III. The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 > F. Europe, 461–1500 > 6. Western Europe, 1300–1500 > d. The Iberian Peninsula > 3. Portugal
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1245–79)
3. Portugal
DINIZ (the Worker), the best-known and best-loved king of medieval Portugal. An ardent poet, he did much to raise the cultural level of the court. His interest in agriculture and his constant effort toward economic development (commercial treaty with England, 1294) resulted in greater prosperity. Beginning of Portuguese naval activity (under Venetian and Genoese guidance). Foundation (1290) of the University of Lisbon, which was soon (1308) moved to Coimbra.  1
AFONSO IV (the Brave), whose reign was scarred by dynastic troubles. The murder of Inez de Castro (1355), the mistress and later the wife of Afonso's son Peter, at the behest of Afonso. This episode, the subject of much literature, led to the revolt of Peter.  2
The Portuguese, in alliance with Castile, defeated the Moors in the battle of Salado.  3
PETER (PEDRO) I (the Severe), a harsh and hasty, though just, ruler who continued his predecessor's efforts in behalf of the general welfare.  4
FERDINAND (FERNÃO) I (the Handsome), a weak ruler whose love for Leonora Telles led him to repudiate his betrothal to a Castilian princess and so bring on a war with Castile.  5
Regency of Queen Leonora on behalf of Ferdinand's daughter, Beatrice, who was married to John I of Castile. This arrangement led to strong opposition among the Portuguese, who detested both the regent and her lover, and resented all control from outside.  6
JOHN (JOÃO) I, an illegitimate son of Peter I, established the Avis dynasty after leading a successful revolt and driving the regent out of the country. He was proclaimed king by the cortes of Coimbra, but his position was at once challenged by the Castilians, who twice invaded Portugal and besieged Lisbon.  7
1385, Aug. 14
The Battle of Aljubarrota, in which the Portuguese defeated the Castilians. A decisive date in the history of the country, this battle established the independence of Portugal. With the Avis dynasty, Portugal entered on the greatest period of her history. The king himself was an able and enlightened ruler, who enjoyed the aid of five outstanding sons, of whom Henry the Navigator (1394–1460) became the greatest figure in the history of the epoch-making discoveries of the 15th century (See 1400–1550).  8
1386, May 9
The Treaty of Windsor, by which England and Portugal became permanently allied. King John married Philippa, the daughter of John of Gaunt. The dynasty thereby became part English.  9
Peace was finally concluded with Castile.  10
1415, Aug. 24
The Portuguese took Ceuta from the Moors (See 1415–1505), thus initiating a policy of expansion on the African continent.  11
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.