Biography of Silo. King of Asturias (774-783)

Sixth King of Asturias from the year 774 until the date of his death. Born in place and dates unknown and died in Pravia in the year 783. During his reign attempted to keep the peace with the Muslims and had to stop an uprising in Galicia.

Very few biographical note close to Silo, are known since not reflected in the different Chronicles any data that allows us to learn about the activities that this took place prior to his coming to the throne or who were their close relatives, except her mother, who must have been a noble Muslim. There is no doubt about the condition of noble of Silo, since this married, between the year 768 and the year 774, the daughter of King Alfonso I, Adosinda, which also was the sister of the monarch also Fruela I.

According to the Chronicle of Alfonso III called the Rotense version tells us, Silo took in marriage to Adosinda after the death of King Aurelio, to gain access to the throne, so in theory it seems that it used all its influences to achieve their goals and win power, although in the opinion of Menéndez Pidal seems unlikely that in those years on the throne of the Kingdom of Asturias was hereditary and much less that the rights be respected dynastic that it might have a woman. Thus some researchers believe that prior to your arrival to the Asturian throne, Silo must have been a leading noble of the Court of Fruela I and it is possible to participate actively in the murder, to support the candidacy of del rey Aurelio shortly after. These scholars also say that the marriage of Silo with Adosinda, obeyed mainly an attempt to ingratiate the factions that had inevitably form in the Court installed in those years in Cangas de Onís, so Silo should be associated with the Asturian Throne from the moment in which his marriage, to the detriment of the nephew of his wife was effective, the future Alfonso II el Casto, who was forced to leave the Court hastily after the coming to power of the mentioned King Aurelio (768-774).

Whatever the reasons that led to the Silo to win the throne, this took power in 774. The new monarch who must have solid support in the Court and in general in Asturias, as regards Muslims remained broadly the policy of peace initiated by his predecessor, though negotiations with the Court of Abd al - Rahman I, should be more relaxed than in the reign of the former, as indicated by the Asturian Chronicles, since his mother was Muslim, and as some authors possibly was closely related to the first emir Umayyad.

With regard to the interior of his Kingdom, shortly after hoisting the Crown Silo should face an uprising of some Galician nobles, in the year 779, which decided to support the young Alfonso, mentioned Adosinda nephew, who stayed away from the Court. The uprising could be controlled quickly in monte Cuperio or Cebrero, although it had major political repercussions, since once it was clear the Kings wouldn't have offspring, possibly Adosinda convinced her husband to associated to the throne to his nephew and thus prevent new opposition movements. Thus the future Alfonso II rejoined the Court and occupied a prominent position, getting a deal of privilege by the monarchs. We must also mention think precisely that to prevent new revolts in Galicia, Silo took the decision to install the Court in Pravia, specifically in Santianes; taking advantage of also the calm that reigned between Christians and Muslims, to leave the relatively isolated in which always places had been the cutting of different monarchs astures.

The construction of the monastery of San Juan Evangelista, was held during the reign of King Silo in the mentioned Court from Pravia, where deposited the remains of Santa Eulalia and Olalla, apparently collected on an expedition made by the own monarch to Mérida during his reign. Important for its historical value is labyrinthine stone, which was installed on the lintel of the main entrance of the aforementioned church, which retains a copy, since the original was destroyed in the year 1662, where you can read the following inscription: SILO PRINCEPS FECIT ('Prince Silo made it'), from different points of view. It also appears that during this time, specifically in the year 776, Beatus of Liébana, Adviser to the Queen, concluded its Apocalypsi Traductus, work of great interest for its great material and historical value, and finally we must add that an important diplomatic document of the Asturian Kingdom, the oldest of its kind found in Spain to date preservedknown as the Diploma of King Silo, written in cursive Visigoth and dated August 23, 775, where the monarch donated some clerics a place called Lucis, placed as comments Menéndez Pidal between upload and Marsona rivers and the Alesancia Creek and the place of Mera, in the province of Lugo; to build a monastery.

King Shiloh died at 783 year, nine years after having occupied the throne apparently of natural causes, as indicated by the Asturian Chronicles. His death opened up a period of crisis in the monarchy, since after the proclamation in the Palace of Alfonso II, Mauregato, natural son of Alfonso I, usurped power.


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