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The Chronicle of Alfonso the Emperor

Glenn Edward Lipskey


The Chronicle of Alfonso the Emperor

Book II

Attacks on Toledo by Ali and Texufin

(96) Momentarily we will depart from the chronological order of events and discuss the fierce wars which the Christians had to undergo in the past. After the death of King [103] Alfonso VI, Queen Urraca's father, the Moorish ruler Ali assumed dictatorial powers over the Almoravides. He also ruled over the Hispanic Moslems on this side of the sea. His imposing domination extended also to other nations. He reigned like a serpent whose thirst increases with the heat. He raised his head arrogantly, always confident of victory after the death of Alfonso VI, that most excellent of all men. Ali summoned all or the forces of the Almoravides and all of the mercenary Arabs available. He had at his command an army of thousands of cavalrymen, archers and infantry. They were as numberless as the sands of the seashore. Ali first took counsel with certain diligent advisors. Then he mobilized his entire army, crossed the sea and, came to Sevilla. His son Texufin also accompanied him. He ordered all of the leaders of the Almoravides who ruled over the Hispanic Moslems to muster their forces of cavalry, archers and infantry. He commanded them to equip themselves with scaling ladders and other war machines, both wooden and iron. All of this was prepared with the idea of overcoming the city of Toledo, to which Ali was proceeding with the greatest haste. He also intended to destroy other towns and cities located on the other side of the mountains. (1) He moved his camp from Sevilla, and in a few days he reached Córdoba. There all of the armed forces from that part of the Moorish territory joined him. They moved their camp and marched through the land which belonged to Alvar Fáñez. (2) They proceeded to capture strong cities and castles, Some of these they destroyed, and some they [104] fortified. Finally they came to the area around Toledo and destroyed San Servando and Aceca. Next, approaching the city proper, they set up their war machines in strategic locations. They took aim at the city for some time and assailed it with arrows, stones, spears and incendiary missiles. But Alvar Fáñez, one of the most inspiring of all Christian leaders, was within the city at that time. He had with him a good number of knights, archers, infantrymen and strong young soldiers. They were stationed on the walls, in the towers and at the gates of the city. They continued to fight bravely against the Moors, many thousands of whom were killed outside the city walls. Thus the infidels were put to flight by the courage of the Christians. They were positioned too distant from the city towers to do harm either to the city or to those stationed on the walls.

(98) When King Ali viewed the situation, he ordered the infantry to gather a large quantity of firewood from the groves and from the vineyards. Ali directed it to be placed furtively during the night at the base of the strong tower at the bridgehead facing San Servando. At midnight the Moors commenced to heap a powerful pitch fire on the wood by using catapults to hurl the arrows as firebrands. They, of course, did this for the purpose of burning down the tower. But the Christians in the tower reacted quickly by pouring a great quantity of vinegar over the wood. The fire immediately died out. There were also many elderly men of sound judgment in the city with Alvar Fáñez. [105] They possessed great foresight, and had been left there by King Alfonso VI until his royal descendant might free Toledo from the threat of the infidels.

(99) Again when King Ali realized the failure of his strategy, he was extremely angered. Very early the following day he ordered his cavalry commanders to mobilize large formations from their choicest infantry supported by all types of war machines. He directed the other forces of Almoravides and Arabs to do the same. They were to bring the engines to the base of the city walls and place them in strategic positions. Thus several catapults were set up near the Alcara gate. From this location they could hurl firebrands into the city. There were also war machines which catapulted stones and javelins. They brought scorpions to shoot arrows, mantlets and battering rams to undermine the walls and scaling ladders to place over the towers.

(100) The Christians countered with machines to fight those of the Moors. The encounter lasted for seven days. In that time the enemy was not able to damage the city at all. On the seventh day the Christians poured out of the city through the gates on the west side. With the Moors in full flight, they set fire to all the war machines which had been abandoned and the other devices with which King Ali and his commanders had contrived the destruction of the city walls.

(101) While these battles were taking place, Bernardo, (3) [106] the Archbishop of Toledo, was prostrated with the clergy, the elderly and the poor on the floor of Saint Mary's church. They were begging the Lord and Mary not to remember the sins of the kings nor of the people. They prayed that they would not be killed or captured, nor that the women would become objects of infidel derision. Nor did they wish their children to be taken as booty. They prayed that the Lord would keep their city from destruction and his holy Law from reproach, dishonor or contempt. God listened to their petitions and pitied his people. He sent Michael the Archangel to guard the city of Toledo and to strengthen its walls so that they would not be destroyed. He came to comfort the hearts of the warriors and to defend the Christians. All of this would not have been done, had the Lord decided not to guard the city, for as David said, "Unless the Lord guards the city, they who guard it do so in vain." (4)

The Sacking of Madrid and of Other Frontier Points

(102) King Alii then saw that in the battle the scales had been turned against the Saracens. Their leaders were perishing, and their people were dying in countless numbers, so he and, all his army withdrew from the city. They went out and, captured cities and castles in the Trans-Sierra region. Because of our sins he was successful in destroying the walls of Madrid, Olmos, Canales and, many other places. He took a large number of captives, carried away much booty and left behind him a path of destruction. However, the more highly fortified towers of [107] these cities were not captured, and many Christians remained safely inside them. Guadalajara and other cities and castles were not harmed. Their walls were not destroyed, because God took vengeance on the Saracens. In fact, that abominable race began to perish more and more frequently at the sword of the Christians.

Ali Abandons Spain;
the Organization of his Court

(103) Under these circumstances King Ali quickly returned to Córdoba. There he summoned his son Texufin and said to him, "Take command of all the Saracen kingdoms, and you be King over all the Moslem rulers from the shores of the Mediterranean to the Christian city of Toledo. Take possession of the territory up to Santarem, and on the other side of the Peninsula, up to Zaragoza and Barcelona. First of all, I command you, my son, to destroy Toledo by the sword. Destroy all of its cities and castles up to the Duero River, because the inhabitants of Toledo have defied me and have waged war against me. Send all of your Christian captives across the sea to my court." After this King Ali proceeded to Sevilla. He crossed the Mediterranean Sea and went to his city Morocco which was the capital of the Almoravides. He carried with him all of the Christian prisoners whom he had been able to capture. He also transferred to Morocco all the captives that he found throughout the land of the Spanish Moslems.

(104) In King Ali's court there was a man whose name was [108] Alimenon. (5) He was a brave and knowledgeable sailor who commanded the navy of the Almoravides. When he would see that the weather was right for sailing, he would take a fleet of ships and sail up the Galician side of the Peninsula and then through the English Channel. Or he would sail through the Mediterranean striking at Sicily, Constantinople or against Ascalon on the Palestinian coast. He would attack Bari in the Adriatic and, other ports in that region. Alimenon assaulted the area of Barcelona and also the Frankish kingdoms. He left ruin everywhere, and butchered and massacred the Christians. He brought all of his captives to the court of King Ali, his master. Consequently, there was a considerable number of Christian nobles and commoners in this court.

(105) It happened that at this time God favored the Christian captives and their infidel master as well. King Ali began to treat the Christians very well. In fact, he grew to love many of them even more than the members of his own oriental race. He even appointed some of them chamber servants in his private quarters. He made others military commanders in his army. Some of the Christian officers held command over military groups which numbered as many as one thousand troops. The same officers were also in charge of his bodyguard. He gave them gold and silver and cities and castles. He favored them in this way so that they would be in a more strategic position to wage war against the Almohades. (6) The King particularly wanted them to do battle against the leader of the Almohades, Abd al-Mumin (7) This ruler was sweeping victoriously through North [109] Africa without opposition.

(106) Among the captives of King Ali was a Christian noble from Barcelona whose name was Reverter. (8) He was a just man, simple and god-fearing. The King placed him in charge of the Christian knights, and he also made him a general in his own army. This individual had never suffered defeat in combat. All of King Ali's wars were carried out with the strategical assistance and military knowledge of Reverter. However, as time passed Ali grew very old and finally died. His son Texufin succeeded him on the throne. He also treated the Christian captives benevolently, as his father had done.

The Almoravides Recover Oreja, Zorita, Coria and Alvalat

(107) The following events occurred during the reign of Queen Urraca. The King of Sevilla and the King of Córdoba and all the other Almoravide rulers in the south had gathered a large army of cavalry, infantry and archers. They proceeded to the territory of Toledo and began to attack the castle at Oreja. They massacred the Christians there and took many prisoners. They then took another castle at Zorita and strongly fortified it. There they left their cavalry, infantry, food supplies, and many arms and war machines. Thereupon they returned to the south.

(108) About this time Coria was surrendered to the Saracens by a certain group of evil men who feigned being Christians but were actually infidels. The Saracens also took another castle In Extremadura called Alvalat. They strengthened it and the one [110] at Coria with numerous cavalry and infantry troops. These soldiers were daily moving on the offensive throughout Extremadura up to the Duero River. Those in Oreja were doing the same against Toledo and against other cities in the Trans-Sierra region. They committed many massacres and carried away a great deal of booty.

Attack on Toledo;
Destruction of Aceca

(109) After some years King Texufin mobilized all his army and moved toward Toledo. But the Christians heard of his coming and fortified their city. Texufin, with his entire army, crossed the Tajo River and marched against the Aceca castle. This fortification had been inhabited recently by Tello Fernández, a Duke from Saldaña, and also by other Christians. The Almoravides attacked from midnight until sunset the next day. Eventually, they broke through and captured the castle. In doing so they demolished it to its very foundations. Nearly three hundred Christian soldiers died in the fighting. Tello Fernández, the commander there, along with many others, was captured and taken to Córdoba. From Córdoba he was transferred across the Mediterranean to King Ali's palace. He never returned to Spain.

The Defeat of the Governors of Toledo and of Mora

(110) During those times there was a Spanish Moslem chief in Calatrava whose name was Farax. (9) He was a champion among the Spanish infidels. In San Esteban there was a powerful leader [111] of the Almoravides named Ali. The two were carrying on a fierce campaign and causing a great deal of massacre in the territory around Toledo. They had mobilized all the Almoravides and Spanish Moslems in Oreja. They had also brought troops out of the area south to the Guadalquivir River. They stealthily entered the region around Toledo at night. There they set up an ambush in a concealed area. All of this activity escaped the notice of Gutier Armíldez, the governor of Toledo, who was then in Alamín.

