||04-26-2008 06:08 PM
And the other half of the wikipedia article:
Alfonso spent his first four years in near-constant war with the Moor. In 1105, he conquered Ejea and Tauste and refortified Castellar and Juslibol. In 1106, he defeated Ahmad II al-Musta'in of Zaragoza at Valtierra. In 1107, he took Tamarite de Litera and Esteban de la Litera. Then followed a period dominated by his relations with Castile and León through his wife, Urraca. He resumed his Reconquista in 1117 by conquering Fitero, Corella, Cintruénigo, Murchante, Monteagudo, and Cascante from Islam.
In 1118, the Council of Toulouse declared it a crusade to assist in the reconquest of Zaragoza. Many Frenchmen consequently joined Alfonso at Ayerbe. They took Almudévar, Gurrea de Gállego, and Zuera, besieging Zaragoza itself by the end of May. On 18 December, it fell and the forces of Alfonso occupied the Azuda, the government tower. The great palace of the city was given to the monks of Bernard. Promptly, the city was made Alfonso's capital. Two years later, in 1120, he defeated a Moslem army intent on reconquering his new capital at Cutanda. He promulgated the fuero of tortum per tortum, facilitating taking the law into one's own hands, and forced the Moslem population of the city (greater than 20,000) to move to the suburbs.
In 1119, he retook Cervera, Tudejen, Castellón, Tarazona, Ágreda, Magallón, Borja, Alagón, Novillas, Mallén, Rueda, Épila and repopulated the region of Soria. He began the siege of Calatayud, but left to defeat the army at Cutanda trying to retake Zaragoza. When Calatayud fell, he took Bubierca, Alhama de Aragón, Ariza, and Daroca (1120). In 1123, he besieged and took Lérida, which was in the hands of the count of Barcelona. From the winter of 1124 to September 1125, he was on a risky expedition to Peña Cadiella deep in Andalusia.
In the great raid of 1125, he carried away a large part of the subject Christians from Granada, and in the south-west of France, he had claims as usurper-king of Navarre. From 1125 to 1126, he was on campaign against Granada, where he was trying to install a Christian prince, and Córdoba, where got only as far as Motril. In 1127, he reconquered Longares, but simultaneously lost all his Castilian possessions to Alfonso VII. He confirmed a treaty with Castile the next year (1128) at Támara which fixed the boundaries of the two realms.
He conquered Molina de Aragón and repopulated Monzón in 1129, before besieging Valencia, which had fallen again upon the Cid's death.
He went north of the Pyrenees in October 1130 to protect the Val d'Aran. Early in 1131, he besieged Bayonne. It is said he ruled "from Belorado to Pallars and from Bayonne to Monreal."
At the siege of Bayonne in October 1131, three years before his death, he published a will leaving his kingdom to three autonomous religious orders based in Palestine and politically largely independent on the pope, the Knights Templars, the Hospitallers, and the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, whose influences might have been expected to cancel one another out. The will has greatly puzzled historians, who have read it as a bizarre gesture of extreme piety uncharacteristic of Alphonso's character, one that effectively undid his life's work. Elena Lourie (1975) suggested instead that it was Alphonso's attempt to neutralize the papacy's interest in a disputed succession— Aragon had been a fief of the Papacy since 1068— and to fend off Urraca's son from her first marriage, Alphonso VII of Castile, for the Papacy would be bound to press the terms of such a pious testament. Generous bequests to important churches and abbeys in Castile had the effect of making the noble churchmen there beneficiaries who would be encouraged by the will to act as a brake on Alphonso VII's ambitions to break it— and yet among the magnates witnessing the will in 1131 there is not a single cleric. In the event it was a will that his nobles refused to carry out— instead bringing his brother Ramiro from the monastery to assume royal powers— an eventuality that Lourie suggests was Alphonso's hidden intent.
His final campaigns were against Mequinenza (1133) and Fraga (1134), where García Ramírez, the future king of Navarre, and a mere 500 other knights fought with him. It fell on 17 July. He was dead by September. Alfonso was a fierce, violent man, a soldier and nothing else, whose piety was wholly militant. He has a great role in the Spanish reconquest.
His testament was not honored: Aragon took his aged brother abbot-bishop Ramiro out of a monastery and made him king, marrying him without papal dispensation to Agnes, sister of the Duke of Aquitaine; the Navarrese lords, perhaps irked at the personal union of Aragon and Navarre signalled their independence by putting García Ramírez Lord of Monzón, descendant of an illlegitimate son of García Sánchez III, to the throne. "The result of the crisis produced by the result of Alfonso I's will was a major reorientation of the peninsula's kingdoms: the separation of Aragon and Navarre, the union of Aragon and Catalonia and— a moot point but stressed particularly by some Castilian historians— the affirmation of 'Castilian hegemony' in Spain" by the rendering of homage for Zaragoza by Alfonso's eventual heir, Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona.