, accent, incantation and recant.Canting arms –...

, which was a symbol derived from the phonetics of the name.

An English armorial named Segar's Roll, produced in the year 1282, was the first Armorial which assigned the chalice as the Coat of Arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 for the King and Kingdom of Galicia (Roy de Galice), probably coming directly from the Anglo-Norman word for Galicia, Galyce, which was very close to the word Calice (chalice
Chalice
A chalice is a goblet or footed cup intended to hold a drink. This can also refer to;* Holy Chalice, the vessel which Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve the wine* Chalice , a type of smoking pipe...

). Following that time, different European armorials began to use the chalice as the emblem of the Kingdom of Galicia. In the mid-15th century, this symbol came to Galicia, where it was easily and readily accepted, as the Holy Grail
Holy Grail
The Holy Grail is a sacred object figuring in literature and certain Christian traditions, most often identified with the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper and said to possess miraculous powers...

 was already a symbol widely spread over Europe and already present in Galician history and deepest beliefs.

Thereafter, the purple lion of the former Galician-Leonese monarchy lost its representative character in favor of the better known canting arms, being then adopted exclusively by the Kingdom of León, whilst in Galicia the chalice would develop into the modern coat-of-arms of Galicia.

Medieval cartography