World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Bermudo II of León

Article Id: WHEBN0003628955
Reproduction Date:

Title: Bermudo II of León  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Ramiro III of León, Elvira of Castile, Queen of León, Ordoño III of León, Urraca of León and Castile, Alfonso VI of León and Castile
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Bermudo II of León

Bermudo II
Bermudo II in the Libro de las Estampas
King of León
Reign 984–999
Predecessor Ramiro III
Successor Alfonso V
King of Galicia
Reign 982–999
Predecessor Ramiro III
Successor Alfonso V
Born c. 953
Died c. 999
Burial Monastery of Carracedo
later Basilica of San Isidoro
Consort Velasquita Ramírez
Elvira García
Issue Alfonso V
Dynasty Beni Alfons
Father Ordoño III of León (?)
Mother Urraca Fernández (?)
Religion Roman Catholicism

Bermudo (or Vermudo) II (c. 953 – September 999), called the Gouty (Spanish: el Gotoso), was first a rival king in Galicia (982–984) and then king of the entire Kingdom of León (984–999). His reign is summed up by Justo Pérez de Urbel's description of him as "the poor king tormented in life by the sword of Almanzor and in death by the vengeful pen of a bishop," Pelagius of Oviedo (died 1153), half of whose Chronicon covers the reign of Bermudo and is highly critical of the king.[1] He accuses Bermudo of imprisoning Bishop Gudesteus of Oviedo in the 990s and blames the attacks of Almanzor on Bermudo's sins.[2]


  • Reign 1
  • Family 2
    • Parentage 2.1
    • Children 2.2
  • References 3
  • Further reading 4


In 982 the Galician nobility proclaimed Bermudo, a son of former king Ordoño (probably Ordoño III), as king in opposition to his cousin Ramiro III. This usurpation is usually seen as the extension of ongoing succession crises begun in the 950s. At the time of the usurpation Bermudo II's faction was led by Gonzalo Menéndez and that of Ramiro III by Rodrigo Velázquez. Bermudo was crowned in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela on 15 October 982. It is probable that two episcopal opponents of his coronation—Rodrigo's son Pelayo, then bishop of Santiago, and Arias Peláez, bishop of Mondoñedo—were exiled from their sees to the monasteries of Celanova and San Martín de Lalín, respectively, at this time.[3]

Because his support was limited and regional Bermudo required the protection of the Caliphate of Córdoba. There was much unrest in Castile in his early years and the Cordoban armies of Almanzor came, not as allies, but as conquerors.[4] Between November 991 and September 992 Vermudo was expelled from the kingdom by a revolt led by the magnates Gonzalo Vermúdez, Munio Fernández, and count Pelayo Rodríguez. He was soon restored and reconciled to the discontents.[5] On 8 August 994 Bermudo gave the village of Veiga to the monastery of Celanova, the village having been built by Suario Gundemárez on land illegally appropriated from the monastery. Suario took refuge there during his later rebellion.[6] On 23 August that year the village of Morella was granted to abbot Salvato of Celanova after it was confiscated because the murder of Fortún Velázquez had taken place there.

Bermudo eventually succeeded in recovering Santiago de Compostela (997).

In 999, the gout from which he suffered was aggravated and it became impossible for him to ride a horse. Military leader of Christians of northwestern Spain, he subsequently travelled by litter. Later that same year he died in Villanueva del Bierzo and was buried in the Monastery of Carracedo. Later, his remains were transferred to the Basilica of San Isidoro.