(111) The next day early in the morning a few of the Almoravide cavalrymen appeared on the surrounding plain driving some cattle. Then they apparently began to flee. Gutier Armíldez pursued them with forty knights. When they came upon the ambush site, the enemy suddenly appeared and began to attack. The battle grew extremely fierce, and Armíldez was killed. Most of the other knights accompanying him were also killed.

(112) One of those who survived was Munio Alfonso. (10) He had been born in Galicia but was now governor of Mora. He was taken prisoner with other Christian knights, and they were all transported to Córdoba. There they were thrown in prison. The Moors tortured Munio Alfonso by giving him neither food nor drink. After several days be ransomed himself with a great deal of gold, and silver, livestock and arms. He went to Toledo and then to his castle at Mora. On later occasions he fought many battles from that castle and defeated and killed many powerful Moorish leaders. These latter battles are recorded below.

[112] The Defeat of the Governors of Escalona and Hita

(113) The infidel leaders mentioned above returned again to the frontier around Toledo. There they fought with the two brothers, Domingo and Diego Álvarez. (11) The two jointly held the position of governor of Escalona. Farax and Ali also fought with many Christian knights from other cities. Because of their sins the Christians were defeated, and the governors of Escalona were killed along with many others. The Moors also engaged Fernando Fernández (12) in battle. He was governor of Hita. The infidel forces overpowered him and many of his troops.

The Reasons why Alfonso VII Neglected the Frontier

(114) While the above battles were being fought, Alfonso I, the King of Aragón, was carrying out a very hostile campaign against Castile and León. He had occupied the following towns: Castrojeriz, Herrera, Castrillo, the castle at Burgos, San Esteban de Gormaz, Villafranca, Belorado, Grañón, Nájera and many other castles. The Emperor and his loyal subjects were at war with all these cities. Alfonso VII was not aided wholeheartedly by Count Pedro de Lara nor by his brother Count Rodrigo González nor by Count Gonzalo Peláez of Oviedo. Moreover, Pedro Díaz was rebelling in Valle, and Gimeno Íñiguez was doing the same in Coyanza. They had schemed trouble together, and had joined in a conspiracy with the Aragonese King. Because of this treachery, they all came to wretched ends, as is recorded in this book. (13)

(115) When the war with the King of Aragón was over, another one broke out in Castile against King García of Pamplona and King [113] Alfonso of Portugal. We have already written about the military offensives of the latter against Galicia. Due to these wars the Emperor did not undertake any expeditions into the south to the territory of the Moors. For this reason they had gained much power within Christian lands. Their dominance lasted until the Emperor went to Jerez and captured Oreja and Coria. Even though the infidels were on the attack to such an extent, every year the Christians living in the Trans-Sierra region and in Extremadura mobilized their forces and planned military campaigns. These would vary from one thousand to five thousand soldiers, and sometimes as many as ten thousand. They would go to the territory of the Almoravides and the Spanish Moslems and massacre them and, take a great many prisoners. Large amounts of booty would be carried off, and the land would be left in flames. They also killed several Moorish leaders and destroyed many of their castles and towns. The end result was that the Christian forces did greater damage to the infidels than the infidels had ever done to them.

Victory over Texufin at Lucena

(116) Meanwhile King Texufin, Azubel (14) of Córdoba, Abenceta (15) of Sevilla and other Almoravide leaders had mobilized an enormous army. Their strategy was to come suddenly to the land around Toledo and completely destroy the cities there. In this way they hoped to gain a great deal of fame in the Arab world. They moved out from Córdoba, and after a few days they camped on the plain at Lucena.

[114] (117) On the same day a thousand well-armed select knights were traveling from Avila and Segovia accompanied by a large infantry force. They were following a certain road which eventually leads to the plains of Córdoba. While they were marching they discovered that King Texufin and his forces were bivouacked on the Lucena plain. They immediately prayed to the Lord, to Mary and to Saint James to aid in their defense. It was divine inspiration that told them to stop where they were and to pitch their tents in that location. They divided the infantry into two forces. One half they left in the camp to guard their equipment and supplies. After midday the other half of the infantry and the entire force of well-armed knights marched out. At about the fifth hour of the night they rushed the tents of King Texufin and caused terror and pandemonium within his camp.

(118) A great mass of Almoravides and Saracens ran together to seize their arms and to begin the fight. The battle was fierce, and a great part of the Saracen contingent was killed while others fled the camp in all directions. King Texufin was wounded in the thigh by spears. However, he mounted his horse bareback and fled. The Christians captured the entire camp with the royal banners of the Moors, all their mules and camels, and the gold, silver and other riches. Then they returned to their own camp. Each soldier went back to his city in Extremadura praising and blessing God. Texufin returned to Córdoba in a state of disgrace. He was cared for there by [115] physicians, and his wounds healed after several days of convalescence. However, he was crippled until death.

Cavalry Assault on Sevilla by Rodrigo González de Lara

(119) After Gutier Armíldez died, the Consul Rodrigo González came into favor with the Emperor. He was made commander of all troops in Toledo and leader of Extremadura. He mobilized a large army from both Castile and Extremadura. It was much greater than the combined cavalry and infantry of Toledo and of the other cities under Toledo's jurisdiction. Rodrigo González led this force to the land around Sevilla and devastated all the area. He cut down the fruit trees and took great quantities of booty a myriad of captives from the region, gold, silver, costly dresses, herds of horses, mares, asses, bulls, cows and many other varieties of livestock.

(120) The King of Sevilla viewed all this and immediately summoned many thousands of Almoravides, Arabs and Spanish Moslems. They came from the islands of the sea and also from the maritime nations. These were all of his neighbors and allies, and among them were many powerful Arab leaders. The King set out against the camp of Rodrigo González. The Consul was informed of this military move, and led away his army out of the camp and took up positions to meet the infidels. The Christian infantry was divided into two bodies, the archers and the slingers.

All the bravest warriors were located in the front line of battle. Next came a line of knights from Ávila. The second line was from Segovia. Rodrigo remained to the rear with the forces [116] from Toledo, the Trans-Sierra region and Castile as a reserve to reinforce the weak and to bring medical aid to the wounded.

(121) The battle began as the Saracens shouted and sounded their brazen trumpets and drums. They uttered cries and invoked Mohammed. The Christians called out with all their heart to the Lord, to Mary and to Saint James. They prayed that they would show them mercy and forget the sins of the king and of their forefathers. Many on both sides fell wounded shortly after the battle had begun. Rodrigo realized that the King of Sevilla's army was the stronger. Consequently, all of the bravest warriors joined with Rodrigo and they attacked. The King of Sevilla fell in the field and died, as did many of his officers. Rodrigo Gonzalez pursued the survivors all the way to the gates of Sevilla. After picking up the spoils, he began his march back to the camp.

Defeat of the Council of Salamanca

(122) At the same time the nobles from Salamanca entered the land around Badajoz. When they had been informed that Rodrigo González had planned a campaign against Sevilla, they said, "Let us go into the territory around Badajoz, and let us make a glorious name for ourselves. We will not share our new fame or glory with anyone." They mobilized an extremely large army and set out on the road that leads to Badajoz. They devastated the entire region and left nothing but ruin behind them. They also took many enemy captives. Their booty consisted of furnishings from the houses along with much gold and silver. [117] They gathered all the horses, mules, camels, asses, oxen and many other kinds of livestock.

(123) While all this was taking place, King Texufin was mobilizing an enormous force to fight the Consul Rodrigo. When he learned from a certain Spanish Moslem who had fled from Rodrigo's camp that the King of Sevilla and all his nobles had been killed, he was afraid to carry his campaign there. But he also learned from the same escapee that the Christian forces were bivouacked in the Badajoz region. Texufin followed the Christians, and he set up his camp facing theirs. He did not, however, immediately engage in battle with them, because it was almost nightfall. The Christians carefully reconnoitered the situation. They killed all the infidel captives in their camp. This was done to avoid the possibility that these captives might throw the camp into disorder by taking up arms during the battle. Through his interpreters King Texufin ordered that the Christians be asked who their commander was. They answered, "Each of us is his own individual commander." When Texufin heard this reply, he realized immediately that they were all fools and greatly lacking in prudence. This, of course, made him extremely happy, and he said to those around him, "Let it be known that their God has abandoned these fools." Many Salamancan nobles, realizing what the outcome of the battle would be, secretly fled from the camp. At daybreak the fighting began, and the Christians had to retreat immediately. All the knights and infantrymen were killed, and only the few who fled on horseback were saved. All [118] of the defenses of the camp were taken, and it was indeed a great disaster for the Christian forces. King Texufin carried away all the spoils and returned victoriously to Córdoba.

(124) The disaster alone was not a sufficient lesson to the Salamancan officers. The same misfortune repeated itself three more times in that year and in the following one. The cause of these calamities was simply that they trusted in their own strength too much and not enough in the Lord's power. After this they did penance for their sins and prayed a great deal. They offered, tithes and their first fruits to God, and he favored them. They were given the gift of valor and prudence while waging war. For that reason, subsequent to their prayers, they were a constant threat to the Moors in their own land under the leadership of Count Poncio (16) and other generals of the Emperor. They fought several battles and won great victories which included great spoils. The city of Salamanca became famous for its knights and infantry. The city also grew very rich from the spoils of war.

The Pilgrimage of Rodrigo González;
the Victories of Rodrigo
Fernández in Almonte, Serpa and Silvia

(125) The Consul Rodrigo returned to Toledo without any difficulty with his entire army. They praised and blessed God during the return trip, for He had saved those who trusted in Him. The other battles which the Consul Rodrigo fought with the king of the Almoravides are not recorded in this book. [119] When all of the military activity was concluded, the Consul became a pilgrim, and in a spirit of devotion, he journeyed across the sea to the city of Jerusalem.

(l26)Finally the Emperor entrusted Toledo to Rodrigo Fernández. He gave him many cities and towns in Extremadura. Rodrigo was appointed commander of all forces in Toledo. Following his appointment, he mobilized the entire army from Toledo and from all Castile, both cavalry and infantry. He led them to the South to the land of the infidels. There he caused much slaughter and ruin. He took many captives, a great deal of gold and silver and many beautiful pieces of clothing. He also captured several varieties of livestock which he found there in the fields. Wherever they traveled in the South, they left complete destruction behind them.

