House of Aviz

The House of Aviz (Portuguese: Casa de Avis), also known as the Joanine Dynasty (Dinastia Joanina), was a dynasty of Portuguese origin which flourished during the Renaissance and the period of the Portuguese discoveries, when Portugal expanded its power globally.

House of Aviz
Casa de Avis
Parent housePortuguese House of Burgundy
FounderJohn I
Final rulerHenry I or António I (disputed)
Cadet branches

The house was founded by King John I of Portugal, Grand-Master of the Order of Aviz and illegitimate son of King Pedro I (of the Portuguese House of Burgundy), who ascended to the throne after successfully pressing his claim during the 1383–1385 Portuguese interregnum.[1] Aviz monarchs would rule Portugal through the Age of Discovery, establishing Portugal as a global power following the creation of the Portuguese Empire. In 1494 Pope Alexander VI divided the world under the dominion of Portugal and Spain with the Treaty of Tordesillas.

The House of Aviz has produced numerous prominent figures in both European and global history, including Prince Henry the Navigator, King Manuel I of Portugal, and Holy Roman Empress Isabella of Portugal. Numerous Aviz dynasts have also claimed thrones or titles across Europe, including King Peter V of Aragon and John, Prince of Antioch. The Aviz ruled Portugal from 1385 until 1580, when the Philippine Dynasty succeeded to the throne following the Portuguese succession crisis of 1580.



The founder of the House of Aviz, King John I of Portugal, was born in 1357 as the illegitimate child of King Pedro I of Portugal, a member of the Portuguese House of Burgundy, and Teresa Lourenço, daughter of a Lisbon merchant. In 1364, at 7 years old, John was made Grand Master of the Order of Aviz, henceforth becoming known as John of Aviz.

Rise to the throne

The House of Aviz was established as a result of the dynastic crisis following the 1383 death of Ferdinand I.[2] Ferdinand's widow Leonor Telles was disliked by both the nobility and the commoners for having left her first husband and for having had their marriage annulled in order to marry King Ferdinand. Ferdinand's designated heir was their only surviving child Beatrice, married to John I of Castile who claimed the throne in the name of his wife,[3] but under the Treaty of Salvaterra that had been the basis for John's marriage to Beatrice, the unpopular Leonor was left as Regent until such time as the son of Beatrice and John would be 14 years old.

In April 1385, amidst popular revolt and civil war, the Cortes of Coimbra declared John, Master of Aviz, as king John I of Portugal. He was half-brother of Ferdinand and natural son of Ferdinand's father and predecessor Pedro I. He had the particular backing of the rising bourgeoisie of Lisbon; the nobility were split, with the majority favoring the legitimist Beatrice. Troops under General Nuno Álvares Pereira defeated a small Castilian army at Atoleiros, while John of Castile had to lift a siege to Lisboa, mainly due to a plague that hit his army and killed his wife Beatrice. This was followed, however, by a larger invasion of Castilian and Portuguese troops loyal to John of Castile.

John of Aviz's rule became established fact with the Portuguese victory in the Battle of Aljubarrota[4] on 14 August 1385, where he defeated John I of Castile.[3] A formal peace between Portugal and Castile would not be signed until 1411.

To mark his victory, John founded the Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória, known as the "Batalha Monastery" ("Battle Monastery"), whose chapel became the burial place of the princes of the new dynasty of Aviz. The descendants of King John I were still also Masters of Aviz, though at times that title passed to one descendant of John and the Crown of Portugal to another. The title of Grand Master of the Order of Aviz was permanently incorporated into the Portuguese Crown toward the end of rule by the House of Aviz, in 1551.[5]

Age of Discoveries

The House of Aviz would rule Portugal until its fall in the 1580 to the Philippine Dynasty.[6] after he had ordered the Duke of Alba to take Portugal by force.[7]

This period of Portuguese history saw the ascent of Portugal to the status of a European and world power. The conquest of Ceuta in 1415 was its first venture in colonial expansion,[8] followed by a great outpouring of national energy and capital investment in the exploration of Africa, Asia and Brazil with the founding of colonies to exploit their resources commercially.[9] The period also includes the zenith of the Portuguese Empire during the reign of Manuel I and the beginning of its decline during John III's reign.[10]

Fall of the Aviz

John III was succeeded in 1557 by his grandson Sebastian I of Portugal, who died, aged 24 and childless, in the Battle of Alcácer Quibir.[11] Sebastian was succeeded by his great-uncle Henry, aged 66, who, as a Catholic Cardinal, also had no children. The Cardinal-King Henry died two years later, and a succession crisis occurred when pretenders to the throne including Catherine, Duchess of Braganza, Philip II of Spain, and António, Prior of Crato claimed the right to inherit it.[12]

António, Prior of Crato, was acclaimed king in several cities around the country in 1580, twenty days before Philip II of Spain invaded Portugal and defeated the supporters of António in the Battle of Alcântara. Although António had been proclaimed king, and was still regarded as rightful king in some of the Azores Islands until 1583,[13] his legitimacy as a monarch is still disputed by historians. Only a small minority of historians (even in Portugal) accept the period of twenty days between Anthony's acclamation and the Battle of Alcântara as his reign. In Portugal he generally considered not as a national king, but as a patriot who led armed resistance to the Philippine domination.

