1) The Kingdom of Aragon
We refer to a selective bibliography from the archive of the Grand Chancery. It is not intended to be exhaustive.
The Kingdom of Aragon was one of the small Christian states which arose in the Iberian peninsula following the gradual expulsion of the Moors, who had held sway in the area in the wake of their conquest of the old Visigothic realm of Spain in the eighth century. It lay in the northeast of the peninsula and the earliest ruler of which we take note in this brief history was Aznar Galindez, Count of Aragon (including the territories of Urgell, Cerdanya and Conflent) for twenty years from 809 AD. The first of his successors to be regarded as King of Aragon was Ramiro I (1035-1063), an illegitimate son of Sancho the Great, King of Navarre who ruled in Pamplona 1000-1035 and who from 1028 was also King of Castile.
When Alfonso I, « the Battler », died in 1134 he was childless and bequeathed his kingdom to the crusading military orders, The Templars and The Hospitallers, but the Will was set aside by the magnates of the realm in favour of the late king’s brother, Ramiro who was given dispensation from his religious vows. Ramiro II married Agnes of Aquitaine, but after fathering the much needed heir, Petronella, he retired once more to his monastery in 1137.
In early childhood Petronella (ob.1173) married Raymond Berengar IV Count of Barcelona (d. 1162), thus uniting the crowns of the two states in one much stronger kingdom with access to the sea. Henceforth the ruling dynasty of Aragon was styled the House of Barcelona. The great-grandson of Raymond and Petronella, who succeeded to the throne in 1213, was James I (King also of Majorca and Valencia, Count of Barcelona and Urgell, Lord of Montpellier) known to history as “the Conqueror”.