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Alphonso Xi


ALPHONSO XI. is variously known among Spanish kings as the Avenger or the Implacable, and as "he of the Rio Salado." The first two names he earned by the ferocity with which he repressed the disorder of the nobles after a long minority; the third, by his victory over the last formidable African invasion of Spain in 134o. The chronicler who records his death prays that "God may be merciful to him, for he was a very great king." The mercy was needed. Alphonso XI. never went to the insane lengths of his son, Peter the Cruel, but he could be abundantly sul tanesque in his methods. He killed for reasons of state, without form of trial, while his open neglect of his wife, Maria of Portugal, and his ostentatious passion for Leonora de Guzman, who bore him a large family of sons, set Peter an example which he did not fail to better. It may be that his early death, during the great plague of 135o, at the siege of Gibraltar, only averted a desperate struggle with his legitimate son, though it was a misfortune in that it removed a ruler of eminent capacity, who understood his sub jects well enough not to go too far.

BIBLIOGRAPHY.—_The lives of all the early kings of Spain will be Bibliography.—_The lives of all the early kings of Spain will be found in the general histories (see the article SPAIN: Bibliography), of which the most trustworthy is the Anales de la Corona de Aragon, by Geronimo Zurita (Saragossa, 161o) . See also the Chronicles of the Kings of Castile in the Biblioteca de Autores Espanoles de Riva deneyra (1846-8o, vols. lxvi., lxviii., lxx.) . (D. H.)

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