Henriques, King Afonso I

(1105?-1185)
   The first king of Portugal, known as "The Founder" in Portuguese history and tradition. The son of a former Burgundian count, Afonso Henriques established Portugal as a kingdom independent from Castile and Léon. The independence of the Portuguese monarchy was established on the field of battle by 1139 or 1140. Afonso Henriques had his main capital at Coimbra, and devoted most of his reign to 1185 to two main enterprises: ensuring the continued separation of the kingdom of Portugal from the kingdoms of Castile and Leon and the recon-quest from the Muslims of the western parts of the Iberian Peninsula and their incorporation into his kingdom. In 1147, with the assistance of English and Flemish crusaders on the way to the Holy Land, Afonso Henriques's army took the city of Lisbon from the Muslims following an extended siege. Beginning in 1143, Afonso Henriques had received formal recognition of the independence of Portugal and of his legitimacy as king of Portugal from the pope in Rome, but it was only in 1179 that papal communications first began to employ the royal title Afonso Henriques had created and established as 'The Founder" of the state of Portugal. Afonso Henriques died in 1185, at the unusually advanced age of nearly 80 years and is known in Portuguese history as Afonso I.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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