House of Aviz

House of Aviz
Casa de Aviz
Country Portugal
Parent house House of Burgundy
Founded 1385
Founder John I
Final ruler António
Dissolution 1580
Cadet branches

The House of Aviz (modern Portuguese: Avis; Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈviʃ]) was the second dynasty of the kings of Portugal. In 1385, the Interregnum of the 1383-1385 crisis ended when the Cortes of Coimbra proclaimed the Master of the monastic military Order of Aviz as King John I.[1] John was the natural (illegitimate) son of King Peter I and Dona Teresa Lourenço, and so was half-brother to the last king of the Portuguese House of Burgundy or Afonsine Dynasty, Ferdinand I of Portugal. The House of Aviz continued to rule Portugal until Philip II of Spain inherited the Portuguese crown with the Portuguese succession crisis of 1580.

The descendants of King John I were still also Masters of Aviz, though at times that title passed to one descendant of John and the Crown of Portugal to another. The title of Grand Master of the Order of Aviz was permanently incorporated into the Portuguese Crown toward the end of rule by the House of Aviz, in 1551.[2]


The House of Aviz was established as a result of the dynastic crisis following the 1383 death of Ferdinand I.[3] Ferdinand's widow Leonor Telles was disliked by both the nobility and the commoners for having left her first husband and for having had their marriage annulled in order to marry King Ferdinand. Ferdinand's designated heir was their only surviving child Beatrice, married to John I of Castile who claimed the throne in the name of his wife,[4] but under the Treaty of Salvaterra that had been the basis for John's marriage to Beatrice, the unpopular Leonor was left as Regent until such time as the son of Beatrice and John would be 14 years old.

In April 1385, amidst popular revolt and civil war, the Cortes of Coimbra declared John, Master of Aviz, as king John I of Portugal. He was half-brother of Ferdinand and natural son of Ferdinand's father and predecessor Pedro I. He had the particular backing of the rising bourgeoisie of Lisbon; the nobility were split, with the majority favoring the legitimist Beatrice. Troops under General Nuno Álvares Pereira defeated a small Castilian army at Valverde, assisted in part by a pestilence that had spread among their rival's forces. This was followed, however, by a larger invasion of Castilian and Portuguese troops loyal to John of Castile and Beatrice.

John of Aviz's rule became established fact with the Portuguese victory in the Battle of Aljubarrota[5] on 14 August 1385, where he defeated John I of Castile.[4] A formal peace between Portugal and Castile would not be signed until 1411.

To mark his victory, John founded the Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória, known as the "Batalha Monastery" ("Battle Monastery"), whose chapel became the burial place of the princes of the new dynasty of Aviz.

The House of Aviz would rule Portugal until Philip II of Spain annexed Portugal in 1580,[6] after he had ordered the Duke of Alba to take Portugal by force.[7] The Cortes in Tomar acknowledged Philip II of Spain as King Philip I of Portugal on 16 April 1581 after this Spanish military intervention.[8] From 1581, the House of Aviz had ceased to rule any portion of continental Portugal; António, Prior of Crato held out in the Azores into 1582 as António I of Portugal; the last of his allies in the islands finally surrendered in 1583.[9]

This period of Portuguese history saw the ascent of Portugal to the status of a European and world power. The conquest of Ceuta in 1415 was its first venture in colonial expansion,[10] followed by a great outpouring of national energy and capital investment in the exploration of Africa, Asia and Brazil with the founding of colonies to exploit their resources commercially.[11] The period also includes the zenith of the Portuguese Empire during the reign of Manuel I and the beginning of its decline during John III's reign.[12]

John III was succeeded in 1557 by his grandson Sebastian I of Portugal, who died, aged 24 and childless, in the Battle of Alcácer Quibir.[13] Sebastian was succeeded by his great-uncle Henry, aged 66, who, as a Catholic Cardinal, also had no children. The Cardinal-King Henry died two years later, and a succession crisis occurred when pretenders to the throne including Catherine, Duchess of Braganza, Philip II of Spain, and António, Prior of Crato claimed the right to inherit it.[14]

António, Prior of Crato, was acclaimed king in several cities around the country in 1580, twenty days before Philip II of Spain invaded Portugal and defeated the supporters of António in the Battle of Alcântara. Although António had been proclaimed king, and was still regarded as rightful king in some of the Azores Islands until 1583,[15] his legitimacy as a monarch is still disputed by historians. Only a small minority of historians (even in Portugal) accept the period of twenty days between Anthony's acclamation and the Battle of Alcântara as his reign. In Portugal he generally considered not as a national king, but as a patriot who led armed resistance to the Philippine domination.

Joaquim Veríssimo Serrão, writing in 1956 and counting António as a king, dates the end of the dynasty's rule of Portugal as occurring in 1581–1582. The Cortes of Tomar had acclaimed Philip II of Spain as Philip I of Portugal in 1581, subsequently António's forces were utterly defeated at sea by Álvaro de Bazán at the Battle of Ponta Delgada off São Miguel Island in the Azores, on 26 July 1582. António then retreated to Terceira, where he supervised the raising of levies for defense, but in November he left Angra do Heroísmo en route to France[16] to persuade the French to furnish more troops,[9] 800 of which arrived in June 1583.[17] Philip had despatched Santa Cruz with an overwhelming force which left Lisbon on 23 June,[18] and reaching sight of São Miguel some time after 7 July,[19] finally reduced the Azores to subjection.[20]

The House of Aviz was succeeded in Portugal by Philip's personal union of the Crowns of Portugal and Spain.[21] In Portuguese history this is variously referred to as the Philippine Dynasty,[22] the House of Habsburg, or the House of Austria. Portugal and Spain would share a common monarch until 1640, upon the proclamation of the Duke of Braganza as John IV of Portugal.[23]


The term "Aviz-Beja" for the line descended from Manuel is rarely used in reliable sources. The term appears in the genealogical trees in the two-volume work História de Portugal (1972) by A. H. de Oliveira Marques, the historian presented the House of Aviz in two separate diagrams. He labeled the royal line from John I to Manuel as the "Avis" dynasty, and for the subsequent descent he called the line from Manuel I to António as "Avis-Beja", merely for ease of identification and reading.



