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Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / The first hundred years

II: Conflict in the Mediterranean Before the First Crusade,   pp. [30]-[79] PDF (19.6 MB)

Page 38

in Aragon. Thus two new royal titles were created, and a new political history
of Aragon had its beginning. 
 After the death of Sancho the Great, warfare between Ferdinand I and his
brother-in-law Bermudo III of Leon again broke out. In 1037 Bermudo died
in battle. Leon, Galicia, and Castile were united under the hand of Ferdinand.
 In the meantime, after the death of al-MansUr the counts of Barcelona had
regained their capital and other Catalan posses sions which had been lost
to the great Moslem commander and his son. In 1025 Berenguer I inherited
the county. 
 Ferdinand I, to win the support of his new subjects, held a council in 1050
at which he confirmed all public charters granted by Alfonso V. He was drawn
into conflict with his brother, Garcia of Navarre, who sought to restore
the unity of their father's dominions. Garcia was defeated and killed in
1054. It was now possible for the king to address himself to the reconquest.
He seized Lamego and Viseu in Portugal south of the Douro (1057/1058); and
in 1064, with his conquest of the important city of Coimbra, carried his
western border to the banks of the Mondego. He next attacked the Moslem territories
to the south of Aragon and then seized additional fortresses south of the
Douro, and raided the territory of the kingdom of Toledo as far as Alcalá
de Henares. The petty kings (Arabic, muluk at-tawã'if; Spanish, reyes
de taifas) of Toledo, Badajoz, and Saragossa became his tributaries. Toward
the end of his life he raided the lands of Seville, destroying villages and
crops until her cAbbadid king agreed to payment of an annual tribute. Ferdinand
again divided his holdings, but his second son, Alfonso VI (1065-1 109) of
Galicia, succeeded in uniting the entire inheritance after long civil war.
 Hitherto concerted action toward reconquest had been sporadic and dependent
upon the fortunate accident of strong leadership combined with weakness in
the enemy. Unity of action among the Christian princes was still far in the
future. But in 1064 an international army, composed of Catalan, Aragonese,
Norman, Aquitanian, and Burgundian (but not, as often alleged, papal and
Italo-Norman) contingents, launched a successful attack against the Moslem
stronghold of Barbastro, only to lose the thoroughly plundered town the following
year. 1 Whether pope ' Alexander II's fragmentary letters relating to French
warriors en route to Spain to fight contra Sarracenos, and issuance of a
plenary indulgence on their behalf, relate to 
 1 Cf. P. David, Etudes historiques sur la Galice et le Portugal (Lisbon
and Paris, pp. 341—439; and chapter VII, below. 

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