Ferdinand II of Leon - Encyclopedia

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FERDINAND II., king of Leon only (d. 1188), was the son of Alphonso VII. and of Berenguela, of the house of the counts of Barcelona. On the division of the kingdoms which had obeyed his father, he received Leon. His reign of thirty years was one of strife marked by no signal success or reverse. He had to contend with his unruly nobles, several of whom he put to death. During the minority of his nephew Alphonso VIII. of Castile he endeavoured to impose himself on the kingdom as regent. On the west he was in more or less constant strife with Portugal, which was in process of becoming an independent kingdom. His relations to the Portuguese house must have suffered by his repudiation of his wife Urraca, daughter of Alphonso I. of Portugal. Though he took the king of Portugal prisoner in 1180, he made no political use of his success. He extended his dominions southward in Estremadura at the expense of the Moors. Ferdinand, who died in 1188, left the reputation of a good knight and hard fighter, but did not display political or organizing faculty.

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