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Alphonso I I


ALPHONSO I. (I 094-1185 ), the first of the PORTUGUESE KINGS, son of Henry of Burgundy, count of Portugal, and Teresa of Castile, succeeded his father in 1112, and was placed under the tutelage of his mother. Being proclaimed sole ruler of Portugal in I 128, he defeated his mother's troops near Guimaraes, making her at the same time his prisoner. He also vanquished Alphonso Ray mond of Castile, his mother's ally, and thus freed Portugal from dependence on the crown of Leon. Next turning his arms against the Moors, he obtained, on July 26, 1139, the victory of Ourique, and immediately after was proclaimed king by his soldiers. He assembled the Cortes of the kingdom at Lamego, where he received the crown from the archbishop of Braganza; the assembly also declared that Portugal was no longer a dependency of Leon. Alphonso wrested from the Moors Santarem in 1146, and Lisbon in 1147. Some years later he became involved in a war that had broken out among the kings of Spain; and in 1167 he was made prisoner by the soldiers of the king of Leon, and was obliged to surrender as his ransom almost all the conquests he had made in Galicia. In 1184, in spite of his great age, he had still sufficient energy to relieve his son, Sancho, who was besieged in Santarem by the Moors. He died shortly after, in 1185. Alphonso was a man of gigantic stature, being, according to some authors, 7ft. high. He is revered as a saint by the Portuguese, both on account of his personal character and as the founder of their kingdom.

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