Name Cognomen Reigned Dynastic succession
John I The Good or The One of Happy Memory 1385 - 1433 Natural son of Pedro I, half-brother of Ferdinand I
Edward I The Philosopher or The Eloquent 1433 - 1438 Son of John I
Afonso V The African Conqueror 1438 - 1481 Son of Edward I
John II The Perfect Prince 1481 - 1495 Son of Afonso V
Manuel I The Fortunate 1495 - 1521 Grandson of Edward I, cousin of John II
John III The Pious 1521 - 1557 Son of Manuel I
Sebastian The Desired 1557 - 1578 Grandson of John III, son of John Manuel, Prince of Portugal
Henry The Chaste 1578 - 1580 Son of Manuel I, younger brother of John III
António The Determined 1580 (disputed) Grandson of Manuel I's, natural son of Infante Louis, Duke of Beja

Other notable infantes and infantas of the House of Aviz

See also

Coats of arms

Coat of Arms Title Time Held
King of Portugal 1385–1580
King of the Algarve 1385–1580
Lord of Guinea 1485–1580
Lord of Ceuta 1415–1471


  1. António Henrique R. de Oliveira Marques (1972). History of Portugal: From Lusitania to Empire ; vol. 2, From Empire to Corporate State. Columbia University Press. pp. 127–128. ISBN 978-0-231-03159-2. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  2. António Henrique R. de Oliveira Marques (1984). História de Portugal, desde os tempos mais antigos até à presidência do Sr. General Eanes: Do Renascimento às revoluções liberais. Palas Editores. p. 110. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  3. Christopher Allmand; Rosamond McKitterick (18 June 1998). The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 7, C.1415-c.1500. Cambridge University Press. p. 629. ISBN 978-0-521-38296-0. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  4. 1 2 Guida Myrl Jackson-Laufer (1999). Women Rulers Throughout the Ages: An Illustrated Guide. ABC-CLIO. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-57607-091-8. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  5. Clifford J. Rogers; Kelly DeVries; Jobyhn France (1 November 2010). Journal of Medieval Military History. Boydell & Brewer. p. 153. ISBN 978-1-84383-596-7. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  6. Fernand Braudel (1982). Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Vol. III: The Perspective of the World. University of California Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-520-08116-1. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  7. David Hilliam (2005). Philip II: King Of Spain and Leader of the Counter-Reformation. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 87. ISBN 978-1-4042-0317-4. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  8. Fernando Cabo Aseguinolaza; Anxo Abuín González; César Domínguez (2010). A Comparative History of Literatures in the Iberian Peninsula. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 595. ISBN 978-90-272-3457-5. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  9. 1 2 Joaquim Veríssimo Serrão (1956). O reinado de D. Antonio prior do Crato. Coimbra. p. 477. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  10. Julia Ortiz Griffin; William D. Griffin (1 January 2007). Spain and Portugal: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present. Infobase Publishing. p. 288. ISBN 978-0-8160-7476-1. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  11. Douglas L. Wheeler; Walter C. Opello (10 May 2010). Historical Dictionary of Portugal. Scarecrow Press. pp. 8–10. ISBN 978-0-8108-7075-8. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  12. Fernão Mendes Pinto (January 1989). Mendes Pinto/Catz: Travels of Mendes Pinto. University of Chicago Press. p. xxii. ISBN 978-0-226-66951-9. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  13. Spencer C. Tucker (23 December 2009). A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East. ABC-CLIO. p. 534. ISBN 978-1-85109-672-5. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  14. John Lynch (1964). Spain Under the Habsburgs: Empire and absolutism, 1516-1598. Oxford University Press. p. 307. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  15. Archivo dos Açores. University of Michigan. 1887. p. 491. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  16. David B. Quinn (1979). England and the Azores, 1581-1582: Three Letters. UC Biblioteca Geral 1. p. 213. GGKEY:X1C130EKZX6. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  17. Colin Martin; Geoffrey Parker (January 1999). The Spanish Armada: Revised Edition. Manchester University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-901341-14-0. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  18. João Pedro Vaz (2005). Campanhas do prior do Crato, 1580-1589: entre reis e corsários pelo trono de Portugal. Tribuna da História. p. 74. ISBN 978-972-8799-27-4. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  19. Rafael Valladares (28 February 2012). A Conquista de Lisboa. Leya. ISBN 978-972-47-4348-6. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  20. Thomas Henry Dyer; Arthur Hassall (1901). 1525-1585. G. Bell and sons. p. 475. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  21. Kevin Joseph Sheehan (2008). Iberian Asia: The Strategies of Spanish and Portuguese Empire Building, 1540--1700. ProQuest. pp. 126–129. ISBN 978-1-109-09710-8. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  22. António da Silva Rego (1965). Portuguese Colonization in the Sixteenth Century: A Study of the Royal Ordinances (Regimentos). Witwatersrand University Press. p. 3. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  23. C.R. Boxer (1 July 1973). The Portuguese Seaborne Empire, 1415-1825. Penguin. p. 112. Retrieved 25 June 2013.

External links

House of Aviz
Cadet branch of the Portuguese House of Burgundy
Preceded by
House of Burgundy

Ruling House of the Kingdom of Portugal

1385 – 1580
Succeeded by
House of Habsburg
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 4/25/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.