Kingdom of Galicia
Kingdom of Galicia (Galician: Reino de Galicia, or Galiza;
Spanish: Reino de Galicia; Portuguese: Reino da Galiza; Latin:
Galliciense Regnum) was a political entity located in southwestern
Europe, which at its territorial zenith occupied the entire northwest
of the Iberian Peninsula. Founded by Suebic king
Hermeric in 409, the
Galician capital was established in Braga, being the first kingdom
which adopted Catholicism officially and minted its own currency (year
449). It was part of the Kingdom of the Spanish Visigothic monarchs
from 585 to 711. In the 8th century Galicia became a part of the newly
founded Christian kingdoms of the Northwest of the peninsula, Asturias
and León, while occasionally achieving independence under the
authority of its own kings. Compostela became capital of Galicia in
the 11th century, while the independence of
Portugal (1128) determined
its southern boundary. The accession of Castilian King Ferdinand III
to the Leonese kingdom in 1230 brought Galicia under the control of
the Crown of Castile, the kingdom of Galicia becoming a political
division within the larger realm.
Galicia resisted central control, supporting a series of alternative
claimants, including John of León, Galicia and
Ferdinand I of
Portugal (1369) and
John of Gaunt
John of Gaunt (1386), and was not
brought firmly into submission until the
Catholic Monarchs imposed the
Santa Hermandad in Galicia. The kingdom of Galicia was then
administered within the
Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile (1490–1715) and later the
Spain (1715–1833) by an
Audiencia Real directed by a
Governor which hold also the office of
Captain General and President.
The representative assembly of the Kingdom was then the Junta or
Cortes of the Kingdom of Galicia, which briefly declared itself
sovereign when Galicia alone remained free of Napoleonic occupation
(1808–1809). The kingdom and its Junta were dissolved by Maria
Cristina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Regent of Spain, in 1834.
1 Origin and foundation (409)
2 Suebic Kingdom (409–585)
2.1 5th century
2.2 6th century
3 Visigothic monarchy (585–711)
4 Early and High Middle Ages
4.2 Interludes of independence: 10th and 11th centuries
4.3 Raymond of Burgundy
4.4 Separation of the
County of Portugal
County of Portugal (1128)
4.5 Compostelan Era (1111–1230)
4.6 Union under the
Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile (1230)
5 Late Middle Ages
5.1 Emergence of the Galician language
5.2 Galicia and the Castilian Crown
5.3 John, king of León, Galicia and
5.4 Unrest in the cities
5.5 Civil War of the Castilian Crown (1366–1369)
5.6 Ferdinand I of
Portugal king in Galicia
5.7 John of Gaunt
5.8 The 15th century
5.9 Irmandinos Wars
5.10 Catholic Monarchs
6 Modern age
6.1 The Junta or General Assembly of the Kingdom
6.2 Policies of Philip II (1556–1598)
6.3 The last Habsburgs (1598–1700)
6.4 Restoration of voting at the
Council of Castile
Council of Castile (1623)
6.5 The establishment of the Bourbons (18th century)
6.6 The Enlightenment (1746–88)
6.7 19th century
7 Symbols of the kingdom
7.1 The purple lion
7.2 The Chalice, symbol of the kingdom
Origin and foundation (409)
Theodemar (or Ariamir), king of Galicia with the bishops Lucrecio,
Andrew, and Martin.
Codex Vigilanus (or Albeldensis),
The origin of the kingdom lies in the 5th century, when the Suebi
settled permanently in the former Roman province of Gallaecia. Their
king, Hermeric, probably signed a foedus, or pact, with the Roman
Emperor Honorius, which conceded them lands in Galicia. The
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
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 bishops, such as Martin of
Braga, were recognized as episcopi Gallaecia (Bishop of Galicia).
Suebic Kingdom (409–585)
Main article: Suebic Kingdom of Galicia
The independent Suebic kingdom of Galicia lasted from 409 to 585,
having remained relatively stable for most of that time.
Gallaecia was divided, ad habitandum, among two Germanic
Hasdingi Vandals, who settled the eastern lands, and the
Suebi, who 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
Portugal and Western Galicia, in the towns of Braga
Bracara Augusta) and Porto, and later in
Lugo (Lucus Augusta) and
Astorga (Asturica Augusta). The valley of the Limia (or Lima) River is
thought to have received the largest concentration of Germanic
settlers,[by whom?] 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 and the
Suebi's Hermeric. After a blockade alongside the Nervasian
Suebi obtained Roman help, forcing the
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 ratified a peace treaty with
the Gallaeci, the native and partially Romanized people.
Hermeric to abdicate in favor of his son, Rechila, who
moved his troops to the south and the east, conquering Mérida and
Seville, the capitals of the Roman provinces of
Betica. In 448
Rechila died, leaving the expanding state to his
son Rechiar, who in 449 became one of the first Germanic kings of
post-Roman Europe to convert to Catholicism.
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 sent a large army of
foederates, under the direction of the Visigoth Theoderic II, who
Suebi army by the river Órbigo, 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 (now Minho
River), probably as a consequence of the localities of the
Marcomanni tribes, who constituted the
Suebi nation on the Iberian
Suebi in the north conquered Lugo, proceeding to
use that city as their co-capital, while the
Suebi in the south
Lisbon and Conimbriga, which were assaulted, and
abandoned after their Roman inhabitants were banished. By 465
Remismund, who established a policy of friendship with the
promoted the conversion of his own people into Arianism, was
recognized by his people as the only king of the Suebi.
See also: Britonia
Miro, king of Galicia, and Martin of Braga, from an 1145 manuscript of
Martin's Formula Vitae Honestae, now in the Austrian National
Library. The book was originally dedicated to King Miro with the
header "To King Miro, the most glorious and calm, the pious,
distinguished for his Catholic faith"
Monastery of San Pedro de Rocas, Galicia, founded in 575 and inhabited
until the early 20th century
Roman walls of Lugo
After a period of obscurity, with very little remaining information on
the history of this area, or in fact Western Europe in
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 dedicated to
Suebi to Nicene Christianity and consequently into
allegiance with the other Nicene Christian regional powers, the Franks
and the Eastern Roman Empire.
Under King Ariamir, who called for the First Council of Braga, the
conversion of the
Suebi to Nicene Christianity was apparent; while
this same council condemned Priscillianism, it made no similar
statement on Arianism. Later, King
Theodemar ordered an administrative
and ecclesiastical division of his kingdom, with the creation of new
bishoprics and the promotion of Lugo, which possessed a large Suebi
community, to the level of
Metropolitan Bishop along with Braga.
Theodemar's son and successor, King Miro, called for the Second
Council of Braga, which was attended by all the bishops of the
kingdom, from the Briton bishopric of
Britonia in the Bay of Biscay,
to Astorga in the east, and
Coimbra 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 by the Franks. After
clashing in frontier lands, Miro and
Leovigild agreed upon a temporary
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, held out for a year before
being captured in 585. This same year a nobleman named Malaric
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. Some
words of plausible
Suebi origin are the modern Galician and Portuguese
words laverca (lark), meixengra or mejengra (titmouse), 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.
The historiography of the Suebi, and of Galicia in general, was long
marginalized in Spanish culture, with the first connected history of
Suebi in Galicia being written by a German scholar.
Visigothic monarchy (585–711)
"After the death of Miro king of Galicia, and while his son
Audeca were fighting each other for the control of the
Leovigild subjugated the
Suebi and all of Galicia under the
power of the Goths."
Chronicle of Fredegar, 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, Acts of the Third
Council of Toledo.
Political map of southwestern Europe around the year 600, which
referred to three different areas under Visigothic government –
Hispania, Gallaecia, and Septimania
Church of Santa Comba de Bande, built c.7th century, rebuilt in the
9th century after being ruined for more than 200 years
In 585, Liuvigild, the Visigothic king of
Hispania and Septimania,
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, Portus
Cale or Magneto, Tude, Iria, Britonia, Lucus, Auria, Asturica,
Conimbria, Lameco, Viseu, 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 himself converted to Catholicism, along
Goths and Suebi, at the Third Council of Toledo.
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 elite accepted new monarchs. The peasants
maintained a collective formed mostly by freemen and serfs of Celtic,
Suebi extraction, as no major Visigoth immigration occurred
during the 6th and 7th 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, 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) 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 7th century Galicia was Saint Fructuosus of
Braga. Fructuosus was the son of a provincial Visigoth dux (military
provincial governor), and was known for the many foundations he
established throughout the west of the Iberian peninsula, 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, 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,
the most important monastery of Gallaecia—founded by Martin of Braga
in the 6th century—under
Suebi rule. In 656 he was appointed bishop
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 occupations in the early 8th century in the south
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. At the tenth
Council of Toledo
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 of the Bishop of
Dume Recimiro was declared void after he donated the wealth of the
diocese convent to the poor.
