Aragon

Former kingdom in the Iberian peninsula, now forming the provinces of Huesca, Saragossa, and Teruel in Spain. After conquest by the Carthaginians, Romans, and Arabs, the realm arose: from several independent counties in the mountains, principally Sobrarbe recovered from the Moors at the beginning of the 8th century under Garcia Ximenes. It was taken by Sancho, King of Navarre, at the end of the 9th century, and the Aragonese monarchy was definitely established in the 11th century by Ramiro, son of Sancho the Great and ruler of Aragon, Ribagorza, and Sobrarbe. He made generous donations to the Church, founded several abbeys; notably that of San Juan de la PeƱta, and paid tribute to Pope Alexander II when the Roman liturgy was introduced into Aragon. Sancho Ramirez (1069 to 1094) recovered from the Moors a large part of the valley of Cinca. His son, Alfonso the Fighter (1104 to 1134), took Saragossa and willed his lands to the military orders of Jerusalem, but his subjects obliged his brother Ramiro, a monk, to accept the crown, and the pope dispensed him from his vows. By the marriage of his daughter to Ramon Berenguer V, Count of Barcelona, Aragon and Catalonia were united. Alfonso II completed the reconquest of Aragon and Pedro II the Catholic (1196 to 1213) made the kingdom a dependency of the Holy See. To check the invasion of Albigensian heretics the Inquisition was introduced into Spain by Jaime I the Conqueror who recovered Valencia from the Moors in 1238. Pedro II (1276 to 1285) took possession of Sicily. As John I and Martin (1395 to 1410) died without heirs the Compromiso de Caspe awarded the crown to Ferdinand of Antequera, Infante of Castile. The marriage of his descendant Ferdinand the Catholic with Isabella of Castile united the two kingdoms.