F Heritage History - Products

Historical Characters of Spanish Empire

    Romans and Visigoths     Moorish Spain     Reconquista     Exploration     Hapsburg Spain     Bourbon Spain     Mexico     South America



Romans and Visigoths—250 B.C. to 711

Punic Wars in Spain to Moorish Conquest


Character/Date Short Biography

Roman Hispania

Hamilcar
d. 229 BC
Carthage's most able general in first Punic War; father of Hannibal.
Hannibal
247–182 BC
Carthaginian general, invaded and laid waste to Italy for sixteen years.
Cornelius Scipio
d. 211 BC
Tried to intercept Hannibal in Gaul, but was defeated at Ticino River and Trebbia.
Scipio Africanus
234–149 BC
Roman hero of second Punic War. Led armies in Spain and Africa. Defeated Hannibal at Zama.
Cato (the censor)
234–149 BC
Roman censor, urged destruction of Carthage before third Punic War.
Carus
d. 179 BC
Celt-Iberian chief of the Belli tribe during conquest of Hispania. Defeated Romans at battle of Caravis.
Viriathus
180–139 BC
Lusitanian chief who resisted Rome during conquest of Hispania. Won many battles and incited rebellions.
Sertorius
122–72 BC
Led rebellion against Rome in Spain; held out for 8 years.

Visigoth Spain

Ulfilas
310–383
Missionary bishop who translate the bible into the Gothic language and converted the Goths to Arian Christianity.
Ataulfus
d. 410
Leader of Visigoths after death of Alaric. Led his people out of Italy and established Visigoth kingdom in Spain .
Theodoric I
d. 451
Son of Alaric, who led the Visigoth army against Attila the Hun at the Battle of Chalons.
Recared
d. 601
First Catholic King of the Visigoth Kingdom.
Good King Wamba
d. 687
Legendary king of the Visigoths, whose reign was peaceful and prosperous.
Roderic
d. 711
Last king of Visigoth Spain. Died at the Battle of Guadalete.
Pelistes
~ 711
Gothic Knight who defended Cordova after the fall of the Visigoths at Guadalete.
Theodomir
~ 711
Visigoth general who used a ruse in order to make peace with the Moorish conquerors.
Tariq ibn Ziyad
d. 720
Berber general who defeated the Visigoths at the Battle of Gaudalete.
Isidore of Seville
560–636
Catholic Bishop who converted Visigoths, presided at Council of Toledo.



Moorish Spain—711 to 1492

Battle of Guadalete to Fall of Granada


Character/Date Short Biography

Moorish Conquest

Musa bin Nusair
640–716
Umayyad governor of North Africa who organized and directed the Moslem invasion of the Iberian peninsula.
Tariq ibn Ziyad
d. 720
Berber general who defeated the Visigoths at the Battle of Gaudalete.
Exilona
~ 711
Christian wife of Visigoth king Roderick who later married son of Moorish governor
Abdul Aziz
d. 716
Son of Umayyad governor Musa. Ruled in Andalusia until murdered for marrying Exilona.
Charles Martel
686–741
Frankish King who defeated the Moors at the Battle of Tours.
Charlemagne
742–814
First Holy Roman Emperor. Unified most of Western Europe into a Frankish Empire.

Cordoba Caliphate

Abderrahman I
731–788
Last surviving Umayyad prince, escaped to Spain, became Emir of Cordova
Abderrahman III
912–961
Powerful, long serving Emir who declared himself Caliph of Cordova.
Almanzor
938–1002
Renowned Moorish general. Leader of Moorish Spain at the height of its power near 1000 A.D.

Almoravids and Almohads

Yussef
d. 1184
Almohad Caliph of Africa who invaded Moorish spain and set up a kingdom in Seville.

Granada

Mohammed Alhamar
1191–1273
Founder of the Nasrid dynasty in Granada. Agreed to make Granada a vassal state of Castile.
Muley Abdul Hussan
1440–1490
Last Sultan of Granada. Fierce opponent of Christians, but lost control of Granada.
Boabdil
1460–1527
Briefly replaced his father on the throne of Granada before surrending to Ferdinand.
Aben Humeya
1520–1568
Moorish prince who escaped from Granada, led the Morisco Revolt, and continued to fight until his death.



