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King Alfonso VIII of CastileGovernment, Family, and War$
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Miguel Gómez, Kyle C. Lincoln, and Damian J. Smith

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823284146

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823284146.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 31 May 2020

Alfonso VIII: An Introduction

Alfonso VIII: An Introduction

(p.1) Alfonso VIII: An Introduction
King Alfonso VIII of Castile

Teofilo F. Ruiz

Fordham University Press

This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of Alfonso VIII's role in the development of Castilian and European society. Born in November 1155, the son of Sancho III of Castile-León and Blanche of Navarre, Alfonso VIII ascended to the throne in 1158 on the death of his father. His minority was a troubled period. Noble factions fought for control of the regency, seeking to appropriate as much of the royal prerogatives and domain as possible. Once he came of age and assumed control of his kingdom, it took Alfonso VIII a great deal of his adult life to recover the lands illegally seized by his uncles and to diminish the influence of noble factions. However, threats came from other sources. By the middle of the twelfth century, the Almoravids fell to the rising Almohad power. By the second half of the twelfth century, the Almohads built an expansive and successful Western Mediterranean empire. In many respects, Alfonso VIII's reign would be defined by his defeats at the Almohads' hands and by his eventual victories over them, culminating with the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212.

Keywords:   Alfonso VIII, Castilian society, European society, noble factions, Almoravids, Almohads, Western Mediterranean, Las Navas de Tolosa

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