Portuguese people and events during the European Middle Ages.

Afonso I of Portugal: The Founder King

Afonso I was born between 1109/1111 in Guimaraes, Portucale (Portugal). Through his parents, the young nobleman had a prestigious pedigree. Afonso’s father, Henry of Burgundy, descended from the French Capetian dynasty. Afonso’s mother, Teresa, was Emperor Alfonso VI of Leon’s illegitimate daughter. Henry of Burgundy had initially come to Portucale through a family connection. Alfonso’s wife, Queen Constance, was Henry’s […]

Afonso V of Portugal: The African King

Afonso V was born on January 15, 1432 in Sintra, Portugal. As the son of King Edward, Afonso descended from John I. In 1385, John had established the Aviz dynasty after repelling an invasion from Castile. Over the following decades, his children would play essential roles in developing Portugal into a powerful kingdom. After John’s death in August 1433, Afonso’s […]

Peter I of Portugal: The Just King

Peter I was born on April 8, 1320 to King Afonso IV of Portugal. In 1340, the prince became infatuated with his wife’s lady-in-waiting, Ines de Castro. Ines was a beautiful Galician noblewoman. Although related, Peter and Ines started a relationship. Upon his wife’s death, Peter began to live openly with Ines. The Prince eventually came into conflict with his […]

Afonso IV of Portugal: The Brave King

Afonso IV was born on February 8, 1291 in Lisbon, Portugal. Although King Dinis’ only legitimate son, Afonso resented his father’s preference for his illegitimate son, Afonso Sanches. As Afonso aged, his resentment towards Dinis turned into open hostility. The prince suspected that his father wanted to replace him with his brother. By 1320, the frustrated prince demanded that his […]

John II of Portugal: The Fierce King

John II was born in 1455 to King Afonso V. Descending from King John I, Prince John was a fourth-generation member of the Aviz dynasty. As his father’s only surviving son, the prince became heir apparent upon his birth. During the 1470s, John gained military experience while participating in his father’s African campaign. The king later entrusted the prince with […]