Sancho II of Castile

Sancho II of Castile

Sancho II (1036/1038-October 7, 1072), called the Strong, or in Spanish, el Fuerte, was King of Castile (1065-1072) and León (1072).

He was the eldest son of Ferdinand I of Castile and Sancha of León. His maternal grandparents were Alfonso V of Leon by Elvira Mendes.

He succeeded in Castile while his younger brother Alfonso succeeded in their mother's inheritance of León and Galicia was given to the youngest son García.

He married ca 1065 Alberta ..., without issue.

In 1068, Sancho defeated his cousins Sancho IV of Navarre and Sancho of Aragón in the War of the Three Sanchos. He reconquered Bureba, Alta Rioja, and Álava which his father had given to Sancho of Navarre's father, García, in return for aid against Bermudo III of León. In that year, he defeated Alfonso, his brother, at Llantada, but he soon teamed up with him to conquer Galicia. They succeeded (1071) and partitioned it, but Sancho then turned on Alfonso. With the aid of his alférez El Cid, he defeated Alfonso at Golpejera (1072). He then forced him into exile in Toledo and took over León as king.

His sister Urraca, Lady of Zamora, held that city against him, as the Leonese were strongly opposed to his presence. It was consequently a Zamoran noble who finally put and end to Sancho's campaigning success. Vellido Dolfos entered Sancho's camp as a pretendant deserter, separating Sancho from his guard as if to tell him the secrets of the Zamoran defence, and assassinated him.

He was succeeded in his kingdoms by the brother he displaced, Alfonso.

Finally, mention should be made of the part these events play in the Cantar de Mío Cid.

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