The crisis at the end of the Visigoth era dates to the reign of Egica.
The monarch appointed his son
Wittiza as his heir, and despite the
fact that the Visigothic monarchy had been traditionally elective
rather than hereditary
Wittiza during his lifetime to
the throne (for example,
Wittiza are known to have issued
coinage with the confronted effigies of both monarchs). In 701 an
outbreak of plague spread westward from
Greece to Spain, reaching
Toledo, 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, which is
recorded as his capital. The possibility has also been raised that the
13th-century chronicler, Lucas of Tuy, when he records that Wittiza
relieved the oppression of the Jews (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. In 710, part of the Visigothic aristocracy
Roderic to the throne, triggering a civil war with
the supporters of
Wittiza and his sons. In 711, the enemies of Roderic
got a Muslim army to cross the
Straits of Gibraltar
Straits of Gibraltar and face him at
the Battle of Guadalete. The defeat was the end of
Roderic and of the
Visigothic rule, with profound consequences for the whole of the
Early and High Middle Ages
Tombstone of the sepulcher of bishop
Iria (d. 847),
discoverer of the tomb attributed to apostle Saint James the Great
"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 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 bridge over the
river Narcea. Nepotianus was immediately left stranded by his own
people, being captured when fleeing by two counts, Sonna and Scipio."
Chronicle of Alfonso III, 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 state. This is usually called the Kingdom of
Asturias in traditional and modern sources, although the precise
historical details of these events have been obscured by the national
myths leading to the construction of modern Spanish identity.
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
to Coimbra, by noblemen mostly proceeding from northern Galicia.
Also significant was the pretended discovery of the tomb of Saint
James the Great at what would become Santiago de Compostela; the
shrine constructed there became the religious center of the nation, as
well as being the destination of a major international pilgrimage
route, the Way of St. James. 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. This same kingdom was frequently known as
Gallaecia or Galicia (Yillīqiya and Galīsiya) in Al-Andalus
Muslim sources up to the 14th century, as well as by many European
Statue of Vímara Peres, conqueror of
Porto in 868
Modern replicas of Viking ships by the castle of Torres de Oeste,
During the Iron Age, 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
Dumio was re-established by the
Bay of Biscay
Bay of Biscay in
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 were notorious warlords, due to the many
fortresses and military resources they controlled as heads of a
military Norman 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 terras,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 collection and government of each
territory was granted by the titular ruler—usually the king—to a
count, 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 mandationes and
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 breeding.
Other valuable—though geographically restricted—products included
fruits, salt, wine, honey, olive oil, horses, iron for the production
of weapons and tools, and exotic oriental fabrics introduced from
Spania. There were also specialized artisans who worked on demand,
such as masons and goldsmiths.
While local commerce was common, long range interchanges—generally
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 brought not only riches, but also a range of continental
innovations and trends, from shipbuilding, to new architectural styles
such as Romanesque art.
Romanesque cathedral of San Martiño de
centuries); first construction dates from the 6th–7th centuries
The elites were composed of counts, dukes, 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 governors, bishops, or as palatine 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 miles (knights) 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 or abbess, 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
Augustine rules were uncommon until the 11th century.
As in most of Europe, the chartulary and chronicle 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. Finally, servos,
libertos, and pueros (serfs and slaves), either obtained in war with
Moors or through trial, constituted a visible part of the society;
they were employed as household workers (domesticos and scancianes),
shepherds, and farmhands. Local charters also show that, in time, they
In terms of religion, most were Roman Catholics, although the local
rites—known today as Mozarabic rites—were notably different from
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—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
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, although
noblemen frequently also used a patronymic. 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.
Romanesque façade in the Cathedral of
Ourense (1160); founded in the
6th century, its construction is attributed to King Chararic
Monastical church of San Miguel de Eiré,
Pantón (12th century)
Oratory of San Miguel de
Celanova (first quarter of the 10th century)
Pórtico da Groria, Cathedral of
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela (12th–13th
centuries), summum of the local Romanesque sculpture
Interludes of independence: 10th and 11th centuries
"When Fruela, king of Galicia, died (...) the Christians made king his
brother Alfonso, who then found the throne disputed by his elder
brother Sancho, 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, prince of
all Galicia, and to our lady, your wife, queen Goto." Document from
the chartulary of Celanova, year 929.
"There king Don Sancho 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,
Alfonso III of León
Alfonso III of León 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 obtained the Terra
de Fora or León, consisting of the southeastern portion of their
father's realm, while Ordoño II held the western lands, that is
Galicia (including the recently acquired lands of Coimbra) 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, received the Asturian heartland in the northeast, with
Oviedo 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, received support from Asturias, but was captured and
blinded by Sancho, Alfonso IV, and Ramiro II, sons of Ordoño, with
the aid of the Basque 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
Santiago de Compostela
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
Kingdom of León in 929, however was
forced into a monastery by their youngest brother, Ramiro, two years
Ramiro II had ties with the Galician nobility through kinship,
marriage and patronage, and he and his son, Ordoño III, 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 in 956.
Sancho proved unpopular and ineffectual and the Galician nobles grew
fractious, forming a coalition with
Fernán González of Castile
Fernán González of Castile to
overthrow Sancho in favor of Ordoño IV, 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, grew
increasingly absolutist, alienating the Galician nobility who also
resented the lack of Leonese help when the
Normans raided Galicia from
968 through 970.
The Galician nobility again rose in rebellion, in 982 crowning and
anointing Bermudo, son of Ordoño III, as king in Santiago de
Compostela. 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
Coimbra or Viseu, and even raiding Santiago de
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, but 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, 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
Kingdom of León into the hands of Ferdinand,
who then had himself crowned king.
Political situation in the Northern
Iberian Peninsula around 1065:
Garcia II's domains (Galicia)
Badajoz, owing tribute to Garcia
Seville, owing tribute to Garcia
Alfonso VI's domains (León)
Toledo, owing tribute to Alfonso
Sancho II's domains (Castile)
Zaragoza, owing tribute to Sancho
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 to his eldest son, Sancho II, along with the right
to the paria (tribute) from the
Taifa of Zaragoza. His second son
Alfonso VI was given the Kingdom of León, representing the central
portion of the old realm, with the paria from Toledo. 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 from the Taifas of
Badajoz and Seville.
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, Nuno Mendes,
rose in rebellion. García defeated and killed him in the same year at
the Battle of Pedroso, 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—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, held by his
sister Urraca. 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
Kingdom of León would prove
permanent, although both kingdoms maintained their separate
Raymond of Burgundy
Queen Urraca ruled Galicia with her husband, Raymond of Burgundy,
until the death of her father Alfonso VI.
Medieval portrait, Tumbo A
chartulary of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
In 1091 the daughter of King Alfonso VI, infanta Urraca, married a
Burgundian nobleman, Raymond of Burgundy, who had participated in the
Crusades against the Almoravids. His military victories as well as his
Anscarid lineage justified this union, and Alfonso bestowed on him the
government of Galicia between
Cape Ortegal and Coimbra, as a personal
fief. This union gave rise to the House of Burgundy, which would
rule in Galicia, León, and Castile until the death of King Peter.
Two years after Raymond's marriage, in 1093, another French crusader,
his cousin Henry, the grandson of
Robert I of Burgundy and nephew
of Alfonso's queen, was given the hand of the Alfonso's illegitimate
daughter Theresa, 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 and Coimbra, from the river Minho to
the Tagus, 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, whilst appointing his own notary, Diego
Gelmírez, 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, 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
Diego Gelmirez to his party. In 1111, the young Alfonso
Raimúndez was crowned and anointed king in Compostela.
Separation of the
County of Portugal
County of Portugal (1128)
Political Map of the northwest
Iberian peninsula at the end of the
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—now metropolitan church of Lusitania, which was in
open competition with Braga, metropolitan church of Galicia—and the
support for Theresa's rule north of the Minho brought about by her
romantic union with
Fernando Pérez de Traba
Fernando Pérez de Traba altered the status quo.
The Archbishop of Braga, who had suffered the nocturnal theft of the
relics of Fructuosus of
Diego Gelmirez 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
Guimarães and obtaining the submission of the
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, 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
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,
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 through him she could keep or lose 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
Pórtico da Gloria, Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Medieval miniatures of Ferdinand II (left) and
Alfonso IX (right),
kings of León and Galicia.
Chartulary of the monastery of Toxosoutos,
Lousame, 13th century
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela on September 17, 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; the
coronation 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
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
Alfonso the Battler of
Aragon and Navarre.
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, who
Galicians and frustrated their plans. Pedro Fróilaz was
taken prisoner, 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, 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
Portugal also had their own supporters.
With Calixtus II, uncle of Alfonso VII, becoming Pope, 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.
