The Rise of Portugal, 1097-1385

With the Tariq's conquest of Spain in 711, all of Portugal came under Muslim rule. The tiny Christian kingdom of Andalusia expanded, and it's successor kingdom of LEON liberated the lands north of the Duero river, which was to become the COUNTY OF BRAGA. To the south, what was to become Portugal was part of the Caliphate of Cordoba, and after it's disintegration of the Emirate of Badajoz.
Just like Castile, over time the Counts of Braga established their independence from Leon; in 1104, the dioceses of Braga was elevated to an ARCHDIOCESIS, a sign that the Catholic church recognized Portuguese independence. In 1139, Count Alfonso Henriques was crowned King of Portugal.
Portugal participated in the Reconquista. COIMBRA was conquered in 1064. It was made the new capital, and the DIOCESIS OF COIMBRA was established in 1088. With the assistance of bypassing crusaders, LISBON was liberated in 1147; the DIOCESIS OF LISBON was established the same year. In Portugal, several military orders featured prominently in the Reconquista, most notably the Knights of Calatrava (Portuguese branch, founded in 1211), better known as the KNIGHTS OF AVIS, the Knights Templar (in 1319 the Portuguese branch was renamed Knights of Christ), the Knights of Sao Tiago and of Crato. The ALGARVE became Portuguese around 1250, ending the Reconquista in Portugal. The Portuguese parliament, called the CORTES, convened since the early 13th century. In the mid-thirteenth century, King Afonso III. moved the court from Coimbra to Lisbon, and founded the seminar at Coimbra which developed into the University of Coimbra.
By the time King Ferdinand I. died (and with him the dynasty ended), Portugal was in open rebellion, the burghers of the cities as well as the farming communities refusing to carry the economic burden asked of them. JOHN OF AVIS, master of the ORDER OF AVIS, claimed the crown of Portugal. The Castilians invaded, but were defeated in the BATTLE OF ALJUBARROTA (1385).

History of Portugal by Dark Angel
Articles from Catholic Encyclopedia : Portugal, Coimbra, Aviz, Order of, Lisbon
REFERENCE David Birmingham, A Concise History of Portugal, Cambridge Concise Histories, 1993, 210 pp.
Donald E. Worcester, Brazil, from Colony to World Power, NY : Scribner 1973

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on October 20th 2005

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