Reconquista—1050 to 1516

Reconquest of Toledo to Death of Ferdinand


Character/Date Short Biography

Early Christian Heroes

Pelayo
690–737
Visigoth hero who survived Moorish conquest in 711 and founded the Christian kingdom of Asturias.
Theodomir
~ 711
Visigoth general who used a ruse in order to make peace with the Moorish conquerors.
Pelistes
~ 711
Gothic Knight who defended Cordova after the fall of the Visigoths at Guadalete.
Bernardo del Carpio
~ 800
Legendary Spanish hero during the era of Charlemagne who battled both Moors and Franks.

Growth of Christian Kingdoms

Alfonso VI
1040–1109
King of Castile, who with his great warrior El Cid, reconquered Toledo from the Moors.
El Cid
1040–1099
Legendary Spanish hero of chivalry. Loyal to Alfonso VI in spite of treachery. Conquered Valencia.
Afonso Henriques
1109–1185
Founder of the Kingdom of Portugal. Defeated the Moors and declared Portugal independent from Leon.
Alfonso VIII
1155–1214
Led the victorious Christians against the Saracens at the decisive Battle of Navas de Tolosa.
St. Dominic
1170–1221
Founded Dominican Order of scholars, theologians, and teachers.
James I of Aragon
1208–1276
Long reigning warrior king who expanded the dominions of Aragon to include the Balaeric Islands and Valencia.
St. Ferdinand III
1199–1252
King of Castile who conquered Seville and Cordoba, and brought Dominican and Franciscan orders to southern Spain.
Henry Trastamara
1334–1379
Illegitimate son of Alfonso XI who usurped the throne of Castile from his half-brother, Peter the Cruel after many conflicts.
Pedro of Castile
1334–1369
King of Castile with reputation as dishonorable, murderous tyrant. Eventually deposed by half-brother Henry Trastamara.
Henry IV of Castile
1425–1474
Infirm and degenerate king of Castile, older brother of Isabella I. Named Isabella his successor.

United Spain

Isabel of Castile
1451–1504
Pious and stalwart queen of Spain, unified diverse kingdoms, reformed finances, conquered Granada, financed Columbus.
Ferdinand of Aragon
1452–1516
King of Aragon who ruled united Spain with Queen Isabel. Drove the Moors out of Granada.
Torquemada
1420–1498
Dominican priest who was a confessor of Isabella I, and was influential in establishing the Spanish Inquisition.
Hernan Perez del Pulgar
1451–1531
Spanish knight under Isabella and Ferdinand who gained famed during the Reconquista for daring exploits.
Gonsalvo de Cordova
1453–1515
Spanish general who fought in Granada and Italy; pioneered modern tactics of warfare.
Cardinal Ximenes
1436–1517
Influential cardinal-minister at the court of Isabel and Ferdinand. Did much to reform both Church and government of Spain.



Exploration—1430 to 1540

Prince Henry the Navigator to Discovery of Mississippi


Character/Date Short Biography

Portuguese Explorers of Africa/Asia

Henry the Navigator
1394–1460
Made improvements in navigation, ship building, map-making. Organized sailing expeditions along the coast of Africa.
Alvise Cadamosto
1432–1488
Early Portuguese explorer under Prince Henry the Navigator, who discovered Cape Verde and Gambia river.
Bartholomew Diaz
1450–1500
Discovered Cape of Good Hope at the southernmost point of Africa.
Vasco da Gama
1460–1524
Portuguese explorer who voyaged to Calicut, India by sailing around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
Francisco de Almeida
1450–1510
Portuguese general who served in the wars against Granada, and was appointed the first governor of Portuguese India.
Alfonso de Albuquerque
1453–1515
Portuguese commander who won numerous naval conflicts in Asia and helped establish a colony in India at Goa.
Fernando Mendes Pinto
1509–1583
Portuguese explorer who wrote a book about his exploits in Ethiopia, the Arabian Sea, and Asia. Former Jesuit and friend of St. Francis Xavier.

Spanish Explorers of the New World

Christopher Columbus
1451–1506
Genoan sailor, sponsored by Isabela of Spain, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean and discovered the Americas.
Martin Alonzo Pinzon
1441–1493
Spanish navigator who sailed with Columbus on first voyage, but later feuded with him.
Alonso de Ojeda
1465–1515
Spanish conquistador who made several daring expeditions to the new world. Associate of Vespucci and Pizarro.
Vasco Nunez Balboa
1475–1519
Helped establish a Spanish colony in Panama and discovered the Pacific Ocean.
Pedrarias Davila
1440–1531
First Governor of the Spanish colony of Darien in Peru. Murderous and unscrupulous rival of Balboa.
Amerigo Vespucci
1451–1512
Navigator and map-maker who voyaged to Americas, and recognized it as a new continent, not east Asia.
Ferdinand Magellan
1480–1521
Portuguese explorer who commanded the first fleet to circumnavigate the globe. Died in Philippines.