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, 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. In 1128 the
leader of the Galician nobility, Fernando Peres de Trava, together
with his lover Countess Theresa of 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, 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
Count Pedro Fróilaz, who in turn had been tutor of Alfonso
VII. In 1158 the death of his brother Sancho III of Castile
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, Ribadavia, Noia,
Pontevedra and Ribadeo, most of them possessing important harbors
or sited in rich valleys. Thus he promoted the growth of the
bourgeoisie 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, 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, 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.
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 IX'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 (including the
cities of Cáceres, Mérida and Badajoz) then in the hands of the
Almohad Caliphate, a territory also wanted by the Portuguese.
Alfonso granted constitutional charters to the towns of Betanzos, A
Coruña, Baiona, Salvaterra de Miño, Verín, Monforte de Lemos, O
Valadouro, Milmanda, Bo Burgo de Castro Caldelas, Melide,
Triacastela, 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 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, and south to the
'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
Foro or Constitutional Charter of Baiona, 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.
Sepulchre of a merchant: Pero Carneiro, son of Pero Afonso da
Corredoira, in the church of St. Mary a Nova, Noia
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
population, resulting in a larger force of farm labor which
consequently allowed the great monasteries to develop new agricultural
lands. This, coupled with the improvement of farming equipment and
techniques, such as the introduction of the heavy wheeled plough,
resulted in an increase in productivity 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 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—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 literary creations such as the Codex
Calixtinus and the Historia Compostellana. The Historia is an
extensive chronicle on the deeds of the bishop of Compostela, Diego
Gelmirez, and though partisan, 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
Crown of Castile (1230)
In the early
Medieval era, a fluid pattern of union and division was
observed among the states of Christian Iberia. While marriage of
royals had resulted in the union of some of these states—for example
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 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,
Alfonso, 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, died in 1217 and Berengaria ceded her rights to her
son, Ferdinand became King of Castile, against the will of his
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 to support their succession. Alfonso died
in 1230 in Sarria, while on pilgrimage to
Santiago de Compostela
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, who also gained the support of the new
Portuguese king, Sancho II. 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. As a result, Ferdinand
III 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, wherein the kingdoms continued as administrative
entities under the unified rule of a single monarch.
Royal pantheon of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Sepulcher of count Raymond of Burgundy, lord of Galicia (Totius
Galletie Imperator)(d. 1107)
Sepulcher of king
Ferdinand II of León
Ferdinand II of León and Galicia (Rex in Legione et
Gallecia) (d. 1187)
Sepulcher of king
Alfonso IX (Rex Legionis et Gallecie) (d. 1230)
Sepulcher of count
Pedro Fróilaz de Traba
Pedro Fróilaz de Traba (Orbem Galletie Imperante),
protector of king
Alfonso VII (d. 1128)
Late Middle Ages
Emergence of the Galician language
Galician Language and Galician-Portuguese
One of the oldest legal charters written in Galician, the
constitutional charter of the Bo Burgo (Good Burg) of Castro Caldelas.
Miniatures from a manuscript of the
Cantigas de Santa Maria
Sepulchre of the knight Sueiro Gomes de Soutomaior. The inscription,
in Galician, reads "[Here] lies Sueiro Gomes de Souto Maior, who died
[...]": SUEIRO GOMES DE SOUTO MAIOR Q FALECEU
Latinate Galician charters from the 8th century onward show that the
Latin was heavily influenced by local spoken romance,
yet not until the 12th century that do 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
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
Galician-Portuguese (or Old Portuguese, or Old Galician) as
an acknowledgement of the cultural and linguistic unity of Galicia and
Portugal during the Middle Ages, as both linguistic varieties differed
only in dialectal minor phenomenons, and were considered by
contemporaries as just one language.
This language flourished during the 13th and 14th centuries as a
language of culture, developing a rich lyric tradition of which some
2000 compositions (cantigas, meaning 'songs') have been preserved—a
few hundred 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 where a woman sings for her
boyfriend, crude, taunting and sexual Songs of Scorn, and religious
Its most notable patrons—themselves reputed authors—were kings Dom
Dinis in Portugal, and
Alfonso X the Learned in Galicia, who was a
great promoter of both Galician and
Castilian Spanish 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, 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 written by Chretien
de 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 became popular; the
first complete translation of the Bible was not printed until the 20th
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
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
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.
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
Galicia and the Castilian Crown
Romance portrait of Castilian King Ferdinand III; flanking him are the
canting arms of his kingdoms, the purple lion of León, and the castle
The rule of Ferdinand III 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.
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 (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, Fernando José de Estrada, or Afonso
Suares de Deza—or by members of the royal family as the infante
Felipe, son of Sancho IV, 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
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
Paio Gómez Chariño´s Tomb,
Convent of San Francisco, Pontevedra,
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, 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 being contested by his uncle
John, who had been in revolt since 1286.
With the help of King Denis I of Portugal, John—who lived exiled in
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 took the lead of the nobility of the old Leonese crown, and
with the support of the kings of
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 11th
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
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, 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 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 losing 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
Ruins of the castle of A Rocha Forte, torn down in 1467 by the
Irmandiños. There Bérenger de Landore's men assassinated the members
of the Council of Compostela in 1320.
Sepulchre of Alvaro Paz Carneiro, church of St. Mary 'A Nova' in Noia,
'who died in the Mortality, August 15, 1348'
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 not new, as Compostela had known 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
temporarily pacified 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, locally known as A Mortaldade, reached the
ports of Galicia, decimating the population, and causing a severe
and lasting economic crisis.
Civil War of the Castilian Crown (1366–1369)
Battle of Najera. Galician armies fought with Pedro I and Edward of
Woodstock, defeating the Castilian armies of Henry of Trastámara
In 1360 the kingdom of Galicia was again at the centre of a succession
crisis, 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. 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
Henry, illegitimate son of
Alfonso XI of Castile 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,
with whom Peter was already at war, and along companies of mercenaries
such as that commanded by Bertrand du Guesclin. 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
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, 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 take the war into
Andalucia. However, the entry of England's enemy Charles V of France
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 and his subsequent murder left
Henry II in control of the Crown of Castile.
Ferdinand I of
Portugal king in Galicia
Ferdinand I of Portugal
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 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
Count of Trastamara, Alvar Peres de Castro, the lord of
Salvaterra, and Nuno Freire de Andrade, Master of the Portuguese Order
of Christ, being acclaimed in the cities and towns: Tui,
Redondela, Ribadavia, Ourense, Lugo, Padrón, 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 and Baiona, and
instituted trade liberalization between Galicia and Portugal,
supplying grain and wine by sea to the war-weakened Galician
populace. He also made provisions for the issuance of gold and
silver coinage at Tui and A Coruña 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
Gascony under the terms of the Treaty of Santarém which
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
John of Gaunt
John of Gaunt entering Santiago de Compostela, from a manuscript of
Jean Froissart's chronicles
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 July 10, 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, 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 to participate in the clashes against France
as part of the Hundred Years' War. On July 25, 1386, with the support
of a papal bull 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;
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, where he found resistance on
behalf of Breton troops at the service of John I of Castile.
Meanwhile, the port of Ferrol was taken by John's ally the Portuguese
king John I of Portugal, and the town of Ribadavia—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. 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, stating «avoient mis en leur obeissance tout le roiaulme
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. 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. 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
Castle of the House of Andrade, A Nogueirosa, Pontedeume
After the defeat of the loyalist party, with their leaders
consequently exiled in
Portugal or dead abroad, king Henry II and John
I 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.
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
The 15th century was characterized by the rapacity of these and other
local noble houses (among others, the Moscoso in western Galicia, the
Andrade in the North, the
Soutomaior and the Estrada 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
over 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 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
Ourense in 1419. All these wars, together with the
thievery exert by bandits, created a climate of violence, war, and
insecurity all over 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
Catholic Monarchs 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
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 and Henry IV) 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
Main article: Irmandiño
14th century 'Retablo de Belvis'
The castle of Pambre, Palas de Rei, which resisted the Irmandiños
Castle of Soutomaior
During the entire 15th century, a time of social and economical crisis
all over Europe, the violence grew in a series of wars and
insurrections 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 (meaning 'brotherhoods'), groups
of men who in exceptional circumstances, and allegedly with the king's
approval, armed themselves to act as policemen in defence of peace and
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. 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, the House of
Sueiro Gomes de Soutomaior
Sueiro Gomes de Soutomaior among others) and the cities
and towns of Compostela, Noia, and Muros, 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 over the kingdom, in Betanzos, Viveiro,
Allariz. All of these Galician brotherhoods acted autonomously,
sometimes even against King's will and direct orders.
