By H. Salvador Martínez

A very groundbreaking booklet, featuring a portrait of Alfonso X, monarch and medieval highbrow par excellence, and the intense cultural heritage of Spain at the moment.

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Extra resources for Alfonso X, the Learned

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Facing the new political realities that ensued the death of Alfonso VIII (1214) and of his successor, Enrique I (a thirteen yearold who died tragically in 1217), Berenguela, the legitimate heir to the throne of Castile, once more brought to the pope’s attention the issue of the right of succession of her son Fernando, according to the Treaty of Cabreros, which was still in effect. Rome had to reverse its position. ”32 The Treaty of Cabreros and the papal bull permanently removed all canonical impediments and gave Fernando III the uncontested right to succeed his father as king.

24 Finally, in 1201, the first boy, Fernando, was born, and a year later, a second male child, don Alfonso de Molina, who was always his brother’s firm collaborator. 25 According to the historians and chroniclers of the period, besides his philandering habits, Alfonso IX had an unstable temperament and was good friends with gossipmongers and diviners. Jiménez de Rada, who also had a deep admiration for the king and dedicated several chapters to his military campaigns, also affirmed: “He was a pious, courageous, and benevolent man, but he let himself be carried away by the gossip of schemers”;26 Fr.

36 The death of the young don Enrique automatically ceded the throne to his sister Berenguela, as sole successor of Alfonso VIII. As was to be expected, the invasion of Castile by the troops of her ex-husband Alfonso IX of León, happened quickly, supported by don Alvaro de Lara’s troops. But the Castilians, who had gathered in great numbers at Valladolid, proclaimed Berenguela as queen. She immediately transferred the crown to her son Fernando, who was present there (July 2, 1217). The CLRC narrates the event in these terms: One of the people, speaking for all, who were all agreed on this, recognized that the kingdom of Castile belonged by right to Queen Lady Berenguela and that everyone recognized her as Lady and Queen of the kingdom of Castile.

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