(c.1075–16 August 1157, Huesca), called
the Monk, was King of
Aragon from 1134 until withdrawing from public life in 1137
(although he used the royal title until his death).
the youngest son of Sancho Ramírez,
King of Aragon and Navarre
, and Felicia of Roucy
most of his early life as a monk in a French monastery and later as
abbot of the monastery of San Pedro el Viejo at Huesca.
1134, when his brother Alfonso the
died heirless, Ramiro was bishop of Barbastro-Roda
temporarily gave up his monastic vows in order to secure the
succession to the crown of Aragon, while losing Navarre, which had
formed part of his late brother's dominions but in 1134 became
independent under García
He fought off two other claimants to the
throne, one, Pedro de Atarés, descended from an illegitimate
brother of king Sancho Ramírez, and the other, Alfonso VII
, king of Castile
The reign of Ramiro the Monk, as he is known, was tumultuous. At
the beginning of his reign he had problems with his nobles, who
thought he would be docile and easily steered to their wishes, but
discovered him to be inflexible. In order to produce an heir, he
daughter of Duke William IX of
. Once wed, his wife bore a daughter, Petronila
, who was betrothed to Ramon Berenguer IV, Count
at the age of one. The marriage contract, signed
at Barbastro on 11 August 1137, made Petronila the heiress to the
crown of Aragon, which in event of her childless death would pass
to Ramon Berenguer and any children he might have by other wives.
Ramon accepted Ramiro as "King, Lord and Father", 'renounced his
family name' in favor of the House of Aragon and united the County
of Barcelona with the Kingdom. This union, which came to be called the
Confederacion Catalanoaragonesa (Catalan-Aragonese
Confederation), created the Crown of
Aragon, returning the previously-landlocked kingdom of Aragon
to the position of peninsular power it had held prior to the loss
of Navarre, as well as giving it a window to the Western Mediterranean it would come to dominate.
In the time between his accession and the betrothal of his
daughter, Ramiro II had already had to put down a rebellion of the
nobles, and knowing himself not to be a war king, he passed royal
authority to his son-in-law Ramon Berenguer on 13 November 1137.
Ramon became the "Prince of the Aragonesse people" (Princeps
) and effective chief of the kingdom's armies.
Ramiro never formally resigned his royal rights, continuing to use
the royal title, and keeping aware of the business of the kingdom,
he withdrew from public life, returning to the San Pedro monastery
in Huesca. He later became known for the famous and passionate
legend of the Bell of Huesca
. He died
there 16 August 1157, the crown then formally passing to his
References and Notes
- Belenguer, Ernest (2006). «Aproximación a la historia de la Corona de
Aragón». La Corona de Aragón. El poder y la imagen
de la Edad Media a la Edad Moderna (siglos XII - XVIII).
Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior (SEACEX),
Generalitat Valenciana y Ministerio de Cultura de España: Lunwerg,
pp. 25-53. ISBN 84-9785-261-3
- Bisson, Thomas N. (2000). The Medieval Crown of Aragon: A
Short History. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Chaytor, Henry John. (1933). A
History of Aragon and Catalonia. London: Methuan
- Lapeña Paúl, Ana Isabel. (2008). Ramiro II de Aragón: el
rey monje (1134-1137). Gijón: Trea. ISBN