On this day, 20 December, circa 912, Alfonso III “El Magno,” King of Leon, Galicia, and Asturias, died. He was my 35th great-grandfather.
Alfonso III was born circa 838. His father was Ordoño I of Asturias. At some point, Alfonso III married Jimena of Pamplona. Together, they had at least three sons, including my 34th great-grandfather, Ordoño II of León.
Other than these few facts, little is known about Alfonso’s personal life, whereas more is known about his reign. Winning a contested succession, Alfonso III moved his capital forward from Oviedo to the original Roman city of León. Alfonso III ordered the creation of three chronicles, theorizing that the Kingdom of Asturias was the rightful successor of the old Visigothic kingdom.
In 867, Alfonso III defeated a Basque rebellion. He also squelched a Galician rebellion. In 868, he occupied Porto, and Castile took shape around Burgos. In 868, he conquered Oporto. Coimbra was conquered in 878. In addition, Alfonso III fought against and was victorious against the Moors of Al-Andalus.
Around 869, Alfonso III allied with the Kingdom of Pamplona, solidifying this alliance by marrying Jimena, who might have been the daughter of King García Íñiguez. His sister Leodegundia married a prince of Pamplona.
By the end of his reign, Alfonso III occupied Burdos, Coimbra, and Zamora, thereby doubling the size of his kingdom. Unfortunately, in 910, Alfonso III was deposed by his sons and was exiled. His kingdom was divided between those sons: eldest son García became King of León, middle son Ordoño reigned in Galicia, and youngest son Fruela ruled Asturias. It is thought that Alfonso III died in Zamora on 20 December 912.