Both the paternal and maternal parentage of Bermudo II have been subject to scholarly debate. On the paternal side, the primary chronicle sources simply call him son of king Ordoño, without specifying which former king of that name. Traditionally his father has been identified as Ordoño III and the modern consensus agrees with this assignment, but at least one prominent modern Leonese historian, Manuel Carriedo Tejedo, has concluded that he instead was son of Ordoño IV.[7] Carriedo Tejedo further suggests a parentage for Ordoño IV at odds with the almost unanimous consensus,[8] and would make Bermudo a grandson of Galician king Alfonso Fróilaz.[7][9]

Controversy also exists over the identity of his mother. Traditionally he has been viewed as son of Ordoño III's documented wife, Urraca Fernández. However, in a royal charter dated 5 January 999 Bermudo refers to his avo (grandfather, or by extension, ancestor), the count Gonzalo Betótez of Deza. As Bermudo's traditional pedigree would provide no such relationship, Justo Pérez de Urbel suggested that he was instead an illegitimate son of Ordoño III, with the relationship coming through his mother. Based on political considerations and a second ambiguous documented kinship, he provisionally identified the mother as either Aragonta or Guntroda, daughters of Pelayo González, count of Deza, who was son of count Gonzalo.[10] He has been followed in this by several historians, but others find the evidence lacking and retain the traditional view of his mother (even Carriedo Tejedo, who has him born to Urraca by her second husband, Ordoño IV[7]). The identification of Bermudo's first queen, Velasquita Ramírez, as likely grandniece of count Pelayo allows the possibility that Bermudo was referring to count Gonzalo as ancestor of his first wife and not his own blood ancestor.[11]


By his first wife, Velasquita Ramírez, Bermudo left a daughter, Cristina, who married Ordoño Ramírez, son of his rival Ramiro III. Vermudo married secondly Elvira García, daughter of the Castilian count García Fernández, with whom he had three children: Alfonso, who succeeded him; Theresa; and Sancha. He also had three bastards: Elvira, Pelayo, and Ordoño, who married Fronilde, daughter of the aforementioned count Pelayo.


  1. ^ José-Luis Martín (1965), "Pelayo Rodríguez, obispo de Santiago (977–985)", Anuario de los estudios medievales, 2, 474 n47: el pobre rey atormentado en la vida por la espada de Almanzor y en muerte por la pluma vengadora de un obispo.
  2. ^ Simon Barton and Richard A. Fletcher (2000), The World of El Cid: Chronicles of the Spanish Reconquest (Manchester: Manchester University Press), pp. 72–73.
  3. ^ Emilio Sáez Sánchez (1946), "Notas al episcopologio minduniense del siglo X", Hispania, 6(22), 47–8 n180.
  4. ^ J. M. Ruiz Asencio (1968), "Campañas de Almanzor contra el reino de León (981–986)", Anuario de estudios medievales, 5, 31–64.
  5. ^ Jaime de Salazar y Acha (1989), "El conde Fernando Peláez, un rebelde leonés del siglo XI", Anuario de estudios medievales, 19, 87-97.
  6. ^ Antonio Palomeque Torres (1948), "Episcopologio de la Sede de Oviedo durante el siglo X", Hispania sacra, 1:2, 295.
  7. ^ a b c Manuel Carriedo Tejedo (1981), "La Version de la "Historia Silense" Sobre la Filiacion de Vermudo II", Tierras de León: Revista de la Diputación Provincial, 21(44), 38-44.
  8. ^ Manuel Rubén García Alvarez (1967), "Ordoño IV de León, un Rey impuesto par Castilla", Archívos Leoneses, 42, 203-248.
  9. ^ This paternity for Ordoño IV was also favored by Claudio Sánchez-Albornoz (See García Alvarez, "Ordoño IV", who refutes this view, as does Emilia Sáez Sánchez (1947), "Sobre la Filacion de Ordoño IV", Cuadernos de Estudios Gallegos, 2, 363-75).
  10. ^ Justo Pérez de Urbel (1949), "Los Padres de Vermudo II el Gotoso", Revista de Archivos, Biblotecas y Museos 55, 289-307.
  11. ^ Manuel Rubén García Alvarez (1960), "¿La Reina Velasquita, nieta de Muniadomna Diaz?", Revista de Guimarães 70, 197-230.

Further reading

  • M. Calleja Puerta (1999), "Una generación leonesa del siglo XII: la descendencia de Vermudo II en la obra cronística de Pelayo de Oviedo", La nobleza peninsular en la Edad Media (León).
Bermudo II of León
Born: 956 Died: 999
Preceded by
Ramiro III
King of Galicia
Succeeded by
Alfonso V
King of León
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.