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

II: Conflict in the Mediterranean before the First Crusade,   pp. [30]-[79] PDF (10.8 MB)

Page 36

assumed by the emir in 929—was by this time so great that the victory
was one of the few events of the peninsula to be noted by chroniclers north
of the Alps. Although Fernán Gonzalez was defeated and imprisoned,
his following was so considerable that Ramiro was forced to release him,
subject to an oath of allegiance and an arranged marriage between the count's
daughter and the king's son, all to little effect. 
 The foundation of Ramiro's policy was a firm alliance with Navarre, which
was governed by the dowager queen Tota, on behalf of her infant son. This
vigorous lady was in the habit of leading her troops in battle. She had married
her two daughters to the count of Castile and the king of Leon respectively.
It was this complex of family alliances which was ultimately to ac complish
a temporary unification which would save the Christian states from complete
subservience to the caliphate. 
 In the period following the death of Ramiro, the Christian states became
almost completely dependent. Directly and in directly the Moslem power was
able to interfere in internal affairs of the states by treaty, intervention,
and negotiations with disloyal vassals. The case of Ramiro's second son Sancho
"the Fat" is illustrative. His mother was a princess of Navarre. Tota, his
grandmother, was still regent in Navarre. When the nobles of Leon deposed
Sancho, ostensibly because he was too fat to cut a proper royal figure, he
took refuge at his grand mother's court at Pamplona. Tota got in touch with
' Abd-ar Rahmãn III who was delighted, first to supply a physician
and then to welcome king Sancho and his grandmother Tota to the court at
Cordova as honored suppliants. Sancho returned to Leon without his surplus
weight but with a Moslem army and with treaty obligations involving delivery
of certain towns to the caliphate. Having regained his throne he showed no
interest in fulfilling his promises until forced to do so. After Sancho had
been conveniently poisoned, his successor, Bermudo II (984— 999), was
plundered and exploited by his nobility until he appealed to the Moslem commander,
the chamberlain al Mansflr. The Moslem demanded submission, in return for
which al-Mansür placed Moslem garrisons in most of the Leonese fortresses.
The king's efforts to escape from this burden led ultimately to the punitive
sack and plundering of the shrine of Santiago at Compostela (997). The wealth
of plunder re ported to have been carried away is revealing. Large numbers
of the turbulent Leonese and Galician nobility participated in 

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