North America Conquistadors

Hernando Cortez
1485–1540
Conquistador who landed in Mexico with a small army, and allied with local tribes, conquered the Empire of the Aztecs.
Diego Velasquez
1465–1524
Conquered Cuba for Spain, and was its first governor. First a supporter, then a rival of Cortez.
Panfilo de Narvaez
1478–1528
Spanish explorer who opposed Cortez, and later led a disastrous expedition to Florida of whom only 4 of 600 survived.
Ponce de Leon
1460–1521
First Spanish governor of Puerto Rico. Explored inland regions of Florida while searching for the fountain of youth.
Hernando De Soto
1496–1542
Adventurer who aided in conquest of Peru, then explored Southwestern United States. Discovered Mississippi river.
Tuscaloosa
d. 1540
Choctaw chieftain who resisted de Soto at the Battle of Mauvila during his expedition through the southwest.
Francisco de Coronado
1510–1554
Spanish explorer who was a governor in Mexico, and explored regions of the Southwest United States.
Pedro Menendez
1519–1574
Spanish explorer who founded St. Augustine and was the first Spanish governor of Florida.

South America Conquistadors

Francisco Pizarro
1478–1541
With only 160 men, conquered six thousand Inca and took control of Peru.
Gonzalo Pizarro
1502–1548
Brother of Francisco Pizarro; led an expedition from Quito across the Andes and discovered the Amazon.
Cabeza de Vaca
1490–1557
Explorer who survived the ill-fated Narvaez expedition and captivity by Indians, then wrote of his adventures.



Hapsburg Spain—1516 to 1700

Charles V, Emperor to War of Spanish Succession


Character/Date Short Biography

Political and Military leaders

Juana of Castile
1479–1555
Daughter of Isabel, mother of Charles V, and heir to the throne of Castile. Deposed by Ferdinand due to insanity.
Charles V
1500–1558
16th century Hapsburg Emperor who ruled Austria, the Netherlands, Spain and parts of Italy.
Don Carlos
1545–1568
Eldest son of Philip II. Mentally unbalanced prince of Spain who was imprisoned and possibly murdered.
Duke of Alva
1567–1573
Tyrannical Governor of the Spanish Netherlands who opposed Protestants during the Dutch Revolt.
Don John of Austria
1545–1578
Illegitimate son of Charles V. Hero of the naval Battle of Lepanto. Briefly governed Spanish Netherlands.
Philip the Handsome
1478–1506
Heir to the Burgundian and Hapsburg estates, and married to Juana of Spain. Their son was Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.
Philip II
1527–1598
Catholic king of Spain during Netherland revolt and Anglo-Spanish Wars. Great enemy of Protestant Reformers.
Valetta
1494–1568
Grand Master of the Knights Hospitallers who defended Malta from the siege in 1565.
Charles II
1661–1700
Invalid King of Spain. Last of the Spanish Hapsburgs. His death precipitated the War of the Spanish Succession.

Religious

John of the Cross
1542–1591
Carmelite priest, poet and author associated with St. Teresa of Avila.
Teresa of Avila
1515–1582
Mystic Nun who reformed the Carmelite order, and wrote books on prayer. Doctor of the Church.
Francis Xavier
1506–1552
Jesuit Missionary to India. Said to have converted thousands to Christianity.
Ignatius of Loyola
1491–1556
Founder of the Jesuits order, dedicated to the Pope. Important counter-reformation figure.
Bartholomew de Casas
1484–1566
Priest who accompanied the Spanish conquistadors to New World and tried to protect the natives from abuses.
John of God
1495–1550
Dedicated his life to helping the Poor. Founded order of Hospitallers, which cared for the sick.

Artists and Authors

Murillo
1617–1682
Spanish artist who painted during the reign of the Spanish Habsburgs. Best known for his religious works.
Cervantes
1547–1616
Author of the classic Don Quixote, the most famous novel in the Spanish Language.



Bourbon Spain—1712 to 1931

Peace of Utrecht to Spanish Civil War


Character/Date Short Biography

18th Century

Philip V
1683–1746
Grandson of Louis XIV who was recognized as the first Bourbon King of Spain after the War of the Spanish Succession.
Giulio Alberoni
1665–1752
Spanish statesman active during the late reign of Louis XIV and the War of the Spanish Succession.
Elizabeth Farnese
1692–1766
Queen of Philip V who, with Cardinal Alberoni, ruled the Spanish court in the early 18th century.
Charles III
d. 1789
Enlightened' King of Spain who tried to modernize Spain. Attempted financial reforms and suppressed the Jesuit order.
Ferdinand VI
1713–1749
Bourbon king of Spain who supported the reforms of his chief minister Ensenada.
Marquis of Ensenada
1702–1781
Spanish secretary of State under Ferdinand VI. Promoted peace, internal reform, and public works.

