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House of Jiménez: Wikis


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The Jiménez or Ximenes (pronounced šimeneʂ) were a Spanish ruling family from the 10th century to the 13th century. They were the first Europeanisers of Spain (Ramón Menéndez Pidal) and brought her back within the wider European political scene while also giving her the political character and division that persisted until the end of the Middle Ages.



The first Jimenas, in the 9th century, were dukes or regents of parts of Navarre beyond the area of direct control of the Íñiguez of Pamplona. Probably the frontier areas of Álava and the western Pyrenees given the list of their landholdings preserved in a charter. It was long believed that their origins lay in Gascony.

In 905, one of their own, Sancho Garcés, used foreign assistance to displace the Íñiguez ruler Fortún Garcés and consolidated the monarchy in his dynasty's hands. Based on this, for several subsequent generations the family was sometimes called the Banu Sanyo (Arabic: بنو شانجه‎) in Iberian Muslim sources.

The first great ruler of the dynasty was Sancho the Great, who ruled from 1000 to 1035 in Pamplona, but also ruled Aragon, Castile, and Ribagorza by right and eventually León (but not Galicia) by conquest. He received the homage of the Count of Barcelona and possibly of the Duke of Gascony. After his coronation in León, he even took up the imperial title over all Spain. His vast domains were divided amongst his heirs at his death and each of the medieval kingdoms of Spain was thus inaugurated with a Jiménez monarch.

Ferdinand the Great conquered León and Galicia in 1037 bringing them fully into the orbit of his ruling clan. He achieved a sort of hegemony over his brothers which he passed on to his sons, who fought for supremacy in his domains, which he had divided between them in his family's fashion. One of these, Alfonso VI, reclaimed the imperial title and even pretended to rule over both Christian and Moslem Spain.

Alfonso the Battler briefly reunited the holdings of the family through his father's acquisition of Navarre and his own marriage to Urraca, Queen of Castile and León, claiming the title "emperor". However, with the failing of this marriage and Alfonso's subsequent death, the kingdoms of Castile, Aragon and Navarre again went their separate ways, each eventually passing to other dynasties through heiresses: Urraca (Castile and León); Petronilla (Aragon), who married the ruler of Barcelona and thus united those two realms into the Crown of Aragon; and finally Blanca, sister of Sancho VII of Navarre, whose 1234 death brought Jiménez rule to an end.

The Borgias of Italy, in the 15th century, would present a pedigree that traced their ancestry to Pedro de Atarés, lord of Borja, Zaragoza and competitor for the throne of Aragon against Ramiro II of Aragon. Pedro was a scion of this family, being grandson of count Sancho Ramírez, illegitimate brother of king Sancho Ramírez of Aragon, and this claim would have made the Borgias male-line descendants. However, the descent was a fabrication, Pedro actually dying without heirs.


Emperors in bold. Date of assumption of imperial title in parentheses.



United with Aragon 1076 to 1134.
Navarre to House of Champagne in 1234.

Castile, León, and Galicia

Took León and Galicia in 1037.
Galicia to House of Burgundy in 1111.

Sobrarbe and Ribagorza

Sobrarbe and Ribagorza merged into Aragon in 1043.


Aragon to House of Barcelona in 1137.


Viguera merged back into Navarre by 1030.

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