In 1465 the
Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile was again in crisis, with King Henry IV
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
over 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
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
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela in 1467, 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. Meanwhile, other noblemen who had resisted inside the
Kingdom also pushed forward. In 1469 and 1470 the
were defeated all over 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
Kingdom of Galicia in 1473 is described by a
noblemen in his last will:
“The Kingdom is totally scrambled in war, with so many thieveries
and deaths, and ill facts: to rise up a large mob of commoners against
the knights; and many knights to rise up against the King himself, our
Master; and another lords of the land to make war one each others; and
to dash to the ground so many houses and towers”.
A Mariscala, the chain which allegedly kept prisoner Marshal Pardo de
Cela before his execution. Museo Arqueolóxico Provincial de Lugo
“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
Santiago; and in one day he made the
Hermandad to be received and
proclaimed from the Minho 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 death of Henry IV in 1474 civil war broke between his daughter
Joanna and his half-sister Isabella. Isabella had married her cousin
Fernando II of Aragon, being supported by Aragonese and Catalans,
while Joanna married the king of
Portugal Afonso V, so obtaining this
country's support. In Galicia archbishop Fonseca sided with Isabella,
while Pedro Álvarez de Soutomaior, 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.
Notwithstanding, most noblemen behaved cautiously, awaiting to join
the winner's side.
In October 1476 Fonseca launched against the well-defended city of
Pontevedra, 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; 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
Caminha into Portugal, although Tui, Salvaterra de
Miño 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, 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 advice 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
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
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
Kingdom of Galicia in the
Crown of Castile.
Flag and arms of the
Kingdom of Galicia
Kingdom of Galicia (16th century), after the
funeral of Emperor Charles V, also king of Galicia, by Joannes and
The Junta or General Assembly of the Kingdom
Main article: 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 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 of
Castile, becoming the assembly monopolized by the bourgeoisie and
lesser nobility (fidalgos), who controlled most of the local councils
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, A Coruña, Betanzos,
Lugo, Mondoñedo, Ourense, and Tui— from among its members.
Other towns, namely
Viveiro and Pontevedra, tried during the 17th and
18th century to regain a direct representative in the assembly, to no
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-
Captain General 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 on June 18, 1808, during the Peninsular war, 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) and titled
Policies of Philip II (1556–1598)
The reign of Philip II of Habsburg saw a deep economic and social
crisis, and was disastrous for its cultural development; portrait by
Alonso Sanchez Coello
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor abdicated the throne and
divided his realm between his brother Ferdinand I of Habsburg, and his
son Philip II. 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 and king of
Hungary and Bohemia, while Philip inherited the Netherlands, Naples
and Sicily, the Crown of
Aragon and Castile, including the Kingdom of
The 42-year reign of Philip II was noted from the beginning by
war—against the Netherlands, France, England,
Portugal and the
Ottoman Empire—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
Battle between the naval fleets of Philip II of Habsburg (nicknamed
the "Invincible Armada") and Elizabeth I of England in 1588, leaving
the English victorious
With his private crusade against the Lutherans, the Catholic monarchy
prevented the participation of the
Kingdom of Galicia
Kingdom of Galicia in the three
most important revolutionary processes of the age, the Reformation,
the opening up of the New World, and the Scientific revolution. In
1562, Philip II deployed the Holy Office, via the Spanish Inquisition,
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
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 any sailors likely to
be . 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, September 2, 1603)
Philip II's reign saw the continuation of the expulsion of the Jews
from May 30, 1492, linguistic 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. For example, in
Alpujarra in the
Kingdom of Granada
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
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
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 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
A Coruña also suffered constant attacks by the English fleet,
such as by
Francis Drake in 1589, with the cities being protected by
civilians troops and heroic people as Maria Pita.
The last Habsburgs (1598–1700)
Kingdom of Galicia
Kingdom of Galicia in 1603
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 (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
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, France, Flanders, 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
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
Council of Castile (1623)
Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, count of Gondomar, was one of the main
advocates of voting rights at the Council of Castile. A humanist
ambassador and lover of the
Galician language and culture, he was
respected and appreciated in the kingdom and abroad; c. 17th century
From the reign of King John II of Castile, the kingdom of Galicia was
no longer involved in the Crown Council, and from about 1476 Zamora 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,
and rejected the Zamoran leaders speaking for them.
The recovery of their voting rights at the
Council of Castile
Council of Castile was a
goal shared by the Galician aristocracy and the kingdom's oligarchs.
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 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 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,
but the new economic offer was rejected.
However, in 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, 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, dependent 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 signed the resolution on October 13, 1623.
The establishment of the Bourbons (18th century)
In 1700, Charles II of Habsburg died without an heir. This caused a
war between those who supported the French Philip V of Bourbon as the
successor (mainly the crown of Castile and France) and those who
supported the Austrian Archduke Charles VI of Habsburg (the Crown of
Aragon, England and
Holland among others). In fact the struggle
between these two suitors was also basically a struggle between two
political conceptions: on the one hand the absolutist centralism
French -represented by Philip V and the Bourbon monarchy- and on the
other the federalism of Charles VI of Habsburg. In this long war
(1701–1714) between the crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon,
the kingdom of Galicia could not avail itself of an own policy due to
being controlled strongly since 1486 by Castile, so that troops and
positions in Galicia had to serve to the suitor supported by the
Castilian Crown; Philip V of Bourbon, who in 1714 eventually won the
From the political point of view, the result of this war was the
establishment of a monarchy that settled in Castile, from where it
developed a uniformizing policy, which had its maximum expression in
the "Nueva Planta Decrees" (1707–1716) which were designed to punish
the Crown of
Aragon through eliminating their political bodies and
imposing a "Audiencia" such as took place 200 years before in the
kingdom of Galicia. With the suppression of the old crowns -Castile
and Aragon- in 1715, was created the "Crown of Spain" that was
governed solely by Castilian government, notably by the Council of
Castile. Besides, Bourbons established according to the French model,
a "provincial Intendance" on their territories, taking the kingdom of
Galicia an Intendance, and being under the command of a General
Cultural and linguistic polities were strongly standardizing,
according to the centralist conception of the Bourbons, which is
expressed in explicit and stringent laws to end the linguistic
diversity in the kingdoms (over Bourbons control) that had a native
language different from Castilian:
Finally, I command that the teaching of the first letters,
rhetoric will only in Castilian language, taking care this compliance
the Audiencias and the respective Courts. May 23, 1768. Charles III of
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 16th 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.
During the 18th century, like in other European kingdoms, arose a
movement representing a new interest in empirical ideas, in
philosophy, political economy, and sciences such as physics,
chemistry, and biology—what today is named the Age of Enlightenment.
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
Kingdom of Galicia due to important Galician
Enlightenment writers who knew Galicia as a differentiated society,
and as a kingdom with special needs.
Portrait of Martín Sarmiento
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
Kingdom of Galicia
Kingdom of Galicia (inaugurated on January 20, 1765), The
Economic Society of Friends of the
Kingdom of Galicia
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
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
Benito Jerónimo Feijóo y Montenegro and
Martín Sarmiento. 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 and natural
medicines, devoted himself to philology; he wrote the Catalogue of
voices and phrases of the
Galician language (1745–1755), and was a
great defender of the Galician language, 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
Kingdom of Galicia (1804).
Kingdom of Galicia
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 Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies.
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
Romanesque miniature representing Alfonso IX, King of León. In the
upper part appears his historic title Rex Legionensium et Gallecie,
while the lower part shows the purple lion, symbol of the Leonese
The purple lion
The custom of painting symbols such as the heraldic 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 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. At the beginning of the 12th century
he began timidly using a purple lion 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 to the name of his kingdom, León. The emblem was developed
with his son Ferdinand II, and was finally established by Alphonse IX.
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 its 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, which was a symbol
derived from the phonetics of the name.
An English armorial named Segar's Roll, produced in 1282, was the
Armorial which assigned the chalice as the
Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms for the
Kingdom of Galicia
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). 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 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
Arms of the Kings of Galicia, Segar's Roll, 13th century
Arms of the kingdom of Galicia in the "Great Triumphal Chariot of
Maximilian", Year 1515.
Arms of the kingdom of Galicia in the Historia originis et succesionis
regnorum et imperiorum a Noe usque ad Carolum V, 1548.
Arms of the kingdom od Galicia, Le blason des Armoiries, Year 1581
Arms of the Kingdom of Galicia, illustrated in L´armorial Le Blancq,
Bibliothèque nationale de France, 16th century
Arms of the Kingdom of Galicia, Pedro de Teixeira, 17th century
Comercial Company of the Kingdom of Galicia, 18th century
Arms of the kingdom of Galicia, Galicia.Reino de Christo Sacramentado
y primogénita de la Iglesia entre las gentes, Year 1750.
