Biography of Fruela II. King of Asturias y León (ca. 874- ca. 925)

Third King of León from June of the year 924 until his death. Born in the year 874 and died approximately in August of the year 925. He/She held the Leonese throne after the death of his brother Ordoño II for fourteen months.

Son of the Asturian King Alfonso III the great and wife, Jimena, have few biographical note about this character, since the chroniclers did not include him in his works until approximately the year 909, when Fruela was already 35 years old. Thus there are discrepancies between some authors in determining the date of his birth and the position he/she occupied between siblings, since while Armando Cortaelo in his work dedicated to Alfonso III says that Fruela was the fourth son of the monarch, supporting his claim on the fact that his brother Gonzalo put his signature to theirs in some documents; Justiniano Fernández writes that this was born in third place, since for him the signing of Gonzalo prepending, could be a deference to the King, by having been appointed Archdeacon of the city of Oviedo.

If we pay attention to the Royal Chancellery issued documentary sources which have come down to us, it seems shown Fruela spent his childhood and his youth at the Court of the great King. So while sometimes this identity with his paternal uncle has become confused, is accepted by most researchers, that his firm was registered for the first time in a document dated June 24, the year 886, when Fruela should have approximately 12 years. The frequency with which this appears confirming various documents, seems to indicate that you became a very influential at Court character, although there is no evidence that take part in any of the military campaigns undertaken by his father.

We do not know what was his participation in the events that led to Alfonso III to leave the throne in the year 909, since although all chroniclers claimed that the children of the monarch, and even own Queen, supported the cause of García, it is evident that Fruela distanced himself quickly from this, after being under his power the Kingdom of Asturias, while on the other hand, always maintained excellent relations with his brother Ordoño. Thus in the year 912 has been attested the presence of Fruela in the town of Compostela, and some years later, after the coronation of Ordoño as King of León (914), also has been able to register their presence in the Court of his brother on numerous occasions.

Some researchers believe that the attitude of Fruela to Ordoño, was determined from the outset by its precarious position in Asturias. Not in vain the small Kingdom was exposed between the years 910 and 914 attack by García I, which was upset by the attitude of his brothers, since he/she had lost much heritage that corresponded him as firstborn son. Similarly, it should be noted, it seems logical that Fruela did not change its attitude to Ordoño when this was proclaimed King of Leon and to some extent recognize the superiority of its authority, since their territories could not compete in any way with the possessions of the new monarch.

We do not know most of the actions carried out by Fruela as King of Asturias, since the documentation we have is very scarce. Although we can guess that you among the 910 and the 914 tried his court from Oviedo to shine, in order to regain its glorious past. Proof of this are the major donations made in the company of his first wife to the Church of the Savior of the said city. Although it is clear that the authority of Ordoño II was made patent to the Asturian nobility in the year 921 if we take into account the testimony where he/she discussed us visit that made the Leonese King to Oviedo.

As stated above Fruela formed part of the retinue of his brother with some frequency, and their presence in court was nearly constant in the last years of life of Ordoño. Thus its proximity to the throne and the elevated position reached, allowed access to the Crown during the few days of result in the death of his brother, to the great chagrin of his nephews, who considered that their rights had been violated. Thus Fruela took the title for the first time in a document dated June 28, 924 in Santiago, where he/she requested the protection of the apostle.

It is clear to all researchers, Fruela had to deal with a movement of opposition from the nobles who remained loyal to the descendants of Ordoño II, could be dampened due to the death of its principal leaders, called by Sapiro "sons of Olmudo". But against what says the chronicler mentioned, it should be noted that while not personally participated in any expedition against the Muslims, if it sent troops to Navarre so that they cooperate in the defence of the realm, in the campaign that Ibn Khaldun, named as "Pamplona".

With regard to the work on the interior of the Kingdom has not been evidence that Fruela undertake no action to reform the administration or improve the Organization of cities, although some authors point out that this was due to that its authority was very limited both in León and Asturias, since their presence only has been able to be witnessed in some places, as Sahagún, at specific times. Thus it seems that the main center of his authority was always the city of Santiago. However while during the months that his reign lasted his authority did not leave feeling in much of their possessions, it seems unlikely, according to us documents, which was at this time when it appeared the first Castilian judges, in which years later allegiance its independence from the Kingdom of León the counts of this territory.

Fruela II probably died in the month of August of the year 925, at the age of 51 years, of natural causes, sick with leprosy according to some Christian Chronicles. His mortal remains were buried in León, next to the of his brother Ordoño II, although it has not been evidence of its location. Married twice, with a young woman named Nunilo also known as Jimena, and in the last years of his life with magpie. The silence that the major chroniclers of the time kept on her children, prevents us from knowing their exact number, although we know that the death of his father at least 3 of them fought for its heritage front cousins, the heirs of Ordoño II.


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COTARELO, A. Alfonso III the great, last King of Oviedo and first King of Galicia. (Madrid, charger, 1991).

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