Joaquim Veríssimo Serrão, writing in 1956 and counting António as a king, dates the end of the dynasty's rule of Portugal as occurring in 1581–1582. The Cortes of Tomar had acclaimed Philip II of Spain as Philip I of Portugal in 1581, subsequently António's forces were utterly defeated at sea by Álvaro de Bazán at the Battle of Ponta Delgada off São Miguel Island in the Azores, on 26 July 1582. António then retreated to Terceira, where he supervised the raising of levies for defense, but in November he left Angra do Heroísmo en route to France[14] to persuade the French to furnish more troops,[15] 800 of which arrived in June 1583.[16] Philip had despatched Santa Cruz with an overwhelming force which left Lisbon on 23 June,[17] and reaching sight of São Miguel some time after 7 July,[18] finally reduced the Azores to subjection.[19]

The Cortes in Tomar acknowledged Philip II of Spain as King Philip I of Portugal on 16 April 1581 after this Spanish military intervention.[20] From 1581, the House of Aviz had ceased to rule any portion of continental Portugal; António, Prior of Crato held out in the Azores into 1582 as António I of Portugal; the last of his allies in the islands finally surrendered in 1583.[15]

The House of Aviz was succeeded in Portugal by Philip's personal union of the Crowns of Portugal and Spain.[21] In Portuguese history this is variously referred to as the Philippine Dynasty,[22] the House of Habsburg, or the House of Austria. Portugal and Spain would share a common monarch until 1640, upon the proclamation of the Duke of Braganza as John IV of Portugal.[23]

Aviz monarchs

Monarchs of Portugal
Name Reign Notes
John I of Portugal 1385–1433 Founder of the House of Aviz
Duarte I of Portugal 1433–1438 Oldest member of the Illustrious Generation
Afonso V of Portugal 1438–1481
John II of Portugal 1481–1495
Manuel I of Portugal 1495–1521 Formerly Duke of Beja
John III of Portugal 1521–1557
Sebastian I of Portugal 1557–1578 Death at Battle of Alcácer Quibir triggers Portuguese succession crisis of 1580
Henry I of Portugal 1578–1580 Last Aviz monarch recognized by the Portuguese Cortes
António I of Portugal 1580 Disputed reign in opposition to King Philip I of Portugal in the War of the Portuguese Succession
Monarchs of Aragon
Name Reign Notes
Peter V of Aragon 1463–1466 Disputed reign in opposition to King John II of Aragon in the Catalan Civil War


Cross of Aviz

Following his success in succeeding to the throne following the 1383–1385 Portuguese interregnum, King John I of Portugal took the Cross of the Order of Aviz as his heraldic badge, adding it to the coat of arms of Portugal and the according royal flags. King John I enforced the imagery of his position as Grand-Master of the Order of Aviz, lending its name to his newly founded royal house and its cross as his personal charge on the royal arms. This was effected in various ways: by insertion within the bordure, alternating with the castles; more commonly inserted within the shield, and occasionally shown outside the shield with the latter laying over it. The Cross of Aviz is a cross flory vert (a green cross with a fleur-de-lys at the end of each arm)

Armillary sphere

The armillary sphere has been an important element of Portuguese heraldry since the reign of King Manuel I of Portugal. The armillary sphere became a royal badge for the Portuguese monarchy, apart from being part of the personal standard of King Manuel I. It acts as a supporter to the Coat of arms of Portugal, also present on the current Flag of Portugal.

Owing to the association with King Manuel I and other Aviz monarchs with the Portuguese discoveries, the armillary sphere was commonly used as a symbol representing Portuguese sovereignty across the Portuguese Empire. The symbol was a consistent motif in both Manueline and Neo-Manueline architecture. It also became particularly associated with Colonial Brazil and the subsequent United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves.

An important element of Portuguese heraldry since the 15th century, the armillary sphere was many times used in Portuguese naval and colonial flags, mainly in Brazil. It was a navigation instrument used to calculate distances and represents the importance of Portugal during the Age of Discovery, as well as the vastness of its colonial empire when the First Republic was implemented.

Coats of arms

Coat of arms Title Tenure Coat of arms Title Tenure Coat of arms Title Tenure
King of Portugal
King of the Algarves
King of Aragon
*in opposition to King John II of Aragon
Prince of Antioch
*jure uxoris through Queen Charlotte of Cyprus
Duke of Viseu
Duke of Beja

Notable members of the House of Aviz

Family tree of the House of Aviz


Peter I
king of Portugal

Ferdinand I
king of Portugal

(illeg.) John I
king of Portugal

king of Portugal
duke of Coimbra
the Navigator
constable of Portugal
master of Order of Aviz
(illeg.) Afonso
duke of Braganca

Afonso V
king of Portugal
duke of Viseu
constable of Portugal
prince of Antioch
James cardinal
constable of Portugal
duke of Braganza