Arms of Galicia, today
Kingdom of Galicia
Kingdom of Galicia in medieval cartography
Burgo de Osma´s map (1086), with the names Gallecia (occupying the
whole Northwest Iberian Peninsula), Asturias (occupying the Cantabrian
Spania (occupying the rest of Iberia)
Liber Floridus (1125), by Lambert of Saint-Omer, showing the names
Galitia, Hispania, Lusitania, and Wasconia, among others
Tabula Rogeriana (1154), by Muhammad al-Idrisi, showing the name
Imago Mundi (1190), by Honorius Augustodunensis, showing the names
Galicia and Hispania
Ebstorf Map (1234), showing the name Gallicia Regio
In Liber Secretorum (1125), by Marino Sanuto, where the name Galitia
occupies the entire northwestern Iberia
Pirrus de Noha's map (1414) where Galicia occupies the northwestern
Sallust de Geneve´s map (1420), where the name Galaecia occupies the
entire northwestern Iberia
In Rudimentum Novitorum (1475), by Lucas Brandis, showing the names
Galicia, Hispani, and Anglia, among others
Iberian Peninsula (15th century) with the names Galiicia and
nearby infidelis Yspania
^ Lodewijckx, Marc (1996). Archaeological and historical aspects of
West-European societies: album amicorum André Van Doorselaer. Leuven:
Leuven University Press. pp. 335–337.
^ Rodríguez Fernández, Justiniano (1997). García I, Ordoño II,
Fruela II, Alfonso IV. Burgos: Editorial La Olmeda.
^ De Artaza (1998:483)
^ This is a debated point, completely denied by Thompson (2002: 160),
but cf. Arce, Javier (2005). Bárbaros y romanos en
Hispania (400 –
507 A.D.). Madrid: Marcial Pons Historia. pp. 52–56.
ISBN 84-96467-02-3. .
^ Historia Francorum. Grégoire de Tours.
^ De scriptoribus ecclesiasticis. Sigebertus Gembalensis.
^ RISCO, M., España Sagrada 40- 41.
^ Martini Episcopi Bracarensis Opera Omnia pp. 288–304.
Vandals and Alans passed into Africa in 429, on the account
of Victor Vitensis.
^ Cf. Arias (2007) pp. 15–16.
^ Thompson (2002) p. 171.
^ Historians like José Antonio López Silva, translator of Idatius'
chronicles, the primary written source for the period, find that the
essential temper of Galician culture was established in the blending
of Ibero-Roman culture with that of the Suebi. Cf Varias
investigacións recuperan a memoria do Reino Suevo Archived December
2, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.. 5 / 7 / 2004.
^ Thompson (2002) p. 162.
^ Together with the
Suebi came another Germanic tribe, the Buri, that
settled in the lands known as
Terras de Bouro
Terras de Bouro (Lands of the Buri) in
what is now Portugal.
^ Arias (2007) p. 22
^ Formula Vitae Honestae
^ Cf. López Carreira (2005) pp. 57–60.
^ Arias (2007) pp. 24–25.
^ Arias (2007) p. 29
^ Arias (2007) pp. 32–33.
^ Kremer, Dieter (2004). El elemento germánico y su influencia en la
historia lingüística peninsular (1. ed.). Barcelona: Ariel.
pp. 133–148. ISBN 84-344-8261-4.
^ Cf "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 2, 2005.
Retrieved November 27, 2005. Varias investigacións recuperan a
memoria do Reino Suevo. 5 / 7 / 2004.
^ In Monumenta Germania Historica.
^ Ferreiro, Alberto (1986). "The Omission of St. Martin Of
John Of Biclaro's Chronica and the Third Council of Toledo".
Antigüedad Y Cristianismo. III: 145–150.
^ At that council assisted episcoporum totius Hispaniae, Galliae and
Gallaetiae ("all bishops of Spain, Gaul, and Galicia"), in words of
John of Biclara. Cf. Chronicon Iohannis Biclarensis 590.1 = vv
^ a b Díaz, Pablo C. (2004). "Minting and administrative organization
in late antique Gallaecia". Zephyrus. 57: 367–375.
^ Isla Fernández (1992) p. 6.
^ Bishko, Charles Julian (1984). Spanish and Portuguese monastic
history, 600–1300. London: Variorum Reprints. p. 22.
^ Nam et si quilibet infra fines Spanie, Gallie, Gallecie vel in
cunctis provinciis Wamba Lex
^ San Fructuoso de Braga: vida y novena, Juan Llorens, Vicente Rafael.
2007. p 21. See also "Archived copy". Archived from the original on
October 1, 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2011. .
^ Isla Fernández (1992) pp. 33-34-
^ Bishko, Charles Julian (1984). Spanish and Portuguese monastic
history, 600–1300. London: Variorum Reprints. pp. 1–43.
^ Roger Collins (2004), Visigothic Spain, 409–711. (Oxford:
Blackwell Publishing.), 110. ISBN 0-631-18185-7.
^ As assumed by the 10th century
Chronicle of Alfonso III.
^ Bernard S. Bachrach (1973), "A Reassessment of Visigothic Jewish
Policy, 589–711." The American Historical Review, 78:1 (Feb.), pp
31–32. Lucas' account has a large number of both detractors (Graetz,
Katz, and Dahn) and supporters (Scherer, Ziegler, and Altamira) and
even if true it is possible that Lucas' story is based on the minutes
of XVIII Toledo, which still survived in his time.
^ at the
^ Collins, Roger (1989). The Arab Conquest of
Spain 710–797. Oxford
UK/Cambridge, USA: Blackwell. pp. 50–51.
^ Isla Frez (1992) pp. 134–140.
^ Baliñas Pérez, Carlos (1998). Gallegos del año mil. A Coruña:
Fundación Pedro Barrié de la Maza. pp. 98–103.
^ This 'discovery' is named 'inventio' in contemporary
For the significance of this fact Sánchez-Albornoz, Claudio (2000).
España, un enigma histórico (1. ed. en "Ensayo histórico." ed.).
Barcelona: Edhasa. pp. 275ss. ISBN 84-350-2607-8. : "La
invención del sepulcro de Santiago de Compostela..."
^ Such as count Froila of
Lugo in the 9th century, who was briefly
claimed the crown after expelling Alfonso III.
^ Queen Elvira, first wife of Ordoño II, or queen Goto, wife of
Garcia I Ordóñez, belonged to Galician noble families. Cf.
Rodríguez Fermández (1997) pp. 40 and 188.
^ Cf Carballeira Debasa (2007).
Alfonso II of Asturias
Alfonso II of Asturias was addressed as: "DCCXCVIII. Venit etiam et
legatus Hadefonsi regis Galleciae et Asturiae, nomine Froia,
papilionem mirae pulchritudinis praesentans. (…) Hadefonsus rex
Galleciae et Asturiae praedata Olisipona ultima Hispaniae civitate
insignia victoriae suae loricas, mulos captivosque Mauros domno regi
per legatos suos Froiam et Basiliscum hiemis tempore misit.”
(ANNALES REGNI FRANCORUM); “Hadefuns rex Gallaeciae Carolo prius
munera pretiosa itemque manubias suas pro munere misit.” (CODEX
AUGIENSIS); "Galleciarum princeps" (VITA LUDOVICI) Cf. López Carreira
(2005) pp. 231–248.
Alfonso VI of León and Castile was addressed as: Aldefonso rege
Galliciae (Gesta Regum Anglorum) Cf. Publications, Number 6, Volume 2
(. ed.). London: Sumptibus Societatis. 1840. p. 461.
first1= missing last1= in Authors list (help)
Alfonso IX of León
Alfonso IX of León was addressed as: rex Gallaeciae (Ad Petrum
Compostellanum archaepiscopum, year 1199) Cf. Llorente, Juan Antonio
(1826). Disertación sobre el poder que los reyes españoles
ejercieron hasta el siglo duodecimo en la división de obispados (.
ed.). p. 266. ;
«Considerandum etiam quod, cum sint quinque regna in Ispaniorum,
videlicet Arragonensium, Navarrorum et eorum qui specificato vocabulo
Ispani dicuntur, quorum metropolis est Tolletum, item incholarum
Galicie et Portugalensium»: Narratio de Itinere Navali Peregrinorum
Hierosolymam Tendentium et Silviam Capientium A.D. 1189" Cf. Bruno
Meyer (2000): "El papel de los cruzados alemanes en la reconquista de
la Península Ibérica en los siglos XII y XIII". En la España
Medieval, 23: 41–66; "post mortem Aldefonsi Galliciensium
Principis". Chronicon Silensis, 77.
Cf also Portela Silva (2001) p. 36-37: William of Malmesbury, Orderic
Vitalis, or the
Pope Urban II
Pope Urban II referred to
Alfonso VI of León as King
Historia Compostellana of the 12th century records a popular
proverb: "Bishop of Santiago: Staff and Crossbow" (HC, II.1)
^ The presence of Norman (viking) raiders by the coasts of Galicia is
constant during much of the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries; even a
bishop, Sisenand II, was killed while fighting them, in the Battle of
Fornelos, in 977. Cf. Morales Romero, Eduardo (2004). Historia de los
vikingos en España : ataques e incursiones contra los reinos
cristianos y musulmanes de la Península Ibérica en los siglos IX-XI
(2. ed.). Madrid: Miraguano. ISBN 84-7813-270-8.