(127) When this ruin was reported to Texufin, he was extremely angered. He summoned all his friends, all the army officers and also his cavalry commanders. Moreover, mercenary forces were recruited from other kingdoms, from the islands in the sea and from the coastal regions. An enormous army of Almoravides likewise was brought across the Mediterranean to the South of Spain. This force was so large that it was impossible to count their divisions. The king then went out with his army to meet the Christians at Almonte.

(128) As soon as the governor of Toledo saw the approaching forces, he said the following to the Christians: "Do not fear [120] their numbers, and do not be alarmed at the thought of their attack. Keep in mind how King Alfonso VI and our own fathers captured Toledo and forced the frontier back to the Duero River. Now let us pray to God for His compassion, and He will crush them before our very eyes." Then the battle lines were drawn up. The cavalry, infantry and archers from both sides were assembled for the fighting. The conflict commenced, and God saw to it that several thousand of the enemy were killed. Consequently, King Texufin was defeated and forced to flee from the battlefield with his entire army. The Christians seized much gold, silver, horses, mules, camels and many other valuable spoils. They returned to Toledo singing hymns and blessing God, for He is good and His mercy endures forever. (17)

(129) Rodrigo Fernández, the governor of Toledo, mobilized the army a second time and marched south to the land of the Moors. Their kings came out to meet him at Serpa. In this confrontation the governor of Toledo came away the victor and took great spoils from the enemy. He returned to Extremadura extremely happy. Finally, a third time he gathered his forces and went to enemy territory and brought about great destruction. He killed many Almoravides and Hispanic Moslems. The infidel kings had mobilized a heavy force of cavalry and infantry and had met at Silvia. After the battle had begun, they retreated and many thousands of their troops were slaughtered. The remainder of the force fled in all directions. Again the governor of Toledo achieved victory, and the Christians seized a [121] great amount of booty from the enemy. After they had returned to Toledo, they were all very elated over the victory. On the return journey they sang the Te Deum in its entirety.

The Reconstruction of Aceca

(130) At that time there was a certain knight in Extremadura whose name was Gocelmo de Rivas. (18) He was a man of military inclinations who was also extremely wealthy. He possessed silver, bread, wine and all the riches of the world in great quantity. He went to the Emperor and requested that he be appointed for the reconstruction of the Aceca castle. The petition pleased King Alfonso a great deal. Therefore, Gocelmo and his entire family traveled to Aceca. The governor of Toledo accompanied them with a large army. They pitched their tents at the foot of the castle which had been destroyed by King Texufin when he had taken it from Tello Fernández. The castle was reconstructed with high walls and strong towers encircling it in order to keep the enemy from destroying it again. Gocelmo de Rivas had with him many aggressive knights and well armed infantrymen to guard the fortress. Messengers from Toledo resupplied it with foodstuffs so that Toledo itself might have something of a stronghold facing Oreja. Using that city as a base, many of the enemy were waging an aggressive war both in the region around Toledo and in Extremadura. A fierce battle took place at Calatrava and at Oreja. Sometimes the Christians were victors in this campaign, and sometimes they were forced to flee.

[122] Campaign of the Emperor through the Land of Jaén

(131) In May of the year 1176 of the Spanish Era, the Emperor joined forces with Rodrigo Fernández, the commander of the Toledo army. This officer had attained great success in all of his campaigns. The Emperor also brought Count Rodrigo from León, his own palace advisors and a large force from Extremadura. They set out and after traveling some distance, they bivouacked near the Guadalquivir River. Many plundering contingents marched out for several days at a distance from the main camp. They plundered all the land around Jaén, Baeza, Úbeda and Andújar. They set fire to all the towns they came upon. They also cut down the vineyards, the olive groves and all the other trees. Every place that came in their path was left in ruins. After several days they returned to the Emperor who was at the main camp. They brought a large number of captives, both men and women, and also children. They carried with them much gold and silver and many elegant and costly garments. Many other riches were also carried to the camp, including fine furniture and large herds of horses, mares, oxen, cows, sheep and goats.

(132) While this campaign was taking place, a certain group of individuals from Extremadura crossed the Guadalquivir River without the Emperor's order. They marched into enemy territory and burned and destroyed everywhere. After gathering their booty, they returned to the area where they had previously crossed the river. Because of a serious lack of planning and owing to the [123] large amount of spoils which they carried, they did not recross the river, but remained on the other side. At midnight there was an extremely heavy rainfall, and the river rose to flood level. In the morning the people were trapped on the other side of the river. They could not swim across, nor could they devise any other method for reaching the other side.

(133) The Emperor foresaw the impending tragedy, and he withdrew with his special guard so as not to witness the inevitable death of his people. Around the third hour of the day, those trapped on the far bank of the river looked up and saw squadrons of Almoravides and Hispanic Moslems coming to slaughter them. They were so completely frightened that panic overcame all of them. Consequently, they lost all sense of military skill in combat. They shouted across the river to the commander of Toledo and to Count Rodrigo to have pity on them. But these commanders shouted back: "The water has risen to such a height that it is totally impossible to make a crossing now. Confess your sins, pray, and share the Holy Bread of Communion that you have with you. God will then have mercy on your souls."

(l34) The Christians were now well provided with faith. They took up their arms and killed all of the infidel prisoners there. They even killed the women, children and animals. Immediately the approaching forces rushed on them and all of the Christians died. One of them did survive, and he was a Christian knight who threw himself into the river and was carried across by the current. All those who witnessed this miracle, [124] both Christian and Moor, were extremely amazed. The enemy cut off many of the heads of the Christians. They then gathered up the spoils and departed. When it was finally over, the consuls broke camp and went to the Emperor. They related everything that had occurred, and consequently, he left in a very disconsolate mood. He went to Toledo, and each of his soldiers departed for his own land.

The Failure of the Attack on Coria;
the Death of Count Rodrigo Martínez

(135) In July of the same year, the Emperor again gathered together his palace guard, Count Rodrigo of León and the men of Salamanca, and they all marched toward Coria. Alfonso set out with the intention of capturing the city. First he laid an ambush at some distance from the walls. Then he sent plundering companies to the city to capture the men, women and all the livestock in the fields. When the enemy within saw this they bravely broke out through the city gates in pursuit of the Christians who pretended to flee. Actually, they wished to pull them away from the city. When they had passed by the site where the Christians were concealed, the Emperor appeared in the field. Suddenly, those lying in ambush rushed out and killed all of the Moors and their leaders. Not one of them survived this attack.

(136) When the people within the city of Coria saw this taking place outside the walls, they quickly shut the city gates and fortified them with heavy timbers. The Emperor ordered the camp to be moved closer to the city. He sent messengers [125] throughout Extremadura and León with instructions that all cavalry and infantry should come to assist in the blockade of Coria. If anyone refused to come, that man would greatly displease the Emperor, and his entire home would be confiscated. The Christian officers erected high wooden towers that actually reached above the city walls. This resulted in such a perfect blockade that none of the enemy could enter or leave the city. The Christian forces also brought engines and mantlets with which to subdue the city.

(137) The Emperor summoned the commanders and ordered them to mobilize the war engines in preparation for the assault on the city. He left with his hunters for the mountains then in search of deer, boar and bear. In the morning the assault was begun. Consul Rodrigo Martínez himself climbed one of the wooden towers. Many knights, archers and slingers went up the tower with him. Then one of the enemy by pure chance shot an arrow at the tower which the consul had climbed. Because of our sins, the arrow hit its target on the other side of the wickerwork. The iron point of the arrow struck the neck of the Consul. It pierced his headpiece and corselet and wounded him.

(138) Nevertheless, after the Consul realized that he was wounded, he quickly grasped the point of the arrow and, removed it. At once he began to hemorrhage. Neither the conjurers nor the physicians could stop the bleeding. Finally Rodrigo said to those around him, "Take off my arms, for I am extremely [126] disheartened." Immediately they removed his arms and carried him to his tent. Throughout the entire day they attempted to cure his wound. Around sunset all hope in medicine was lost, and he died. As soon as the news had spread through the camp, there was tremendous mourning--more than anyone had imagined. Upon returning from the mountains, the Emperor was informed of the Consul's death. He learned the cause upon entering the camp. Alfonso gathered all of his advisors, and in their presence, he appointed Osorio, Rodrigo's brother, to be consul in his place.

(139) On the following day the Emperor realized his many misfortunes on this campaign. Thus, yielding to fate, he withdrew from the blockaded city. His nobles departed with him. He went to Salamanca, and the others returned safely to their respective homes. Count Osorio, the new consul, took the body of his brother to León. He was accompanied by his own military force and by that of his brother. The mourning over the death of Rodrigo Martínez increased in every city. In León they buried him with honors in his father's tomb near the Basilica of Saint Mary. The tomb is located very near the episcopal throne.

Texufin Returns to Morocco

(140) After this King Texufin crossed the Mediterranean Sea and went to the city of Morocco to the house of his father, King Ali. He took many Christians with him. These were called Mozarabs, and they were the Christians who had been living for [127] centuries in the South of Spain under Moslem rule. He carried off all of the captives that he had made during his stay on the Peninsula, and he placed them in cities and castles along with the other Christian prisoners. They were to face the Almohades who were attacking all of the land of the Almoravides in North Africa.

The Sackings on the Frontier;
the Loss of Mora

(141) After some years King Azuel of Córdoba and King Abenceta of Sevilla and the other infidel leaders in the South mobilized a very large army. They returned to the cities which lie along the Toledo frontier. There they committed many massacres and caused much destruction in Escalona and in Alamín. They captured the Mora castle due to the negligence of Munio Alfonso. I say negligence because he did not have it properly protected, nor was it provided with enough supplies to sustain large scale attacks. For this reason the enemy captured it. They fortified it with brave men and resupplied it.

(142) It must be noted that when the army of the Almoravides and of the Spanish Moors came to the territory around Toledo and its cities, it did not stay for a long time. Rather, it waged war for one entire day and night, and, then immediately returned home. This army made such a rapid advance south, because it feared the Emperor and his knights who lived in Ávila, Segovia and in Extremadura.