John II
king of Portugal
duke of Viseu
duke of Viseu

Manuel I
king of Portugal
Isabel of Viseu
Fernando II
duke of Braganza
prince og Portugal
(illeg.) Jorge
duke of Coimbra

John III
king of Portugal
duke of Beja
duke of Guarda
Afonso carinal
prince of Portugal

Henry cardinal
king of Portugal
4th duke of Guimaraes
duke of Braganza
duke of Aveiro
Comendador-mor of São Tiago
João Manuel
prince of Portugal

(illeg.) António
king of Portugal
5th duke of Guimaraes
Theodósio I
duke of Braganza
duke of Aveiro
duke of Aveiro

king of Portugal
heir apparent
João I
duke of Braganza
duke of Torres Novas
archbishop of Évora & Braga
Manuel Antonio
prince of Portugal
Theodósio II
duke of Braganza
duke of Aveiro

John IV
king of Portugal

See also


  1. António Henrique R. de Oliveira Marques (1972). History of Portugal: From Lusitania to Empire ; vol. 2, From Empire to Corporate State. Columbia University Press. pp. 127–128. ISBN 978-0-231-03159-2. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  2. Christopher Allmand; Rosamond McKitterick (18 June 1998). The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 7, C.1415-c.1500. Cambridge University Press. p. 629. ISBN 978-0-521-38296-0. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  3. Guida Myrl Jackson-Laufer (1999). Women Rulers Throughout the Ages: An Illustrated Guide. ABC-CLIO. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-57607-091-8. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  4. Clifford J. Rogers; Kelly DeVries; Jobyhn France (1 November 2010). Journal of Medieval Military History. Boydell & Brewer. p. 153. ISBN 978-1-84383-596-7. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  5. António Henrique R. de Oliveira Marques (1984). História de Portugal, desde os tempos mais antigos até à presidência do Sr. General Eanes: Do Renascimento às revoluções liberais. Palas Editores. p. 110. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  6. Fernand Braudel (1982). Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Vol. III: The Perspective of the World. University of California Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-520-08116-1. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  7. David Hilliam (2005). Philip II: King Of Spain and Leader of the Counter-Reformation. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 87. ISBN 978-1-4042-0317-4. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  8. Julia Ortiz Griffin; William D. Griffin (1 January 2007). Spain and Portugal: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present. Infobase Publishing. p. 288. ISBN 978-0-8160-7476-1. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  9. Douglas L. Wheeler; Walter C. Opello (10 May 2010). Historical Dictionary of Portugal. Scarecrow Press. pp. 8–10. ISBN 978-0-8108-7075-8. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  10. Fernão Mendes Pinto (January 1989). Mendes Pinto/Catz: Travels of Mendes Pinto. University of Chicago Press. p. xxii. ISBN 978-0-226-66951-9. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  11. Spencer C. Tucker (23 December 2009). A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East. ABC-CLIO. p. 534. ISBN 978-1-85109-672-5. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  12. John Lynch (1964). Spain Under the Habsburgs: Empire and absolutism, 1516-1598. Oxford University Press. p. 307. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  13. Archivo dos Açores. University of Michigan. 1887. p. 491. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  14. David B. Quinn (1979). England and the Azores, 1581-1582: Three Letters. UC Biblioteca Geral 1. p. 213. GGKEY:X1C130EKZX6. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  15. Joaquim Veríssimo Serrão (1956). O reinado de D. Antonio prior do Crato. Coimbra. p. 477. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  16. Colin Martin; Geoffrey Parker (January 1999). The Spanish Armada: Revised Edition. Manchester University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-901341-14-0. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  17. João Pedro Vaz (2005). Campanhas do prior do Crato, 1580-1589: entre reis e corsários pelo trono de Portugal. Tribuna da História. p. 74. ISBN 978-972-8799-27-4. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  18. Rafael Valladares (28 February 2012). A Conquista de Lisboa. Leya. ISBN 978-972-47-4348-6. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  19. Thomas Henry Dyer; Arthur Hassall (1901). 1525-1585. G. Bell and sons. p. 475. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  20. Fernando Cabo Aseguinolaza; Anxo Abuín González; César Domínguez (2010). A Comparative History of Literatures in the Iberian Peninsula. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 595. ISBN 978-90-272-3457-5. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  21. Kevin Joseph Sheehan (2008). Iberian Asia: The Strategies of Spanish and Portuguese Empire Building, 1540--1700. ProQuest. pp. 126–129. ISBN 978-1-109-09710-8. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  22. António da Silva Rego (1965). Portuguese Colonization in the Sixteenth Century: A Study of the Royal Ordinances (Regimentos). Witwatersrand University Press. p. 3. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  23. C.R. Boxer (1 July 1973). The Portuguese Seaborne Empire, 1415-1825. Penguin. p. 112. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
House of Aviz
Cadet branch of the Portuguese House of Burgundy
Preceded by
Portuguese House of Burgundy
Ruling House of the Kingdom of Portugal
1385 – 1580
Succeeded by
House of Habsburg
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
as the reigning house
Claimant House of the
Portuguese monarchy

Reason for succession failure:
War of the Portuguese Succession
Succeeded by
Claim extinct
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.