^ Isla Frez (1992) p. 144.
^ López Ferreiro (1895) pp. 155–165.
^ The modern Galician, Portuguese and Spanish words for cattle (gando,
gado, ganado, respectively) derive from a term meaning per se – "the
^ During the High Middle Ages not unusually a king would refer to a
Galician nobleman or to a noblewoman as uncle or aunt.
^ For instance, the list of the rebels against Alfonso III include in
Galicia noblemen such as count Froila Lemundi, who was briefly king;
duke Uittiza in southern Galicia, who resisted for seven years; count
Flacidio in Lugo; the brothers Aldreto and Flacencius again in Lugo;
Oduarius in the east; Hermegildo and
Iberia in the west... Cf.
Baliñas Pérez (1998) pp. 104–107.
^ Cf. Bishko (1984).
^ In Galicia the most important chartularies for the Early and High
Middle Ages are those from the monasteries of Sobrado, with documents
from the 8th–13th centuries,
Celanova (9th–13th), Samos
(8th–13th) ... And of the cathedrals of Santiago and Lugo, with
documents dated from the 8th century. In
Portugal the most notable
documentation for the period was edited and published by Alexandre
Herculano in the 19th century, under the title Portugaliae Monumenta
^ For instance, in the 10th century Saint Rudesind freed his Muslim
governess, granting her a series of properties, together with 'Roman
^ For the pagan survivals: Cf. Stephen McKenna (1938) Paganism and
Pagan Survivals in
Spain up to the Fall of the
Visigothic Kingdom .
^ Pace Onega, José Ramón (1999). Los judíos en el reino de Galicia
(2. ed.). Madrid: Editora Nacional. ISBN 84-931225-1-3.
^ For the anthoponymy of medieval Galicia cf. Boullón Agrelo, Ana I.
(1999). Antroponimia medieval galega (ss. VIII-XII). Tübingen:
Niemeyer, 1999. ISBN 978-3-484-55512-9.
^ Carballeira Debasa, Ana María (2007). Galicia y los gallegos en las
fuentes árabes medievales. Madrid: Consejo Superior de
Investigaciones Cientifícas. p. 150.
^ 'Ego Ansuario uobis domno nostro et serenissimus rex domnus Santius
universe urbe Gallecie princeps, necnon et domina nostra, domestica
uestra, Goto regina'. In José M.,
Andrade (1995). O tombo de
Celanova : estudio introductorio, edición e índices (ss.
IX-XII). Santiago de Compostela: Consello da Cultura Galega.
^ Portela Silva, Ermelindo (2001). García II de Galicia, el rey y el
reino (1065–1090). Burgos: La Olmeda. p. 209.
^ Fernández Rodríguez (1997) pp. 40–43.
^ Isla Fernandez (1999) p. 25.
^ Rodríguez Fernández (1997) p. 212.
^ Portela Silva (2001) p. 165.
^ After returning to the throne he frequently spoke of his "returning
back from Spain": "Era DCCCCa LXLVIII anno regni nostri quarto &
de adventu Spanie secundo", (document from the Monastery of Sahagún).
On the Muslim support, cf. Isla Fernandez (1992) p. 191.
^ Cf. Isla Fernández (1999) p. 37. On this particular invasion:
Morales Romero, Eduardo (2004). Historia de los vikingos en
España : ataques e incursiones contra los reinos cristianos y
musulmanes de la Península Ibérica en los siglos IX-XI (2. ed.).
Madrid: Miraguano. pp. 184–185. ISBN 84-7813-270-8.
^ Some Leonese and Castilian charters still claim Ramiro as king as
late as 985, or even later. Cf. Gregorio del Ser Quijano,
Documentación de la Catedral de León (s. IX-X). Ediciones
Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca. pp. 273–279.
^ Isla Fernández (1992) pp. 194–195.
^ a b Portela Silva (2001) pp. 47–48.
^ Reilly (1998) p. 26.
^ Reilly (1998) p. 27.
^ Reilly (1998) p. 28.
^ Portela Silva (2001) pp. 140–142.
Gallaecia Regnum prodere Regi Anglorum & Normannorum &
auferre Regi Hispanorum satageret.", is Expaña Sagrada, XX, II.II.
Cf. Falque, Emma (1994). Historia compostelana. Madrid, España: Akal
Ediciones. p. 299. ISBN 84-460-0417-8. . On the
deposition of Diego Peláez, Portela Silva (2001) pp. 137–139. Cf.
Medieval culture and the Mexican American borderlands, pp. 172ss.
^ The charters he issued shows a man whose authority, although derived
of that of his father-in-law, was absolute: ego comes domnus
Raimundus, totius Gallecie imperator seu Adefonsi Tolletane principis
gener (document from the chartulary known as Tumbo A, cathedral of
Santiago, 1107. In Lucas Álvarez, Manuel (1997). La documentación
del tumbo A de la catedral de Santiago de Compostela : estudio y
edición. Santiago: Seminario de Estudos Galegos.
^ Reilly (1982) p. 27.
^ a b Reilly (1982) p. 29.
^ totius Gallecie domina (Santiago, 1107), tocius Gallecie imperatrix
(Lugo, 1108). Cf. Reilly (1982) p. 48, 50.
^ Reilly (1982) p. 49.
^ Villacañas Berlanga (2006) p. 361.
^ Villacañas Berlanga (2006) p. 363.
^ Fletcher (1984) p. 115.
^ González López (1978) pp. 231–236.
^ González López (1978) pp. 237–247.
^ "si Regina mater mea thoro viduitatis contenta maneret, totius
Gallaeciae Regnum in manibus vestris & patrui mei Vienensis
Archiespiscopi eius dominio subiugaretur. Si vero maritale foedus
iniret, rediret ad me Regnum Gallaeciae... Tu autem quem ego prae
omnibus huiusmodi hominibus amplector & ueneror, utpote Dmn. Meum,
patronum meum, qui me fonte baptismatis regenerasti, & post nom
longum tempus in Ecclesia S. Iacobi in Regem unxisti." (HISTORIA
COMPOSTELLANA, I.108) Cf. Falque, Emma (1994). Historia compostelana.
Madrid, España: Akal Ediciones. pp. 255–256.
^ Villacañas Berlanga (2006) p. 364.
^ Villacañas Berlanga (2006) pp. 364–381.
^ A number of authors consider that
Diego Gelmírez and Pedro Fróilaz
aspired to the full independence of the Kingdom. Cf, as an example,
Villacañas Berlanga (2006) p. 362.
^ The number and amount of these donations, together with the
correspondence interchanged by
Diego Gelmírez and the Pope's
representatives has been preserved in the Historia Compostellana.
^ González López (1978) p. 219-223.
^ González López (1978) p. 224-230.
^ Villacañas Berlanga (2006) p. 414.
^ tenente Gallicie rex Fernandus (chartulary of the monastery of
Xuvia, 1152); Adefonsus Ymperator, una cum coniuge sua dona Riga
dominante regnante in tota Yspania. Sancius rex in Castella.
Fredenandus rex in Galicia. (document from the monastery of Vilanova
de Oscos, 1153); Imperatoris Adefonsus, regis Fernandi imperat
Galletia. (Ibidem, 1155); Adefonsus dei gratia hispaniarum imperator
laudat et confirmat. Sanctius filius eius rex Castelle laudat et
confirmat. Fernandus filius eius rex Galletie laudat et confirmat.
(document from the cathedral of Lugo, 1155).
^ González López (1978) p. 249.
^ González López (1978) p. 255-256.
^ Cf. González Balasch, María Teresa (2004). Tumbo B de la Catedral
de Santiago. Santiago: Cabildo de la S.A.M.I. Catedral de Santiago.
Alfonso VII had yet granted a constitutional charter on
1152, while the consuetudinal practices and customs" of Santiago de
Compostela's townspeople had been approved by
Count Raymond back in
^ Cf. Martínez Martínez, Faustino (October 2003). "Antología de
textos forales del Antiguo Reino de Galicia (siglos XII-XIV)" (PDF).
Cuadernos de Historia del Derecho: 257–343. Retrieved May 16,
^ González López (1978) 261–267.
^ González López (1978) p. 268.
^ Villacañas Berlanga (2006) pp. 472–473.
^ "Rex Legionis" and "Rex Legionis et Gallcie". Cf. González Balasch,
María Teresa (2004). Tumbo B de la Catedral de Santiago. Santiago:
Cabildo de la S.A.M.I. Catedral de Santiago.
^ González López (1978) pp. 268–284.