Countermeasure for the Loss of Mora;
Foragings of Munio Alfonso

(143) When the Emperor was informed that Nora had been captured by the enemy, he went there and constructed another castle facing it. This castle was Peña Negra, and it was stronger than the Mora castle. He fortified it with very aggressive knights and infantrymen and provided it with many supplies. He entrusted this castle to Martín Fernández. (19) Subsequently, he made daily attacks on those within the Mora castle until the Emperor recaptured it. After Mora had first been lost to the enemy, Munio Alfonso was too ashamed to appear in the presence of the Emperor. However, he did undertake a rather dangerous military campaign with his comrades from Toledo, Guadalajara, Talavera, Madrid, Ávila, Segovia and other cities. He was increasing his military incursions into the South against the Almoravides and against the Spanish Moslems. He caused great devastation and ruin and carried off a great deal of booty. He fought many of the Moorish leaders and he defeated and killed many of them.

(144) Since the Emperor realized that Munio Alfonso was a good warrior, he ordered him to come to his court where he would be rewarded for his brave deeds. He appointed him Vice-Governor of Toledo and ordered all of the cavalry and infantry in the Trans-Sierra region to obey him. They already were informed of his outstanding feats and military skills through the many battles which they had fought with him in the South. Yet the Almoravides and the Spanish Moors in Oreja were still the cause of great affliction around Toledo and all of its cities.

[129] The Emperor Commands the
Governor of Toledo, Rodrigo Fernandez,
and his Brother Gutier to Blockade Oreja

(145) In the thirteenth year of his reign, the Emperor Alfonso realized that the Lord had given him somewhat of a respite from his enemies. He took counsel with his advisors, and ordered his two governors, Gutier Fernández, and his brother, Rodrigo Fernández, to attack the Oreja castle. They were to do this in April. Each one would have his own force, and also all the knights and infantry from Toledo and from the cities in the Trans-Sierra region. The forces from Extremadura were to take part also.

(146) Then the Emperor mobilized all of the military personnel from Gailcia, León and Castile. These groups were accompanied by large infantry troops. All of them joined up and departed for Oreja. Inside the fortress was the famous infidel chieftain Ali. He was the notorious murderer of Christians and their leaders in the Trans-Sierra region. He was accompanied by a large number of archers, cavalrymen and a good sized infantry. These troops consisted or both Almoravides and of Hispanic Moslems. The castle at Oreja was extremely strong and well defended with every kind of weapon. Of particular significance were the catapults which they used for hurling large stones. The Emperor ordered his craftsmen to construct several war engines for the assault on the castle. Furthermore, he ordered guards to be stationed along the river bank to out off the enemy's water supply. A special mantlet was placed on the river at a certain location [130] where the Moors used to draw their water secretly.

Enemy Attempts to Aid the Castle;
Attacks on Toledo Defended by the Empress

(147) When the kings in the South were informed of the blockade, they were greatly alarmed. Especially angered were Azuel of Córdoba and Abenceta of Sevilla. Abengania, the commander of the Valencian forces, was equally disturbed. They summoned the other kings and military leaders in the South, and they gathered all the cavalry and infantry available. They even received military aid from the islands in the sea. King Texufin sent a powerful army of Almoravides from Morocco. Finally, an infantry rearguard joined them and followed the many camels loaded down with flour and with every kind of foodstuff possible. There were approximately thirty thousand troops in the cavalry. The infantry and the archers were unable to be counted.

(148) They moved their camp from Córdoba and began marching along the highway which leads to Toledo. They bivouacked when they reached the springs of the Algodor River. There a heavy ambush was laid under the command of Abengania with the support of his own cavalry guard. If the Emperor were to come to engage them in battle, they were instructed to go straight to his camp. There they were to set fire to it and kill all of his warriors. They were to reinforce the castle at Oreja with cavalry and infantry. They would also resupply them with the foodstuffs they were carrying and replenish their water supply. Then they would proceed to a prearranged location and join up with the other [131] forces. From that spot they would all go to Toledo and wait for the Emperor to meet them in battle.

(149) However, Alfonso's scouts came to his camp, and in the presence of his nobles and advisors, they informed him of the enemy's movements and of their strategy. It was as if they had all been divinely inspired, for they decided not to go into battle against the Moors, but rather to wait in the camp, even though they would lose the castle. The enormous army of Almoravides and Hispanic Moslems approached Toledo and directed their initial attack against San Servando. The tall towers were not destroyed, although they did demolish a smaller one facing the castle. This was a watchtower, and only four Christian lives were lost. Many of the enemy then went to Aceca. However, they caused no damage there.

(150) The enemy army eventually commenced to destroy the vineyards and orchards. However, the Empress Berengaria was in Toledo with many knights, archers and infantrymen who were guarding at the gates and walls of the city. When she realized what the Moors were doing, she sent messengers to their kings bearing the following communication: "Do you not realize that you are fighting against a woman, and that this is in no way advantageous to your own honor? If you wish to fight, go to Oreja and fight with the Emperor who is awaiting you there with his forces in battle array." When the enemy rulers heard this message, they looked up and, saw the Empress seated on a royal throne in the high tower of the Alcazar. She was adorned [132] and attended as befits an Empress. Around her there was a large group of distinguished women singing to the accompaniment of tambourines, lutes, cymbals and psalteries. Upon seeing her the Moors were not only totally astonished, but they were also very ashamed. They bowed their heads before the Empress, turned back and did not cause further destruction in the area. They gathered their forces that had lain in ambush, and they returned to their own lands without victory and without honor.

The Blockade is Completed.;
the Concession of a Treaty

(151) Meanwhile, the Emperor had ordered guards stationed along the river so that the enemy could not replenish their depleted water supply. These guards had placed a special mantlet at the location where the water had been secretly drawn. The Moors came out of the castle and set fire to it, because they found it unattended by guards. Those inside the castle were prevented from leaving after that, and they suffered tremendously from hunger. Many of them died for lack of food and water. The cisterns had gone totally dry and were not receiving any water at all. The Emperor's engineers placed the engines and the war machines against the castle and commenced to destroy its towers.

(152) Ali witnessed this and having consulted with his advisors, he sent the following message to Alfonso: "Let us come to terms by means of a peace treaty. Grant us a period of one month, so that we may again send a messenger across the [133] Mediterranean Sea to King Texufin and to all the Spanish Moslems also on this side of the sea. If no one will come to our aid, we will march out and return your castle to you. You will then allow us to go peacefully, taking all of our belongings to our city of Calatrava." The Emperor replied: "I will make the following agreement with you: give me fifteen of your nobles as hostages excepting Ali. If no one will come to your defense, you will return my castle to me. Your catapults and all of your weapons and riches will remain in the castle. You will be allow to take only your personal possessions with you. The Christian captives in your dungeons will remain in the castle to be fed by my men at my own expense." Although unwilling, Ali and his men accepted the terms of the treaty and gave the hostages to the Emperor. These were immediately sent to Toledo under guard. Ali pledged under oath that he would fulfill every item in the treaty as stated. The Emperor agreed likewise.

The Surrender of the Castle

(154) Very early in the morning on the last day of the month, the castle was surrendered. The towers were filled with Christian knights, and the royal banners were raised from the highest tower. Those holding the banners shouted as loudly as they could, "Long live Alfonso, the Emperor of León and of Toledo." When the bishops and all the clergy witnessed this, they raised their hands to heaven and said, "We praise you Lord, we acknowledge your glory."

(155) Ali and his forces marched out of the castle taking [134] only their personal belongings. They left behind all the Christian captives, and they left their riches with these captives. They proceeded to the Emperor who received them in peace. For some days they were his guests in the camp. In the meantime the hostages were returned to them. After this the Emperor allowed them to go to Calatrava. Count Rodrigo accompanied them in order to afford them some protection from the inhabitants of the Toledo region who wanted to kill them.

(156) The siege of the castle had begun in the month of April, and it was surrendered to Alfonso in October of the year 1177 of the Spanish Era. Thus all shame related to the loss of the castle was forgotten. This had been the largest campaign that had been conducted in the combined regions of Toledo and Extremadura. The Emperor subsequently ordered the castle to be fortified with a force of knights and infantry, with war machines and with every available kind of weapon. The water supply was replenished and food provisions were added. The entire army with all of the nobles and officers returned each to his own home singing and praising God because a great victory had been achieved through His servant, Alfonso the Emperor.

Toledo Receives the Emperor Upon his Return from Oreja

(157) Following these events, the Emperor decided to go to Toledo. When his coming was announced, all of the leaders of the Christians, Moors and Jews and all the commoners of the [135] city went out to meet him with tambourines, lutes, psalteries and many other musical instruments. In his own tongue each one of them praised and glorified God who had aided all of the enterprises of the Emperor. They were saying, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, and blessed are you and your wife and your children and the kingdom of your fathers, and blessed is your compassion and forbearance." (20)

(158) Inside the city, Raimundo, the Archbishop of Toledo, (21) led a long procession of clerics and monks into the plaza of the city and welcomed the Emperor. They went to the Church of Saint Mary during which time the archbishop was singing, "Fear God obey his commandments." After the archbishop's blessing, Alfonso withdrew to the Alcazar in the royal palace and remained there for some days. Afterward he visited the cities and castles in the region of Toledo. On this visit he undertook a campaign to strengthen justice in his empire by bringing death to all criminals. Consequently, all of the evildoers throughout Extremadura were pursued and punished. Through the influence the Emperor, justice, peace and virtue spread, and all of the citizens of his kingdom were delighted with this favorable state of affairs.

The Reconquest of Coria

(159) Two years and six months had passed, after the capture of Oreja when the Emperor directed his attention to Coria. He set up his camp around the city and ordered his engineers to [136] construct a wooden tower which would surmount the walls of the city. Then they began to undermine the walls and to destroy the towers with war machines and mantlets. The Almoravides and the Spanish Moors in Coria were completely intimidated by these actions. Initially, they fortified the gates with a strong supporting wall thus preventing entrance or exit. Finally, a terrible famine prevailed within the city, and many of the enemy perished from starvation.

