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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

Ram?n Berenguer soon acquired two more counties

_Catalonia, 1035 to 1164_

[Sidenote: The extension of the authority of the counts of Barcelona.]

At the time when Ram?n Berenguer I (1035-1076) became count of Barcelona, Catalonia was a federation of counties, acknowledging the ruler of Barcelona as overlord. Possessed already of Barcelona and Gerona, Ram?n Berenguer soon acquired two more counties, which had been left by his father to other sons. He extended his frontiers at the expense of the Moslems, and laid the foundations of the later Catalonian power in southern France through marriage alliances with princes of that region. It was in his reign, too, that the Catalan code of the _Us?ticos_, or _Usatges_ (Usages, or Customs), was compiled, though at the instance of his powerful vassals, who wanted their privileges reduced to writing. By the end of his reign he had united five Catalonian counties and many other territories under his rule, including almost as much land in southern France as he possessed in Spain. No further progress was made until the reign of Ram?n Berenguer III (1096-1131), who, through inheritance, without civil wars, acquired all of the Catalonian counties but two and a great part of southern France. He also waged wars against the Moslems, though perhaps the most notable thing about them was that the Pisans fought as his allies. Indeed, he established commercial and diplomatic relations with the various Italian republics,--a beginning

of Spain's fateful connection with Italy. Ram?n Berenguer IV (1131-1162) inherited only the Spanish portions of his father's domain, but extended his authority over Tortosa, L?rida, and other Moslem regions, being a notable warrior. In 1150 he married the daughter of the king of Aragon, and in 1164 his son by this marriage united Aragon and Catalonia under a single rule.


[Sidenote: The beginnings of Aragon and the union with Catalonia.]

The kingdom of Aragon dates from the will of Sancho the Great of Navarre in 1035. The new state was almost insignificantly small at the outset, but, by inheritances, wars with the Moslems, and the peaceful incorporation of Navarre in 1076, it already included a large portion of north central Spain by the close of the eleventh century. The era of great conquests began with Alfonso I "the Battler" (1104-1134), the same king whose marriage with Urraca of Castile had resulted so unfavorably. Better fortune awaited him on the Moslem frontier. In 1118 he captured Saragossa, an event as important in Aragon as was the acquisition of Toledo a few years before in Castile. He carried his campaigns as far south, even, as Murcia and Andalusia, but the principal result of these invasions was that he brought back ten thousand Moz?rabes to settle his newly-won conquests. Having no sons he tried to leave his realm to two military orders, but this arrangement did not prove agreeable to his subjects. The nobles of Navarre elected a king of their own, withdrawing from the union with Aragon, while those of Aragon chose a brother of Alfonso, named Ramiro, who at the time of his election was a monk. The reign of Ramiro II "the Monk" (1134-1137) was exceptionally important for Spain, without any particular merit accruing therefor to the king. The pope freed him from his vows and he married. From this marriage there was born a daughter, Petronilla. Ramiro espoused her to Ram?n Berenguer IV of Barcelona, and soon abdicated, returning to his monastery. Petronilla's son, Ram?n Berenguer, who presently changed his name to the Aragonese-sounding Alfonso, was the first to rule in his own right over Aragon and Catalonia in what came to be called the kingdom of Aragon, although Catalonia was always the more important part.

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