^ Villacañas Berlanga (2006) pp. 468–469.
^ Villacañas Berlanga (2006) pp. 473–474 and González López
(1978) p. 318.
^ González López (1978) pp. 305–307.
^ González López (1978) pp. 289–295.
^ For the first time we know of Jewish communities established in
Galicia during the 12th and 13th centuries. Cf. González López
(1978) pp. 288.
^ López Carreira (1999) pp. 223–225.
^ Martínez Martínez, Faustino (October 2003). "Antología de textos
forales del Antiguo Reino de Galicia (siglos XII-XIV)" (PDF).
Cuadernos de Historia del Derecho: 279. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
^ "Considerandum etiam quod, cum sint quinque regna in Ispaniorum,
videlicet Arragonensium, Navarrorum et eorum qui specificato vocabulo
Ispani dicuntur, quorum metropolis est Tolletum, item incholarum
Galicie et Portugalensium". Cf. Bruno Meyer (2000): "El papel de los
cruzados alemanes en la reconquista de la Península Ibérica en los
siglos XII y XIII". En la España Medieval, 23: 41–66.
^ López Carreira (1999) pp. 237–244.
^ Cf. López Carreira (1999) p. 241.
^ Cf. López Carreira (1999) pp. 242–266.
^ González López (1978) pp. 357–359.
^ Falque, Emma (1994). Historia compostelana. Madrid, España: Akal
Ediciones. ISBN 84-460-0417-8.
^ González López (1978) p. 361.
^ Cf. González López (1978) p. 360, where he anyway just mentions
the Galician consuetudinary laws which equates the rights of women and
^ González López (1978) p. 286.
^ Cf. González López (1978) p. 360-366.
^ As an example, in a passage of the
Historia Compostellana it is
stated, as a notable event, that bishop
Diego Gelmirez spoke publicly
^ Cf Souto Cabo 2008.
^ Queixas Zas (2001) p. 14.
^ Queixas Zas (2001) pp. 24–61.
^ Queixas Zas (2001) pp. 66–74.
^ Boullón Agrelo (ed.), Ana Isabel (2007). Na nosa lyngoage
galega : a emerxencia do galego como lingua escrita na Idade
Media (PDF). Santiago de Compostela: Consello da Cultura Galega.
pp. 447–473. ISBN 978-84-96530-44-7. CS1 maint: Extra
text: authors list (link)
^ Souto Cabo (2008) p. 51.
^ Mariño Paz (1998) pp. 201–230.
^ Mariño Paz (1998) pp. 231–265.
^ After the acquisition of the kingdoms of León and Galicia he signed
as King of Castile and Toledo, of León and Galicia (“Rex Catelle et
Toleti, Legionis et Gallecie”). Posterior monarchs would add their
new acquired titles to this growing list: Seville, Granada, Aragon,
Neaples, Sicilly, etcetera.
^ López Carreira (2005) pp. 396–397.
^ Cf. García Oro (1987) vol. I, pp. 26–27. These official were
known as merino mayor, in Spanish, in Castile and León.
^ Cf. García Oro (1987) vol. I, pp. 26–27; and González López
(1978) pp. 363–364.
^ González López (1978) pp. 373–378.
^ González López (1978) p. 390.
^ González López (1978) p. 391.
^ González López (1978) pp. 388.
^ López Carreira (2005) p. 396.
^ 'Germanitas Regnorum Legionis et Gallecie'. Cf. Garcia Oro (1987)
vol. I, p. 69 and Martín Martín, José Luis (1989). Documentacion
medieval de la Iglesia Catedral de Coria (1a ed.). Salamanca:
Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca. pp. 55–59.
^ González López (1978) pp. 406–415.
^ González López (1978) pp. 415–416.
^ González López (1978) pp. 419–420.
^ "E en el pleito avianle tratado e puesto de esta manera, que diesen
luego al infante Don Juan todo el reino de Galicia, e que se llamase
ende Rey", Crónica General del Rey Don Fernando IV, cap IV, in
González López (1978) pp. 422–423.
^ Garcia Oro (1987) vol. I pp. 61–87.
^ López Carreira 1999, 281–290.
^ His flight was itself an astonishing Hollywood story, narrated in
the Historia Compostellana, I.114–116.
^ Garcia Oro (1987) vol. I pp. 62.
^ Garcia Oro (1987) vol. I pp. 63–64.
^ López Carreira 1999, 284.
^ Garcia Oro (1987) vol. I p. 80.
^ Garcia Oro (1987) vol. I pp. 96.
^ It came to the world such a pestilence and death of people that most
of them were gone, charter from Baiona (1349) in López Carreira 1999,
^ Barros Guimeráns 1988, 37.
^ López Carreira 1999, 290–291.
^ a b Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, 103.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, 104.
^ López Carreira 1999, 291.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, 105–106.
^ It's precise that you come immediately and as fast as you can
(«Compre que veñades logo et o mais a presa que poderdes»). Garcia
Oro 1987, vol. I, 106–107.
^ López Carreira 2005, 406.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, 107–108.
^ Tui, A Coruña,
Lugo and Santiago most notably. Cf. Garcia Oro, vol.
^ Fernão Lopes, Crónica, ed. 1966, p. 75.
^ Fernão Lopes, Crónica, ed. 1966, p.86 "os da villa o sairom todos
^ López Carreira 1999, 292.
^ Fernão Lopes, Crónica, ed. 966, p. 87. "Carregar em Lisboa navios
e cevada e vinhos, que levassem todo a aquelle logar para seer
^ On the abundant Portuguese coinage of the mints of A Coruña, Tui
and Milmanda: Iglesias Almeida, Ernesto (2010). As moedas medievais
galegas (in Galician). Noia: Toxosoutos. pp. 81–86.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, 109.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, 109; López Carreira 2005, 406–411;
López Carreira 1999, 293.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, 110–111.
^ López Carreira 1999, 293.
^ "The grand master Davis had news few days ago of how the
Lancaster had arrived with ships and militarymen at the town of
Coruña in Galicia, the day of St. James, and how he took some ships
of the king of Castile, and the military-men were 1500 lances and
alike number of archers and all of them were good. And he brought with
him his wife Constance, who was the daughter of king Peter and a
daughter who had been born of her, who was called Catherine, and he
brought other two daughters who the
Duke had of another woman he
married before, who was daughter of another
Duke of Lancaster and Earl
of Derby, the elder was called Philippa, who married the grand master
of Davis, who was called king of Portugal, as further on we tell, and
the other daughter was called Elisabeth, who married then a knight who
come with the Duke, who was called John of Holland, who was son of the
princess and Thomas of Holland, because the
Duke of Lancaster made him
his military chief." Ayala's Chronicles (J. L. Martín ed. 1991: 607).
^ de Antonio Rubio, María Gloria (2004). Los judíos de
Ribadavia : la judería de
Ribadavia y sus personajes en los
siglos XIV – XV. Santiago de Compostela: Ed. Lóstrego.
pp. 19–28. ISBN 84-933244-4-2.
^ López Carreira 2005, 412–413.
^ Froissart Chronique, t. 12, p.214.
^ López Carreira 2005, 413.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, 265.
^ “Pont Ferrat, fin d'Espage, commecemnt de Galice” (Itinerary of
Senlis, c.15th century). Cf. López Carreira 2005, 418.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, 265–267.
^ López Carreira 2005, 417.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, 116 and 267–269.
^ Ferro Couselo, Xesús (1996). A vida e a fala dos devanceiros :
escolma de documentos en galego dos seculos XIII ao XVI (Reimp. ed.).
[Vigo, Spain]: Galaxia. p. 701.
^ López Carreira 1999, 296–297.
^ The Bohemian nobleman Baron León Rosmithal, in his pilgrimage to
Santiago in 1466, was a witness of these conflictive times, when first
he and his retinue were confronted by a group of some 100 peasants,
armed with spears, swords and crossbows, after a boy had accidentally
hit with a stone a passerby; whilst later he found the City of
Santiago raised on arms against the bishop, who was a prisoner inside
the Cathedral. Cf. 84-7154-909-3, pp. 32–40.
^ Barros Guimeráns 1988, 41.
^ Cf. Barros Guimeráns 1988, 39–47.
^ Nieto Soria, José Manuel (2006). La monarquía como conflicto en la
Corona castellano-leonesa (C. 1230–1504). Madrid: Sílex.
p. 155. ISBN 978-84-7737-174-8.
^ Barros Guimeráns 1994, 84–85.
^ Barros Guimeráns 1994, 88.
^ In a letter to the King, the Council of
Ourense accused the Kingdoms
of León and of Castile of acting unfairly, charging on Galicia part
of their own taxes, taking advantage on the absence of Galician
deputies. Cf. López Carreira 2005, 420.
^ López Carreira 1999, 299–302.
^ Barros Guimeráns 1988, 39–45.