(160) When the Almoravides realized that there was no possibility of their survival, they asked the Emperor for peace under the following terms: They would be permitted an interim period of thirty days to see if they might gain external aid and be freed. If they did not receive assistance, they would surrender the city peacefully returning all of the captives and riches. The offer was acceptable to Alfonso and to all of his advisors. Following the agreement, the Almoravides sent messengers to Texufin, to Abenceta and to Azuel. The messengers related the incidents prior to the peace treaty and also the specific terms of the agreement between the Emperor and the Almoravides within the castle. Since King Texufin and the other rulers could not possibly relieve them, they ordered them to surrender and save their lives. This greatly saddened Texufin. They commanded them to satisfy all of the Emperor's demands in the treaty. This was done with the greatest expediency.

(161) After the city was returned to Alfonso, it was cleansed of all Mohammedan contamination. All of the defilement [137] of the infidels in the city and in the temple was wiped out. A church was dedicated there in honor of Saint Mary and all the saints. They consecrated as bishop a pious man whose name was Navarro. (22) The city thus returned to its former state when an episcopal seat had been there during the time of Archbishop Ildefonso (23) and King Recaredo. (24) At that time all the land from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean in the North was Christian. The city of Coria was recovered in the year 1181 of the Spanish Era. After the Emperor had been granted such tremendous victories with God's help, he returned honorably and in peace to Salamanca with all his army praising God whose mercy is eternal.

The Terrified Almoravides
Abandon the Albalate Castle Leaving it Empty;
Victory of Munio Alfonso in Montiel

(162) When the Almoravides and Spanish Moors in Albalate heard that Coria had been recaptured, they were terrified, and they abandoned the castle there. They marched out leaving it totally empty. The Christians from Ávila and from Salamanca came and demolished it to its very foundations. During the following year Munio Alfonso, the governor of Toledo, selected nine hundred knights and one thousand of the bravest infantrymen from Toledo, Ávila, Segovia and neighboring cities. This noble was a very aggressive leader and most dedicated to war. As was his custom, he led these troops to the central plain of Córdoba and camped there. While in that area, he seized a [138] large quantity of gold, silver and other riches. He also took a number of prisoners. During that campaign there were many massacres throughout the plain around Córdoba. However, one enemy captive made a successful escape. Be fled to King Azuel of Córdoba and to Abenceta, king of Sevilla. Both of these rulers were together at that time. They were planning the strategy for a campaign into Christian territory with the defeat of Toledo as their principal objective. However, they had still not reached a decision regarding a suitable strategy. Quite suddenly then, the prisoner who had escaped from the Christians arrived. He communicated to them all the facts related to the latest Christian victories around Córdoba.

(163) When they had received this information, they order the alarm to be sounded immediately throughout the entire plain of Córdoba, Carmona and Sevilla. A general call to arms accompanied this emergency announcement. The drums and the trumpets were sounded in all the cities, castles and villages. Consequently, thousands of cavalrymen, infantry and archers marched in pursuit of the Christian forces. However, Munio Alfonso, ever on the alert, saw the large body of enemy troops preparing to fight. Their royal banners were raised for battle and other forces were joining them, including a rearguard.

(164) Munio Alfonso immediately identified them as the armies of Kings Azuel of Córdoba and Abenceta of Sevilla. He addressed his troops with the following words: ""The kings of the Almoravides are pursuing us with large forces of cavalry [139] and infantry. We shall now advance our own army to the orchards around Montiel. There we will mobilize our forces in full battle array and await the enemy." The Christian forces proceeded to this location, and there they set up their camp. All of them knelt and prayed in the following manners "Oh Jesus of Nazareth, who hung on the cross and shed blood, for our sake, the infidel armies have joined together for the purpose of destroying us. Have pity and deliver us, Oh mighty Virgin of Virgins. Intercede for us before your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. If you deliver us, we will faithfully give your church in Toledo the tithes of all those things which you have given or will give to us. Saint James, Christ's Apostle, defend us in battle so that we may not perish during this frightful encounter with the enemy."

(165) When the prayer was finished, Munio Alfonso drew them into extremely tight battle lines facing the Moors. Again Munio addressed his troops: "Oh children of Christians, take courage and let us fight boldly and manfully against Abenceta, King of Sevilla, who is known to be the bravest of all the enemy. If Abenceta is defeated or killed, they all will be defeated. Be certain that none of you dies while in retreat, for it is better indeed for us to die united in battle than scattered in a state of confusion. My companions, remember that sixty-two knights and I (some of those are here now and others have remained home) fought with King Texufin and with the entire Cordoban army on the field of Almodóvar [140] de Tendas. The Lord placed them in our hands, and they were defeated. Texufin fled, and many of his officers and troops were killed. The remainder of his army retreated, but only one of us perished in the battle. We took countless spoils from them and returned peacefully to our cities. Remember that for God it is as easy to put many at the hands of a few as a few at the hands of many. Now let it be done according to the will of God." They then received Communion in Masses celebrated by the clerics who accompanied them.

(166) The columns of Almoravides and Spanish Moors approached with their royal standards raised and mobilized themselves in formidable battle lines facing the Christians. King Abenceta realized that the size of the Christian forces was small. There were no princes' standards among their ranks by only those of Munio Alfonso, the governor of Toledo. Abenceta then addressed those around him regarding the opposition: "Oh senseless Christians, children of dogs, how is it that you come to lose your heads?" But combat began at that very moment. Abenceta was immediately attacked by two Toledan knights Pedro Alguacil and Roberto Mongomáriz. He was killed and was beheaded.

(167) King Azuel witnessed this and instantly wheeled about. The remainder of the enemy officers and their troops retreated through the mountains. They fled there and concealed themselves in caves or among the rocks. But Munio Alfonso and his band of Christians pursued them. While [141] fleeing in retreat, Azuel was thrown to the ground and beheaded by Munio Alfonso. It was virtually impossible to make a body count of the dead. Moreover, many of the enemy officers were taken prisoner. The Christians captured as many infantrymen as they could manage to hold.

(168) The following items were among the booty taken: much gold and silver, the royal standards and many precious garments, excellent arms and mules and camels loaded with many other riches. The heads of the kings were placed at the tops of the poles which carried the royal standards. The heads the enemy princes and officers were impaled on individual spears. Munio Alfonso ordered the bodies of the kings to be wrapped in the finest silk cloths and to be placed in a verdant field and left there under enemy guard until they might be removed. The Christians returned to their camp singing and blessing God, for his mercy is eternal.

The Triumphal Entrance of Munio Alfonso into Toledo

(169) Early the following day Munio Alfonso and his companions broke camp and marched into Toledo. They entered the city through the Alcántara Gate. The royal banners were raised high at the front of the march with the kings' heads on the poles. Then came the noble Moorish knights in chains; next the Moorish populace with their hands tied behind their backs. After them the Christian infantry followed leading the kings' horses and the mules of the princes and officers. These all bore saddles splendidly crafted in gold and silver. At the [142] end came the camels and the mules loaded down with captured arms and with all of the spoils.

(170) This entire victory procession stopped at the doors of Saint Mary's Church. Awaiting them there were the Empress Berengaria, Raimundo, the Archbishop of Toledo, all the clergy, the knights of the city and the entire populace. They had come to witness the results of this miraculous victory. After they saw the heads of the infidel kings impaled on the royal standards, they were astonished. They all entered the church singing the Te Deum joyfully. The archbishop gave his blessing and they all returned to their homes.

(171) The following day early in the morning the Empress, Munio Alfonso and his comrades sent a message to the Emperor who was in Segovia: "Come without delay to your house in Toledo. Here you will witness the results of a great victory which the Lord has accomplished for you and for your entire kingdom." When the Emperor heard this, he was extremely pleased, and he immediately traveled to Toledo.

(172) When Munio Alfonso and his victorious soldiers heard that the Emperor was coming, they went to meet him at some distance from the city. The royal banners led the way with the kings' heads impaled on the tops of the poles. First came the victors. Following them appeared the heads of the nobles and officers on individual spears. The enemy knights walked behind those all in chains. The Moorish people taken captive followed [143] the knights. All of them had their hands tied behind their backs. Then came the royal horses, the mules of the other leaders and all of the captured weapons. The beasts of burden and the camels took up the rear loaded with spoils. When the Emperor saw all this, especially the kings' heads on the top of the standards, he was completely amazed,. He immediately thanked the Lord saying, "Blessed be the Lord God, Creator of all things, dreadful and mighty, just and merciful, and He alone is eternal. It was He who rescued all of you from the sword of these kings, and He always delivers me and all his faithful from every evil."

(173) Then they returned to the city and went to the royal palace. First, as had been promised, tithes were given by all to God and to the Church of Saint Mary. As was the custom, they gave the Emperor one fifth of what had belonged to the enemy kings. They also presented him with the royal banners, several horses and numerous other gifts. From the common spoils they set aside precious items which were sent to the Church of Saint James at Compostela. The remainder of the booty was divided according to custom among Munio Alfonso and his comrades.

(174) Munio Alfonso ordered the kings' heads and the heads of the princes and officers to be hung from the top of the Alcázar in Toledo. This was done in order to give clear evidence to Christians, Almoravides and Spanish Moors of the divine help which was given to assure victory. However, after [144] some days had elapsed, the empress was compassionately moved and ordered the heads taken down. She instructed the Jewish and Mohammedan physicians to anoint them with myrrh and aloes, to wrap them in the finest cloths and to send them to the South in silver and gold boxes. The empress had them shipped honorably to Córdoba to be given to the wives of those kings. This victory was won by God in March in the year 1181 of the Spanish Era.
 
 

Abengania is Named Governor of Mohammedan Spain

(175) When Texufin heard that the rulers of southern Spain bad been killed, he and his entire kingdom were greatly sadden The news also caused, a great deal of political confusion. Texufin called to his side all the Christian nobles who were in his court and also the Almoravide and Arabian nobles who were his own advisors. He asked them what they considered a sound plan regarding southern Spain, which was without a leader. They unanimously recommended that Abengania be appointed ruler of that region. They insisted that there was no one more qualified for the position either in North Africa or in southern Spain. Abengania was a loyal friend of Texufin, and at that time he was present there in his court. So the King gave him the governorship of Córdoba, Carmona, Sevilla, Granada and the entire rule over the region belonging to the Spanish Moslems. Texufin ordered Abengania to take a large amount of gold and silver from his treasury. He was to utilize these funds for a campaign into Christian territory for the purpose of avenging [145] the deaths of the Moorish kings recently killed there. Abengania was ordered not to spare any of the Christian regions, and to bring every fortified Christian town under the control of his rule for King Texufin.

