Alfonso X of Castile

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Alfonso X (23 November 1221 – 4 April 1284) was a Castilian monarch who ruled as the King of Castile, León and Galicia from 1252 until his death. He also was elected King of the Germans (formally King of the Romans) in 1257, though the Papacy prevented his confirmation.

He established Castilian as a language of higher learning and earned his nicknames "the Wise" or "the Learned" (Spanish: 'el Sabio', Galician: 'O Sabio') and "the Astrologer" (Spanish: 'el Astrólogo', Galician: 'O Astrólogo') through his own prolific writings, including Galician-Portuguese poetry.



Born in Burgos, Alfonso was the eldest son of Ferdinand III of Castile and Elisabeth of Hohenstaufen, known in Spain as Beatriz de Suabia, through whom he was a cousin of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, to whom Alfonso is often compared. His maternal grandparents were Philip of Swabia and Irene Angelina.

After the election of Theobald I as king of Navarre, his father tried to arrange a marriage for Ferdinand with Theobald's daughter, Blanche of Navarre, but the move was unsuccessful. So, in 1240, he married Maior Guillen de Guzman, but the marriage was later annulled and their issue declared illegitimate. In the same period (1240–1250) he conquered several Muslim strongholds in Al-Andalus alongside his father, such as Murcia, Alicante and Cadiz.

In 1249, Alfonso X married Violante of Aragon, the daughter of King James I of Aragon and Yolande of Hungary, although betrothed already in 1246. He succeeded his father as King of Castile and León in 1252. The following year he invaded Portugal, capturing the region of Algarve. King Alfonso III of Portugal had to cease, but he gained an agreement by which, after he consented to marry Alfonso X's illegitimate daughter Beatrice, the land would be returned to their heirs. In 1263 Alfonso X returned Algarve to Portugal.

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