^ Barros Guimeráns 1988, 94.
^ Barros Guimeráns, Carlos. "As orixes medievais da Xunta de
Galicia". Retrieved June 4, 2011.
^ Garcia Oro, vol. I, 314.
^ López Carreira 1999, 306; and Garcia Oro, vol. I, 314.
^ Many of the noblemen acquired titles such as Viscount of Tui,
Marshal of Baiona,
Count of Altamira,
Count of Monterrei. One notable
exception was the Lord of Andrade, who refused to acquire a title for
himself, declaring that 'he either would prefer to be a good knight,
than a bad count'. Cf. da Ponte, Vasco (2008). Relación dalgunhas
casas e liñaxes do reino de Galiza (1a. ed.). Noia, A Coruña:
Toxosoutos. ISBN 978-84-96673-03-8.
^ Meaning who get up early, because of his capacity to draw ahead of
^ Garcia Oro, vol. I, 315–319.
^ “O reino todo rebolto en guerras, e tantos roubos e mortes, e
todos malos feitos; lebantarse grande chusma de comuneiros contra os
cabaleiros e moitos cabaleiros contra el mismo Rey noso señor e
outros señores da terra façer guerra contra outros e deitar por
terra tantas casas e torres”. Last Will of the
Knight Fernan Garçia
Barba de Figueroa, 1473. In Coleccion Diplomatica de Galicia Historica
^ (in Spanish) Jerónimo Zurita, LIBRO XIX, Anales de Aragón
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, p. 319.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, p. 323-330.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, p. 331-333.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, p. 335-336.
^ Cf. Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, p. 337-340, who also narrates some
episodes of cruelty and mass punishment.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, p. 335.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, p. 289-309.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, p. 334-335.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, p. 350.
^ Garcia Oro 1987, vol. I, p. 353.
^ López Carreira 2005, 426.
^ De Artaza (1998:475–476)
^ Barros, Carlos. "As orixes medievais da Xunta de Galicia". Retrieved
November 9, 2011.
^ De Artaza (1998:46–47)
^ a b De Artaza (1998:XXIX)
^ De Artaza (1998:48)
^ Goodman, David (2002). Spanish naval power, 1589–1665 :
reconstruction and defeat. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
p. 80. ISBN 978-0-521-52257-1.
^ Only occasionally the King permitted the deputies to supervise the
labour of the
Real Audiencia del Reino de Galicia, or other King's
officials. Cf. De Artaza (1998:258–289).
^ De Artaza (1998:15)
^ De Artaza (1998:147)
^ Barreiro Fernández, Xosé Ramón (ed.) (2007). Os símbolos de
Galicia (PDF). Santiago de Compostela: Consello da Cultura Galega.
pp. 38–40. ISBN 978-84-96530-46-1. CS1 maint: Extra
text: authors list (link)
Arias, Jorge C. (2007): Identity and Interaction: The Suevi and the
Hispano-Romans. University of Virginia.
Baliñas Pérez, C. (1998): Gallegos del año mil. Fundación Pedro
Barrié de la Maza, A Coruña. ISBN 84-89748-27-6. (in Spanish)
Barros Guimeráns, C. (1988): A Mentalidade Xusticieira dos
Irmandiños. Xerais: Vigo. ISBN 84-7507-313-1. (in Galician)
Barros Guimeráns, C. (1994): ¡Viva El Rey! Rey imaginario y revuelta
en la Galicia bajomedieval. Studia historica. Historia medieval (12):
83–101 (in Spanish)
Bishko, Charles Julian (1984). Spanish and Portuguese monastic
history, 600–1300. London: Variorum Reprints. pp. 22.
Carballeira Debasa, Ana María (2007). Galicia y los gallegos en las
fuentes árabes medievales. Madrid: Consejo Superior de
Investigaciones Cientifícas. ISBN 978-84-00-08576-6. (in
De Artaza, Manuel María (1998), Rey, Reino y representación. La
Junta General del Reino de Galicia (in Spanish), Madrid: CSIC,
De la Gándara, Felipe (1677): Nobiliario, armas, y triunfos de
Galicia". Julian de Paredes, Madrid. (in Spanish)
Fletcher, Richard. A (1984): Saint James's catapult: the life and
Diego Gelmírez of Santiago de Compostela.
García Oro, José (1987): Galicia en los siglos XIV y XV. Fundación
"Pedro Barrie de la Maza, Conde de Fenosa", A Coruña.
ISBN 84-85728-59-9. (in Spanish)
González López, Emilio (1978): Grandeza e Decadencia do Reino de
Galicia. Galaxia, Vigo. ISBN 84-7154-303-6. (in Galician)
Isla Frez, Amancio (1992): La sociedad gallega en la Alta Edad Media.
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid.
ISBN 84-00-07215-4. (in Spanish)
Isla Frez, Amancio (1999): Realezas hispánicas del año mil. Ediciós
do Castro, Sada (A Coruña). ISBN 84-7492-917-2. (in Spanish)
López Carreira, Anselmo (1998): O Reino de Galiza. A Nosa Terra,
Vigo. ISBN 978-84-89976-43-6 (in Galician)
López Carreira, Anselmo (1999). A cidade medieval galega (1. ed.)
Vigo: Edicions A Nosa Terra. ISBN 84-89976-60-0. (in Galician)
López Carreira, Anselmo (2005): O Reino medieval de Galicia. A Nosa
Terra, Vigo. ISBN 978-84-8341-293-0 (in Galician)
López Ferreiro, Antonio (1895): Fueros municipales de Santiago y de
su Tierra. (in Spanish)
Mariño Paz, Ramón (1998). Historia da lingua galega (2. ed.).
Santiago de Compostela: Sotelo Blanco. ISBN 84-7824-333-X (in
Nogueira, C. (2001): A Memoria da nación: o reino da Gallaecia.
Xerais, Vigo. 9788483026564 (in Galician)
Portela Silva, Ermelindo (2001): "García II de Galicia, el rey y el
reino (1065–1090)". La Olmeda, Burgos. ISBN 84-89915-16-4. (in
Queixas Zas, Mercedes (2001). Historia xeral da literatura galega.
Vigo: A nosa terra. ISBN 84-95350-79-3. (in Galician)
Reilly, Bernard F. (1982): The kingdom of León-Castilla under Queen
Urraca, 1109–1126. Princeton U.P., Princeton, N.J.
Reilly, Bernard F. (1988): The Kingdom of León-Castilla under King
Alfonso VII, 1126–1157. University of Pennsylvania Press,
Philadelphia. ISBN 0-8122-3452-9.
Rodríguez Fernández, Justianiano (1997): García I, Ordoño II,
Fruela II, Alfonso IV. Editorial La Olmeda, Burgos.
ISBN 84-920046-8-1. (in Spanish)
Souto Cabo, José Antonio (2008). Documentos galego-portugueses dos
séculos XII e XIII. A Coruña: Universidade da Coruña.
ISBN 978-84-9749-314-7. (in Galician)
Thompson, E. A. (2002): Romans and barbarians: the decline of the
Western Empire. Univ of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-08704-3.
Torres Rodríguez, Casimiro (1977): El Reino de los Suevos. Fundación
Barrié de la Maza, A Coruña. ISBN 84-85319-11-7. (in Spanish)
Villacañas Berlanga, José Luis (2006) La formación de los reinos
hispánicos. Pozuelo de Alarcón: Espasa Calpe.
ISBN 84-670-2257-4. (in Spanish)
Coordinates: 42°52′57″N 8°32′28″W / 42.88250°N
8.54111°W / 42.88250; -8.54111
Spain in the Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
Kingdom of the Suebi
Province of Spania
Duchy of Cantabria
Duchy of Vasconia
Caliphate of Córdoba
Emirate of Granada
Kingdom of Asturias
Kingdom of Asturias → Kingdom of León
Kingdom of Galicia
County of Castile
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile →
Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile (Castile-León)
Marca Hispanica →
County of Barcelona
County of Barcelona → Principality of Catalonia
Kingdom of Viguera
Kingdom of Pamplona
Kingdom of Pamplona → Kingdom of Navarre
Aragon → Kingdom of
Aragon → Crown of Aragon
Kingdom of Majorca
Kingdom of Valencia
Monarchs of al-Andalus
Monarchs of Aragon
Monarchs of Asturias
Monarchs of Barcelona
Monarchs of Castile
Monarchs of Galicia
Monarchs of Granada
Monarchs of León
Monarchs of Majorca
Monarchs of Navarre
Monarchs of Valencia
Monarchs of Galicia
House of Jiménez
House of Burgundy
Alfonso VII and Urraca
Portuguese House of Burgundy
Ferdinand I of Portugal
House of Lancaster
John of Gaunt
House of Trastámara
Isabella I & Ferdinand V
Joanna & Philip I
House of Habsburg