The Emperor's Campaign Against Córdoba and Sevilla

(176) In the same year as the above-mentioned battles, the Emperor mobilized large forces of knights, infantry and archers, and at his command they all camped near the Tajo River in Toledo. He summoned the two leaders, Munio Alfonso, governor of Toledo, and Martín Fernández, governor of Hita. He ordered them to take charge of the people and the land and to take up residence in Peña Negra (a town surnamed Peña Cristiana). They were to be especially careful lest the Almoravides come and fortify the castle at Mora.

(177) King Alfonso and his army marched to the region around Córdoba. It was harvest time, so they set fire to all the fields and cut down all the fruit trees. In fact, they put to fire the entire territory around Córdoba, Carmona and Sevilla, and all that land was destroyed. They burned the vineyards, olive groves and fig trees, and nothing remained except the stronger towns and cities. The Emperor caused much slaughter and carried away many captives and much booty.

The Defeat and Death of Munio Alfonso

(178) While the Emperor was in the South, the chieftain Farax, the governor of Calatrava, adopted a strategy for [146] attacking the land around Toledo. All the infidel leaders who resided in the land up to the Guadalquivir River combined forces with Farax. Their plan was to fortify the Mora castle and prepare an ambush for Munio Alfonso. They planned to kill him and all of his companions who were in the Peña Negra castle.

(179) Before sunrise on the first day of August, Munio Alfonso left the castle at Peña Negra. Forty knights from Toledo accompanied him. He left his comrade, Martín Fernández, to defend the castle. Munio Alfonso and his knights went up to the mountainous region around Calatrava to reconnoiter the enemy activities in that area. While on this mission, they discovered a young Moor hiding in a cave in the mountains. They immediately seized him. He was brought to Munio Alfonso who asked him who his leader was, where he was from, and what was his destination. The captive answered that he was a Mohammedan serving Farax, the chieftain of Calatrava. He had been sent out to spy on the Christians. When the prisoner was asked about the movements of Farax, he answered that his leader was not far behind with a large force and many animals carrying provisions for the resupplying of the Mora castle. He indicated that Farax was actually following the force with the supplies, and that he had in his command about four thousand troops. The prisoner told Munio Alfonso that their purpose was to kill him and his comrades. The man was still speaking when suddenly the vanguard of the enemy appeared. Munio Alfonso and his knights immediately joined in battle with them. The Moors were quicky defeated and turned back. Many of them died there, and the [147] remainder scattered in retreat leaving much booty on the battlefield.

(180) Following this, Munio Alfonso returned to Peña Negra and reported to Martín Fernández the incidents of that day. He also warned that Farax was coming with a large army to make war on them. After some deliberation, they ate bread and drank wine together. Then Munio Alfonso, Martín Fernández and all the knights with them departed from the camp and mobilized their forces to meet the infidels in battle. They encountered the enemy prepared for battle near the springs of the Algodor River. After the fight had commenced many fell on both sides, and Martín Fernández was wounded. Both armies then withdrew, and consequently there was a large, open area separating them.

(181) Since Munio Alfonso realized that time was not at all on their side, he told Martín Fernández the following, "Don Martín, you and your forces leave immediately for Peña Negra. Defend it diligently in case the Almoravides come from the opposite direction and occupy the castle. That would, indeed, greatly trouble our Emperor. My comrades and I will fight and leave the rest to the will of God." Martín Fernández and his soldiers returned to the castle to defend it. Munio Alfonso then addressed his stepson whom he had knighted that very year: "Go to Toledo to your mother's house and protect her, my other sons and your own brothers. I pray that your mother will not lose both of us in the same day." [148] But his stepson refused to leave and insisted that he would rather die at Munio Alfonso's side. Then in a state of rage, Munio struck him with the pole of his spear, and although unwilling, the stepson left for Toledo in tears.

(182) At that moment the Almoravides returned to attack Munio Alfonso and his companions. Many were wounded on both sides in this second encounter. When Munio realized that he and his men were being pressed too hard on the field, they climbed a certain rock called Peña del Cuervo. The enemy archers overtook Munio, and subsequent to their attack, he was wounded and died. All of his soldiers died around him. The majority of the enemy officers also perished.

(183) Farax, the leader of the Moors, came and beheaded Munio Alfonso. He also cut off his right arm with his shoulder and his right foot with the leg. He stripped him of his weapons, and his trunk was wrapped in clean cloths. Many other Christian knights were also beheaded. The head of Munio Alfonso was sent to Córdoba to the house of the widow of King Azuel and then to Sevilla to the house of King Abenceta. After that it was carried to North Africa to King Texufin, so that the death of Munio Alfonso might be made known throughout the land of the infidels. The arm and the foot and the heads of the other knights were hung from the highest towers in Calatrava.

Praise of Munio Alfonso

[149] (184) When the citizens of Toledo received news of what the enemy had done, they recovered the body of Munio Alfonso and also the bodies of his companions. They buried them in Saint Mary's cemetery in Toledo. For several days the widows of the slain men visited the cemetery. They were weeping loudly and expressing their grief in the following ways "Oh Munio Alfonso, we grieve over you. Just as a woman loves her husband, so the city of Toledo loved you. In combat your shield never turned away, and your spear never turned back. Your sword always achieved great victories. Do not announce his death in Córdoba and Sevilla, nor in the house of King Texufin, lest the daughters of the Saracens rejoice, and the daughters of Toledo be saddened." (25)

(185) It should be noted that Munio Alfonso and the warriors accompanying him met their end, because of a very serious sin which Munio had committed. He had killed his own daughter who was the offspring of his legitimate wife. He had done so because she had been consorting with a certain young man. He did not pity his own daughter as the Lord pitied him in all of the battles which he had fought. Nor did he consider the woman caught in adultery whom the Scribes and Pharisees placed before the Lord and whom they wished to stone. The Lord said to them, "Whoever among you is without sin, let him be the first to stone her." (26) However, Munio Alfonso was repentant for this sin throughout his life. He even wished to make pilgrimage to Jerusalem. But the archbishop of Toledo, Raimundo, [150] and the other clergy there ordered him to engage in continual warfare against the infidel as a penance. The Church gave this command at the request of the Emperor. Munio performed the penance faithfully, until he was killed by the Moors.

The Return of the Emperor

(186) While the above events were taking place, the Emperor was traveling through the country around Córdoba, Carmona and Sevilla. He was returning from that area of southern Spain having gained a great victory over the enemy there. When he arrived at the territory adjacent to Talavera and had camped on the plains near the Tajo River, knights from Talavera came to visit him. They were accompanied by their personal, entourages. The Emperor learned from them of the death of Munio Alfonso, and he became extremely sad over this news. The nobles and the royal advisors saw the great sorrow of the Emperor. They came and stood around him and told him that there were many men in his kingdom like Munio Alfonso, some who were even better than he. They said that the good fortune which was Munio's was also his and would be his for the rest of the days of his life. This was to be so, for God had said that no one in the kingdom had been as prosperous and fortunate as the Emperor. After hearing this, Alfonso meditated on its significance for about half an hour. Then he addressed his troops ordering each of them to return to his home. The following year all the military forces from Galicia, León, Castile and Extremadura were to join with him in Toledo in the [151] middle of September. After his soldiers heard this, they all returned home.

The Emperor's Campaign in Andalusia;
Discontent is Raised against the Almoravides

(187) Toward the end of the year 1182 of the Spanish Era in September, all of the Emperor's military leaders came to Toledo each accompanied by his own respective force. The royal escort and all of the governors came, as did the troops from Extremadura. The Emperor mobilized his army and sent powerful raiding parties ahead of him throughout the region around Córdoba, Carmona, Sevilla and Granada. They devastated all of the land, around Baeza and Úbeda, and they ruined the fields around Córdoba and Sevilla. They even ventured as far south as the region of Almería. There they destroyed all the vineyards and cut down the olive groves, the fig trees and all the orchards. They left all these in flames. They also set fire to the cities, towns and small villages. Much of their livestock was lost in these fires. They took men, women and children along with an immense booty of horses. They also captured mules, oxen, cows and all the livestock in the fields. The richer spoils consisted of gold, silver and expensive household items. They took all this and whatever else they could lay their hands on. They carried this booty in its entirety to the Emperor at his camp near Granada. Nothing remained standing in Andalusia from Almería to Calatrava except for a very few of the strongest cities and towns. After this [152] plundering, the Emperor and his army returned to Toledo carrying the abundance of goods with them. They had achieved an important victory in the South and had assured greater peace for their lands.

(188) The leaders of the Spanish Moslems in the South and their people realized that their misfortunes were increasing. They saw that the Emperor and his army were coming annually to their territory. They witnessed the yearly destruction or their land by the armies of Toledo, Segovia, Ávila and Salamanca. Therefore, they assembled in their plazas and in their mosques to discuss the problem. First, they fully realized that they could not withstand the war with the Emperor and his armies. Some of them spoke out and said that it was the Almoravides who were seizing their choicest lands and possessions They had confiscated their gold and silver, and kidnapped their women and children. The Spanish Moors, therefore, decided to fight the Almoravides and drive them from Spain. They well understood that they had no part in the house of King Texufin. Nor did they have rights of inheritance among the sons of Ali, nor of his father Yusuf. (27) Others suggested that they make a peace treaty with the Emperor. They further recommended paying him royal tributes as their ancestors had done. The latter advice seemed wise, but at the same time they realized that they should be fully prepared to fight the North Africans. They turned toward their mosques and prayed, begging the compassion of Mohammed, their false prophet. They prayed that he would aid them in their plans and in the execution of these [153] plans. Then messengers were sent to King Zafadola and to all the other descendants of the Spanish Moslem kings asking them to come and make war on the Almoravides.

