In the year 1095 Count Henry of Burgundy, a crusading knight in Spain, so pleased Alfonso VI of Castile and Leon that the King gave him a daughter, Theresa, in marriage, and included in her dowry, as a fief, a county of Leon named Portugal.* The territory had been won from Moslem Spain only thirty-one years before; and south of the Mondego River the Moors still ruled. Count Henry felt uncomfortable as anything less than a king; from their marriage he and his wife plotted to make their fief an independent state. When Henry died (1112), Theresa continued to labor for independence. She taught her riobles and vassals to think in terms of national liberty; she encouraged her cities to fortify themselves and study the arts of war. She led her soldiers in person on campaign after campaign, and between wars she surrounded herself with musicians, poets, and lovers.93 She was defeated, captured, released, and restored to her fief; she lavished funds upon an illicit love, was deposed, went into exile with her lover, and died in poverty (1130).
It was through her inspiration and preparations that her son, Affonso I Henriques (1128–85), achieved her aims. Alfonso VII of Castile promised to recognize him as sovereign ruler of any land that he might conquer from the Moors below the Douro River. With all the reckless bravery of his father and the spirit and pertinacity of his mother, Affonso Henriques attacked the Moors, defeated them at Ourique (1139), and proclaimed himself King of Portugal. The hierarchy persuaded the two kings to submit the matter to Pope Innocent II, who decided in favor of Castile. Affonso Henriques reversed this decision by offering his new kingdom to the papacy as a fief. Alexander III accepted it, and recognized him as King of Portugal (1143) on condition of annual tribute to the See of Rome.94Affonso Henriques resumed his wars with the Moors, captured Santarem and Lisbon, and extended his rule to the Tagus. Under Affonso III (1248–79) Portugal reached its present mainland limits, and Lisbon, strategically placed at the mouth of the Tagus, became its port and capital (1263). An old legend said that Ulysses-Odysseus had founded the city and given it its ancient name Ulyssipo, which the carelessness of tongues transformed into Olisipo and Lisboa.
The last years of Affonso II were embittered by civil war with his son Diniz, who wondered why his father took so long to die. From this dubious beginning Diniz moved into a long and beneficent reign (127 9–1325). Peace with Leon and Castile was achieved by a marital alliance; strife with another heir to the throne was averted by the mediation of Isabel, Diniz’ saintly queen. Renouncing the glories of war, Diniz devoted himself to the economic and cultural development of his kingdom. He founded schools of agriculture, taught his people improved methods of husbandry, planted trees to check erosion, helped commerce, built ships and cities, organized a Portuguese navy, and negotiated a commercial treaty with England; so he earned the title fondly given him by his subjects—Re Lavrador, the Worker King. He was an industrious administrator, and a just judge. He supported poets and scholars, and himself wrote the best poetry of his nation and time; through him Portuguese ceased to be a Galician dialect and became a literary language. In his pastorellas he gave literary form to the songs of the people; and at his court troubadours were encouraged to sing the joys and pains of love. Diniz himself was a connoisseur in women, and preferred his bastards to his one legitimate son. When this son rebelled and raised an army to unseat his father, St. Isabel, who had lived apart from the merry court of the King, rode between the hostile forces, proposed to be the first victim of their violence, and shamed her husband and her son to peace.