Pedro Afonso de Portugal (c.1287 - c.1354) MP

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About Pedro Afonso de Portugal

Pedro Afonso

[Pedro de Barcelos]

d.1354. Portugal. The Count of Barcelos in northern Portugal, he was an illegitimate son of King Dinis of Portugal, and a great grandson of Alfonso X of Castile and León. He dedicated his mature years to intellectual work, composing the two most valued historical works of the time.

The Livro de Linhagens do Conde D. Pedro (Lineage Book of Count Pedro) is a compilation of lineage data from the previous Livros de Linhagens , and a revised version of the Navarrese Liber regum and the lost Crónica Portuguesa de Espanha e Portugal . These sources are a mixture of family memories and fiction (mythical, legendary, traditional and epic materials). The text begins with a survey of the major lineages of the world, from Adam on, where the allusions to Arthurian legends (via Geoffrey of Monmouth) are particularly noteworthy. The main Portuguese families are set in their Iberian context and the narrative is enriched by several appealing family myths, such as the origin narratives of Dama Pé de Cabra (the Goat Foot Lady) and Dona Marinha (the Sea Lady), as well as examples of shrewdness (adventures of King Ramiro while trying to rescue his wife from Muslim captivity) and heroic exploits, such as the feats of Rodrigo Forjaz, vassal of King Garcia of Galicia, against the Cid. This Lineage Book also conveys the epic deeds of the first Portuguese king, Afonso Henriques and of his preceptor, here named Soeiro Mendes, as well as other local heroes such as Gonçalo Mendes da Maia and battles such as Salado. The book exists only in a version of 228 fols. which incorporates two revisions. It was first compiled in 1340-4 and reworked in 1360-5 and 1380-3, this last time to praise the Pereira family. This work was very popular in the Iberian Peninsula, with over 60 manuscripts in Portuguese and Castilian translations still extant. The Portuguese manuscripts date mainly from the 16th and 17th century. The two oldest manuscripts have illuminations: A1 is known as Nobiliário da Ajuda or Nobiliário do Colégio dos Nobres:Lisbon, Biblioteca da Ajuda, Códice reservado. It dates from the end of the 14th century and might have been a work text used by the reviser of 1380-3. T1 is known as Nobiliário da Torre do Tombo: Lisbon, Torre do Tombo, 1764, late 15th or early 16th century.

Count Pedro is also accepted as the author of the first version of the Crónica Geral de Espanha de 1344 (General Chronicle of Spain of 1344). This chronicle was written in Portuguese in 1344. For the Reconquest period, it drew its information from Alfonsine and post-alfonsine materials: the Estoria de Espanna mainly via a Crónica de Veinte Reyes ; the Versão Galaico-portuguesa da Crónica Geral de Espanha and again the Crónica Portuguesa de Espanha e Portugal. For the earlier periods he used chronologies, genealogic sources and a Portuguese translation of the Crónica de Rasis . There are no extant Portuguese manuscripts of this chronicle, which survives only in its Castilian translation, and that in a single manuscript and a few fragments: Salamanca, BU, 2656 (339 fols). It lacks both the beginning (it starts at the 3rd Age of the world) and the end, the birth of the Portuguese kingdom. This chronicle conveys several epic and legendary narratives such as the stories of the Visigothic kings Bamba and Rodrigo, and in the Reconquest period, the deeds of Bernardo del Carpio, Fernán González, the infantes of Lara, the treacherous countess, the infante Garcia, the youth of the Cid and his exploits up to his death.

Isabel Barros Dias


Text: J. Mattoso, "Livro de Linhagens do Conde D. Pedro", Portugaliae Monumenta Historica - Nova Série, 1980. D. Catalán & M.S. de Andrés, Edición Crítica del Texto Español de la Crónica de 1344 que ordenó el Conde de Barcelos don Pedro Alfonso, 1970 [partial edition]. Literature: D. Catalán, De Alfonso X al conde de Barcelos, 1962. L.F.L. Cintra, Crónica Geral de Espanha de 1344, I, 1951. I.B. Dias, Metamorfoses de Babel. A historiografia ibérica (sécs. XIII-XIV): Construções e estratégias textuais, 2003. L. Krus, A concepção nobiliárquica do espaço ibérico. Geografia dos livros de linhagens medievais portugueses (1280-1380), 1994. J. Mattoso, "A literatura genealógica e a cultura da nobreza em Portugal (s. XIII-XIV)", in Portugal Medieval. Novas interpretações, 1992, 309-28. J. Mattoso, "Os livros de linhagens portugueses e a literatura genealógica europeia da Idade Média" and "As fontes do Nobiliário do Conde D. Pedro", in A Nobreza Medieval Portuguesa, 1994, 37-55 & 57-100. RepFont 8, 545.

Isabel Barros Dias. " Pedro Afonso." Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle. Brill Online , 2012. Reference. Jim Harlow. 06 July 2012 <>

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