The Insurrection against the Almoravides

 (189) In October of the year 1182 of the Spanish Era, Mahomet, (28) a Spanish Moslem leader of royal blood, killed all the Almoravides in Mértola and in the surrounding region. Next, the Almoravides in Valencia, Murcia, Lérida, Tortosa and in several other places were killed in fights at close quarters. At that time King Zafadola and all the citizens of the southern cities from the Mediterranean coast up to Toledo rose up against the Almoravides, then commanded by Abengania. Many thousands of Almoravides and Spanish Moslems perished in the insurrection. The Spanish Moslems prevailed at first and succeeded in driving Abengania and all the other Almoravides out of Córdoba. They likewise expelled them from many other towns in the South. Although Abengania had apparently been ousted from power in Córdoba, he took up a strategic position in the highest tower of the city. His followers did the same in Montoro, Carmona and Sevilla. All the Almoravides who had succeeded in escaping the sword of the Spanish Moors fled to Abengania and offered him powerful support. Subsequent to this action, there was much massacre and a general state of chaos in southern Spain. The situation was similar to that which existed when the infidels first crossed the Mediterranean Sea and seized that land.

The Insurrection in Córdoba

(190) At that time there was a Spanish Moslem priest in Córdoba whose name was Aben Hamdin. (29) This individual was the richest man in all of Córdoba. He summoned Farax, the chieftain of Calatrava, along with all the Córdoban nobles and his own relatives and friends. They came to him, and he proposed a secret strategy to them by which King Zafadola might be killed. Zafadola, in the meantime, had gathered all his loyal Christian knights and infantry, and had them in his personal entourage. He departed from Córdoba with them, and Farax also left the city. Later, when they met, Zafadola said to Farax, "Because you have planned to betray me, I must bring an end to your conspiracy." He then turned to the Christian soldiers and told them to rush on Farax and kill him. They did so immediately.

The Death of Zafadola

(191) Under the pretext of Farax's death, Aben Hamdin and the citizens of Córdoba were determined. to kill Zafadola. Therefore, they continued to pursue him. He traveled to Jaén and from there to Granada. He had many military encounters with the Almoravides, and he captured many of their cities and towns. However, Aben Hamdin became the political leader of Córdoba. Then Zafadola sent messengers to the Emperor to tell him that Ùbeda and Baeza and their surrounding towns refused to obey him and were also unwilling to pay the Emperor's tributes. After he had received this news, Alfonso called Counts [155] Poncio, Manrique, (30) and Armengol (31) and also Martín Fernández. He directed them to go and subdue Baeza, Ùbeda and Jaén for him and for King Zafadola. They were ordered not to spare any of the rebels in those cities.

(192) They went with a large army to the South. They devastated the land there and put down all of the insurgent activity. Much booty and a great number of captives were taken. When the inhabitants of the region realized the extreme state they were in, they sent envoys to Zafadola. They asked him to aid in their defense against the Christian attacks. It was made clear that if he would do so, they would serve him willingly. Zafadola came immediately with a large force. He left this force stationed in front of the Christians, and he himself entered their camp peacefully. He asked them to return to him all of their booty and captives from the campaign. Then he promised to accompany them to the court of the Emperor. Once there, he would act obediently upon whatever orders King Alfonso might give him. The counts refused to comply with such a request. They reminded Zafadola that it was he who had requested military force to aid in quelling the rebellion in the South. It was he who had sought the destruction of the rebel territory. The counts insisted that they had carried out the exact command of the Emperor. Zafadola replied that if they would not return the captives and the booty to him, he would utilize military force against them. The counts answered that the time and the hour had arrived for such a battle. [156] The lines were immediately drawn up, and the combat which ensued was extremely fierce.

(193) Finally the forces under Zafadola's command retreated and were defeated. During the battle Zafadola himself was captured by the Christian forces. He was being held, when another group of knights passed by. They recognized Zafadola, and, because of their own special religious sentiments, they killed him. When the counts realized what had happened, they were very distressed. Messengers were sent to the royal city of León to inform the Emperor of the latest incidents in the campaign. Upon hearing of Zafadola's death, Alfonso was extremely upset. He declared his own innocence regarding the death of his friend. Both Christians and Moors all the way from the Jordan River in Arabia to the Atlantic Ocean knew that the Emperor was never part of a conspiracy to kill King Zafadola.

Aben Hamdin Requests Aid from the Emperor

(194) Aben Hamdin, the political leader of Córdoba, was not able to withstand the war with Abengania and the Almoravides He and his friends fled to Andújar where he was received by the citizens. Abengania pursued him and blockaded Andújar. He first mobilized catapults, war machines and siege engines. He then initiated a fierce attack on Aben Hamdin and those with him in the city. Upon seeing the gravity of the situation, Aben Hamdin sent messengers to the Emperor. The message told of Abengania's blockade on Andújar. Aben Hamdin begged Alfonso to [157] show compassion and come and rescue him. He assured the Emperor that he and his friends would then willingly serve him.

(195) After hearing this, Alfonso called for his faithful friend, Fernando Juanes. He was commander of Limia and the same individual who had aided the Emperor in Limia in his war with the king of Portugal. Fernando was ordered to take as many of the Emperor's knights as he wished and go to Andújar. He and Aben Hamdin were to defend the city until Alfonso could arrive there. Fernando departed immediately with a large force of knights. When Aben Hamdin and the citizens of Andújar saw him entering the city, they were overjoyed. Fernando ard Aben Hamdin joined forces and fought several battles with Abengania. Some of this combat took place outside the city walls. Many soldiers from both sides were killed.

The Death of Reverter

(196) While the above campaign was being fought, Reverter died. He was the Christian leader in captivity in North Africa in King Texufin's court. All of the Christian prisoners there sprinkled themselves with dust and dirt and mourned his death. In their state of grief they cried to him, "Reverter, our leader, our shield and protection, why have you abandoned us? To whom do you leave us? Now the Almohades will attack and kill us along with our wives and children." Even King Texufin and his entire house mourned over Reverter's death.

Advances of the Almohades

[158] (197) Abd al Mu'min, the infidel leader of the Almohades, was at that time maintaining a court at Bugia and at Mount Colobar in the Atlas Mountains in North Africa. He also reigned over several other nations in the Moslem world. He had heard of the death of Reverter, and he was very pleased because he had been engaged in a fierce war with him for some time. Abd al Mu'min immediately marched into King Texufin's territory with an army of more than one hundred thousand horsemen. His archers and infantrymen comprised such a large force, that it was impossible to count them. Strong cities, both Moslem and Christian, were captured. Numerous massacres took place, and all the land was burned through which this enormous army passed. Following this initial show of force, Abd al Mu'min turned toward the city of Morocco.

The Death of Texufin;
the Conquest of Morocco by the Almohades

(198) King Texufin was terrified and greatly shaken when he heard of the advances of the Almohades. His entire kingdom was equally frightened at the news of these victories. Texufin gathered all the Christian leaders who were Reverter's lieutenants, the leaders of his own people and his entire army. He went out to face Abd al Mu'min in battle, and the fighting was so fierce that it continued for several days. Finally King Texufin was defeated and fled. He took refuge in a certain castle, but the king of the Almohades pursued him and surrounded the castle. Abd al Mu'min ignited a raging pitch [159] fire, and then by means of catapults and flaming arrows, he directed the fire at the tower where Texufin had his quarters. The tower was burned, and King Texufin died in the flames. Many Christian and Almoravide princes as well as thousands of cavalry men and footsoldiers were also burned to death.

(199) King Ali's house was thrown into great confusion. The situation was as grave as when the Almoravides began to rule in Spain. When King Texufin died, the King of the Almohades took possession of several castles and occupied every fortification he could. He penetrated the defenses of many highly fortified cities, and he brought about numerous massacres. He strengthened his new acquisitions with brave soldiers who were capable of carrying on the war within the cities. All who resisted Abd al Mu'min were captured, and were burned to death with their wives and children.

(200) When Abengania and all the Almoravides in Spain heard of King Texufin's death (and also of the many princes accompanying him), they were dumbfounded and without any recourse for action. The Hispanic Moslems were, on the contrary, extremely happy over these events. The Emperor and his court were not at all saddened at the news of Texufin's death.... (32)

(201)....] of Saint John the Baptist in the location where Satan's synagogue had previously been built. The bishop of Burgos died there during the siege, while the Emperor was [160] still there. This occurred on the feast of the nativity of Saint John the Baptist.

Preparations for the Conquest of Almería

(202) We should never cease praising and honoring God who protects His servants everywhere. He overthrows the enemies of His law and reduces them to nothing. While the Emperor of León (a true terror to the Arabs) was still involved in the blockade of Córdoba, some noble and eloquent envoys from Genoa came to visit him there. They urged him to allow them to destroy the city of Almería in his name. This city was a center for operations for the pirates who sailed from one end of the Mediterranean to the other. Sometimes they would attack the land of Bari or of Ascalon. They would strike at Constantinople, Sicily or even at Barcelona. On other occasions they raided Genoa and Pisa in Italy. They invaded France, Portugal and even Galicia and Asturias. They would seize the booty and the captive Christians and then flee quickly in their boats. The Genovese delegation insisted on the importance of the Almería campaign. Finally they ceased speaking in order to allow the Emperor to reach a decision. He favored the plan, and he gave them thirty thousand maravedis to finance the operation. They promised to come and assist him with ships, men, arms, war engines and provisions. The Emperor and the envoys mutually agreed upon the month of August as the deadline for the arrival of the Italian forces.

[161] (203) Alfonso then sent Arnaldo, the bishop of Astorga, (33) as his envoy to the Count of Barcelona and also to William of Montpellier. He requested them to come likewise in August and assist in the destruction of Almería. He reminded these two nobles that such a campaign against the infidels would be most advantageous to the salvation of their souls. They received his invitation with joy. They promised to be present along side of the Genovese.

The Almohades in Spain

(204) In the same year that Córdoba was taken, the tribe that was popularly called the Almohades crossed the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa. They constructed an immense war machine, and after storming Sevilla, they occupied the city. They also conquered other cities and towns both near and far from Sevilla. They inhabited these places, and they killed the nobles and the Christians who were called Mozarabs. They also killed the Jews who had been living in southern Spain since ancient times. The homes, riches and wives of the men were seized and kept by the Almohades.

Return of the Christian Captives from Morocco

(205) About this same time many thousands of Christian knights and infantrymen accompanied by their bishop and by a large group of clerics came from North Africa to Spain. They journeyed from the South to Toledo. These were the Christian prisoners mentioned above who had been living in the court of King Ali and also in the court of his son Texufin.