Napoleonic Era

Maria Louisa
1751–1819
Notorious bourbon Queen of Charles IV, who promoted her incompetent favorite Godoy to prime minister.
Ferdinand VII
1784–1833
Bourbon king, restored to the throne of France after the Napoleonic Wars, refused to work with liberal constitution.
Emanuel Godoy
1767–1851
Decadent minister, favorite of Spanish queen. Blamed for fall of the Bourbon monarchy by acquiescing to Napoleon.
Jose de Palafox
1776–1847
Spanish noble from Aragon who courageously defended Saragossa from a French siege during Napoleonic Wars.
Agustina de Aragon
1786–1857
Heroine of the siege of Saragossa. Behaved heroically under fire. Later joined Wellington's troops as an officer.

19th century

Tomas Zumalacarregui
1788–1835
Courageous and loyal Basque general who commanded the traditionalist troops during the First Carlist War.
Don Carlos
1788–1855
Brother of Ferdinand VII and rival claimant to the Spanish throne who initiated the Carlist Wars.
Maria Christina
1806–1878
Queen regent of Spain who championed the cause of her daughter Isabella II against the Carlists.
Isabella II
1830–1904
19th century queen of Spain who lived a life of scandal and dissipation and was eventually deposed.
Espartero
1793–1879
Liberal, anti-clerical General who opposed the Carlists, and briefly ruled as regent of Spain before being exiled.
Alfonso XII
1857–1885
Son of Isabell II to took the throne after a coup d'etat overthrew the First Republic. Died suddenly shortly thereafter.

~ 0



Mexico—1520 to 1921

Conquests of Cortez to Mexican Revolution

SPANISH MEXICO


Character/Date Short Biography

Conquest of Mexico

Montezuma
1466–1520
Ruler of the Aztec empire at the time of the Spanish conquest. Captured by the Spanish and killed during revolt.
Dona Marina
1496–1529
Indian slave woman who acted as consort, advisor, and translator for Cortez during his conquest of Mexico.
Hernando Cortez
1485–1540
Conquistador who landed in Mexico with a small army, and allied with local tribes, conquered the Empire of the Aztecs.

Viceroyality

Antonio de Mendoza
1495–1552
First Viceroy of New Spain, competent and kind to natives. Laid the groundwork for Spanish dominion over Mexico.
Juan Diego
1474–1548
Mexican native who saw an apparition of Our Lady and whose cloak was impressed with an image of the blessed virgin.
Bartholomew de Casas
1484–1566
Priest who accompanied the Spanish conquistadors to New World and tried to protect the natives from abuses.
Zumarraga
1468–1548
First Archbishop of Mexico. Stove to protect the Indians from vicious and exploitive conquistadors.
Junipero Serra
1713–1784
Franciscan Friar who founded over a dozen missions along the coast of California.

Mexican Independence

Miguel Hidalgo
1753–1811
Freemason Priest who was a leader of Mexico's war of independence. Famous for !Grito de dolores!
Agustin Iturbide
1783–1824
Spanish General who changed sides and supported Mexican independence. Later made himself emperor.
Vincente Guerrero1782-1831Leader of Revolutionary liberals. Worked with Iturbide for Mexican independence, then rebelled against him. Seized office of President after political rival was elected.
Jose Maria Morelos1765-1815Revolutionary Priest, led independence movement after the death of Hidalgo, Caught and executed for treason!

REPUBLICAN MEXICO


Character/Date Short Biography

Early Republic

Santa Anna
1794–1876
Fought for Mexican independence and against Texas, then served as president on and off, over twenty turbulent years.
Valentin Farias1781-1858Liberal anti-Clerical President in alliance with Santa Anna during the early years of the Mexican republic who imposed many "reforms" targeting the Church.
Lucas Alaman
1792–1853
Conservative Mexican statesman and historian who was influential during the early years of Mexican Independence.

Reform Era

Benito Juarez
1806–1872
Leader of Mexico during the War of Reform. Passed, enforced anti-clerical laws. Supported informally by United States.
Juan Alvarez1790-1867Regional warlord in alliance with Juarez. Entered Mexico city in 1855 with militia, terrorized the population, made himself president, and appointed his successor.
Maximilian of Austria
1832–1867
Archduke who was proclaimed Emperor of Mexico. Overthrown and executed by Liberal republicans.
Porfirio Diaz
1830–1915
President of Mexico for 35 years. Brought stability, modernization, and foreign capital, but ruled as a dictator.

Mexican revolution

Francisco Madero
1873–1913
Wealthy, liberal reformer who opposed the dictatorship of Diaz. Elected president but assassinated in office.
Emiliano Zapata
1879–1919
Leader of a Rebel band of southern outlaws during Mexican Revolution. Opposed both Huerta and Carranza.
Venustiano Carranza
1859–1920
Constitutionalist leader of Mexican revolution. Served as president after overthrew Huerta until his assassination in 1920.
Victoriana Huerta
1859–1920
Diaz supporter who overthrew President Madero and assumed dictatorial power during Mexican Revolution.
Pancho Villa
1878–1923
Rebel leader of the constitutionalist army in northern Mexico. Governor of Chihuahua. Broke with Carranza.
Plutarco Calles1877-1945Violently anti-Catholic President of Mexico who enforced harsh suppression of the Church in Mexico and incited the Cristero War.



South America—1525 to 1921

Conquests of Pizarro to Early 20th Century


Character/Date Short Biography

Conquest of Incas

Atahualpa
1502–1533
Last monarch of the Incan Empire. Captured by Pizarro at Caxamalca and eventually killed.
Francisco Pizarro
1478–1541
With only 160 men, conquered six thousand Inca and took control of Peru.
Lautaro
~ 1541
Military leader of the Araucanian tribe of Chile, who maintained their independence from Spain.
Manco Inca
1516–1544
Puppet Inca ruler who was crowned by the Spaniards, but rebelled against them and laid siege to Cuzco.

Venezuela, Columbia, Bolivia, Equador

Miranda
1750–1816
Early leader of South American Independence. Led a failed revolution in Venezuela in 1813. Died in prison.
Simon Bolivar
1783–1830
Crossed Andes to attack Spanish outposts in Columbia, then met San Martin in Peru.
Antonio Jose de Sucre
1795–1830
South American patriot. Friend and trusted general of Simon Bolivar. Hero of the Battles of Pinchincha and Junin.
Jose Antonio Paez
1790–1873
A cavalry leader during War of Independence who rose from humble origins to be President (really dictator) of Venezuela.
Gabrial Garcia Moreno
1821–1875
Catholic president of Ecuador who resisted the secular forces in his country, made many reforms, and was assassinated by Freemasons.

Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uraguay

Pedro de Valdivia
1500–1554
Conquistador who attempted to conquer Chile, but was killed by the native tribes. Founded Santiago.
Bernardo O'Higgins
1778–1842
Military commander who together with San Martin freed Chile from Spanish rule. First 'Supreme Director' of Chile.
Jose de San Martin
1778–1850
Won independence from Spain for Argentina, then crossed the Andes and helped free Chili.
Jose Francia
1766–1840
Ruled Paraguay as a dictator after its independence, and cut off most contact with outside influences.
Tupac Amaru
d. 1572
Son of Manco Inca, rebelled against Spain. Led the last independent tribe of Incas at their refuge in Vilcabamba.
Francisco Lopez
1827–1870
Dictator who provoked a war against Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay that devastated and depopulated Paraguay.
Juan Manuel de Rosas
1793–1877
Gaucho hero who brought law and order to Argentina after 20 years of chaos. Ruled as a dictator for 25 year, then sent into exile.

~ 0

Brazil

Dom Pedro I
1798–1834
Portuguese prince who became the first Emperor of Brazil but struggled with competing political factions.
Dom Pedro II
1825–1891
Emperor of Brazil who tried to modernize while maintaining a constitutional monarchy. Forcibly exiled after Republican coup in 1889.

Cuba and Caribbean

Don Miguel Tacon
~ 1834
Stern willed Governor of Cuba who tried to curtail smuggling in his realm.
Bartholemy Portuguez
~ 1666
Famous South American Pirate of the Caribbean during the mid-17th century.
Pierre la Grande
~ 1620
Famous French Pirate of the Caribbean during the mid-17th century.
Jose Marti
1853–1895
Leader of the Cuban independence movement in the years before the Spanish-American.
General Maceo
1848–1896
Led the Cuban forces against Spain during the Cuban Rebellion.
Cudjoe
~ 1739
Leader of a tribes of Jamaican of mixed native and African descent. Fought British in the First Maroon War.