The Destruction of Almería

(206) Since we are about to recount matters of great importance, if we change our form to verse, we may curtail some tedium and elevate our style. We have decided to sing of the French and Spanish leaders who came to the Almería campaign in the following poem:


Notes for the Second Book

1. This area is located between the Tajo River and the Guadarrama mountain range.

2. Alvar Fáñez, the nephew of the Cid, was one of the most prominent figures in the court of Alfonso VI. He acted on numerous occasions as Alfonso's envoy to the Moorish kings of Taifas. He fought in the Battle of Uclés in 1109, and consequent to that Christian defeat he was dispossessed of his domain in Zorita and in Cuenca. He became governor of Toledo in 1109. His leadership in the defense of the city is clearly depicted in the Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris. He recovered Cuenca in 111, but was killed in 1114 while defending Queen Urraca's cause against the Aragonese. Ramón Menéndez Pidal, La España del Cid (5th ed.; Madrid: Espasa Calpe, 1956), II, 554 and 586.

3. Bernardo de Sédirac, a descendant of a noble French family, migrated to Spain after becoming a Cluniac monk. He was named the first abbot of Sahagún in 1080. He left there in 1085 when he was appointed first archbishop of Toledo after its reconquest. In 1088 he became Primate of Spain, and in 1093, Papal Legate. Bernardo was one of the decisive agents contributing to the French Cluniac influence on the Peninsula. He died April 3, 1124. M. Defourneaux, Les Français en Espagne aux Xieet XIIe Siècles (Paris, 1949), pp. 33-34.

4. Psalm 126: 1.

5. Alimenon, the commander of the Almoravide navy, was also known as Ibn Maymum. His fleet besieged numerous Christian cities and carried back masses of captives to North Africa. They were conscripted into the Almoravide army to fight against the Almohades. At the death of Texufin in 1145, Alimenon abandoned the Almoravide cause and presented his navy to Abd al-Mumin, the king of the Almohades. Immediately thereafter he captured Cádiz and delivered it to them. Antonio Ballesteros y Beretta, Historia de España y su influencia en la historia universal (2d. ed.; Barcelona: Salvat, 1961), II, 567.

6. The Almohades were a North African dynasty which originated in the early twelfth century under the leadership of Ibn Tumart. The tenets of their ideology were dedicated to a complete purification of Moslem customs and a strict unitarianism. Their greatest victory against the Spanish was at the Battle of Alarcos in 1195. However, they were decisively defeated by Alfonso VIII in the Battle of Navas de Tolosa in 1212. Sánchez Albornoz, La España musulmana, II, 202-208, 220-226. Conde, Dominación de los árabes, pp. 423-531.

7. Abd al-Mumin was the renowned Berber chieftain who in 1130 succeeded Ibn Tumart as King or Califa of the Almohades. In 1160 he came to Spain for the first time. He died in North Africa at the age of sixty-nine. The entire dynasty of the Almohade rulers descended from him. Henry Coppée, History of the Conquest of Spain by the Arab-Moors (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1881), II, 228-235.

8. Reverter, A Mozarab of Catalan origin, was commander of Christian captives compelled to fight in North Africa for the Almoravides. He enjoyed prestigious treatment from both Ali and his son Texufin. Ibn Jaldun, Histoire des Berbères (Paris, 1927), II, 176-177.

9. Farax, also known as Ali Alfage, was governor of Calatrava during the first half of the twelfth century. He was responsible for the deaths of numerous Christian leaders, particularly, Munio Alfonso, the celebrated warrior of the second part of the Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris. Although a Spanish Moslem, he conspired with Abenfandi of Córdoba to kill Zafadola. When the latter discovered the plot, he killed Farax. Codera, Decadencia de almorávides, pp. 78-79.

10. Munio Alfonso was a Galician noble who became a celebrated captain in the forces of Alfonso VII and nearly the protagonist of Book II of the Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris. He was mayor of Mora and vice-governor and military leader of Toledo before 1143. The narration of his encounter with Farax and his subsequent death provides one of the most heroic sequences in the chronicle. Fernando Brieca Salvatierra, "Rincones históricos. El frontero Munio Alfonso," Revista Contemporánea, XCV (1894), 449-460 and 576-585.

11. Domingo and Diego Álvarez, brothers who jointly governed Escalona in the province of Toledo, were killed by Moorish troops in 1147. It is known that they were governing in 1130, for in that year the fueros of Escalona were granted by them. Ballesteros y Beretta, Historia de España, II, 756.

12. Fernando Fernández was the governor of Hita and the father of Martín Fernández, the noble mentioned in verse 243 of the Poem of Almería.

13. In paragraph 20 the disastrous end of Pedro Díaz is recorded.

14. Azubel or Azuel is referred to as Al-Zubayr ben Omar el Latuni in Arabic histories. He was governor of Córdoba, and he commanded the reinforcements in the Battle of Fraga. Al-Maqqari, Analectes sur l'histoire et la littérature des arabes d'Espagne, ed. by R. Dozy, G. Cugat, L. Krehl and W. Wright (Leiden, 1856), I, 307 and 384.

15. Abenceta, mentioned as governor of Sevilla, was killed with Azubel by the Christians under Munio Alfonso. Codera is unable to identify this individual. Decadencia de almorávides, p. 28.

16. Count Poncio of Cabrera was an illustrious figure in the court of the Emperor as well as chief counselor to the Emperor's son, Fernando II, during his reign. After 1145 his appears on the majority of royal documents

17. 1 Machabees: 4: 23-24.

18. Gocelmo de Rivas, the individual who reconstructed the castle at Aceca, does not receive mention in historical sources other than one document from Toledo in December, 1137 in which Alfonso VII donates funds to the Cathedral at Toledo. Peter Rassow, "Die Urkunden Kaiser Alfons VII von Castilien, 1126-1155," Archiv für Urkundenforschung (Berlin, 1930), p. 76.

19. Martín Fernández, the son of Fernando Fernández, succeeded his father as governor of Hita. He commanded the troops from his town in the Battle of Almería. See verses 244-250 of the Poem of Almería.

20. The author utilized a passage from Daniel 3: 7, for the welcoming of the Emperor by the citizens of Toledo. The description of the entrance itself is a paraphrase of the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem taken from Matthew 21: 9.

21. Raimundo was from Salvetat in Gascony. Like his predecessor Bernardo he migrated to Spain from France. He became bishop of Osma in 1109 and, following Bernardo's death, he was appointed archbishop of Toledo in 1125. The first document citing him in this position is a privilege granted by Alfonso VII on April 2, 1127. Rassow, "Die Urkunden Kaiser Alfons VII," p. 67. Raimundo consistently exploited the prestige in the Emperor's court to enhance the material benefits of the Cathedral at Toledo. His most celebrated cause of fame was the founding of the School of Translators in Toledo. He died in 1152. Ángel González Palencia, El Arzobispo Don Raimundo de Toledo (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigators Científicas, 1942).

22. Navarro is mentioned in a document dated October 3, 1142 as the newly appointed bishop of Coria. The document with the increase of benefits to be granted to the Cathedral at Coria. Peter Rassow, "Die Urkunden Kaiser Alfons VII von Spanien," extracted from the Archiv für Urkundenforschung (Berlin, 1929), p. 437. The copyist of the chronicle or the chronicler himself is in error when dating the reconquest of Coria in 1143, particularly since he indicates that the campaign commenced two and one half years after the reconquest of Oreja. The latter took place in October of 1139. The above cited document indicates an error of one year in the chronicle.

23. Ildefonso was a famous Visigothic bishop of Toledo who convened the eighth and ninth Councils of Toledo in 653 and 655 respectively. He became archbishop of that city in 657 and presided over the diocese until his death in 667.

24. Recaredo I was Visigothic King of Spain from 586 to 601. His reign was decisive for the history of the Peninsula because his conversion to Catholicism from Arianism united the people of Spain.

25. The eulogy for Munio Alfonso is taken from the words of David spoken upon hearing of the deaths of Saul and his son Jonathan. Sam. 1: 17-27.

26. John 8: 7.

27. Yusuf ben Texufin was king of the Almoravide dynasty from 1061 to 1106. He is considered the veritable founder of the sect. He made numerous military expeditions to Spain, and on several occasions achieved decisive defeats over the Christians. He died in 1106 at the age of 100.

28. Mahomet was Mohammed ben Yahya, known as Ibn al-Quabila to the Islamic chroniclers. He effectively carried out the slaughter of the Almoravides in Mértola, not in October as the Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris indicates, but in August of 1144. He was brave, astute and a celebrated literary figure. His actions in Mértola stimulated the uprising of the Spanish Moors against the Almoravides in the Algarve. Codera, Decadencia de almorávides, pp. 37-41.

29. Aben Hamdin was born in Córdoba and he ruled there as governor from 1132 to 1137 at which time he was forcibly replaced by Ali, son of the Almoravide King Yusuf. He returned to control there by popular acclaim following the uprising in the Algarve. For a time he was allied with Alfonso VII; however, this affiliation ceased in 1146 when the Almohades invaded Spain. Codera, Decadencia de almorávides, pp. 53-57.

30. Count Manrique de Lara, son of Pedro González de Lara, enjoyed the same power and prestige as his father in the Castilian court. He was royal standard-bearer during most of the reign of Alfonso VII, and his name appears on all major documents of the period as a member of the royal retinue. He was killed by Fernando Rodríguez de Castro at the Battle of Huete in 1164. Julio González, El reino de Castilla en la época de Alfonso VIII. (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1960), pp. 150-160.

31. Armengol was the sixth count of Urgel and the grandson of Pedro Ansúrez in whose house he was educated. He attained high rank among both Catalan and Castilian nobility. After 1133 he is consistently mentioned in the documents of Alfonso VII. Though his mediation, peace was negotiated between King García Ramírez of Navarra and Ramón Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona. He died in Castile and is buried in the monastery of Nuestra Señora de Valbuena near Valladolid.

32. In all of the manuscripts this section is missing. MS I offers a note here that there were two pages missing from the original history: "Aquí faltaban dos oxas de la historia original y después proseguía en la forma siguiente."

33. Arnaldo became bishop of Astorga in 1144. He accompanied Alfonso VII on numerous civil and military expeditions. As the chronicle indicates, he acted as ambassador from the court. His name ceased to appear in documents in 1152, and in the following year a different prelate presided in Astorga.