John II (Portuguese: João II; [ʒuˈɐ̃w̃]; 3 March 1455 – 25 October 1495), called the Perfect Prince (Portuguese: o Príncipe Perfeito), was King of Portugal from 1481 until his death in 1495, and also for a brief time in 1477. He is known for re-establishing the power of the Portuguese monarchy, reinvigorating the Portuguese economy, and renewing his country's exploration of Africa and the Orient.
|King of Portugal|
|Reign||28 August 1481 – 25 October 1495|
|Acclamation||31 August 1481|
|1st Reign||11–15 November 1477[a]|
|Born||3 March 1455|
Castle of São Jorge, Portugal
|Died||25 October 1495 (aged 40)|
|Burial||Monastery of Batalha|
|Spouse||Eleanor of Viseu|
|Afonso, Prince of Portugal|
Jorge de Lencastre (illegitimate)
Brites Anes de Santarém (illegitimate)
|Father||Afonso V of Portugal|
|Mother||Isabella of Coimbra|
Born in Lisbon, the son of King Afonso V of Portugal by his wife, Isabella of Coimbra, John II succeeded his father as ruler of Portugal in 1477, when the king retired to a monastery, but only became king in 1481, after the death of his father and predecessor.
As a prince, John II accompanied his father in the campaigns in northern Africa and was made a knight after the victory in the Conquest of Arzila in 1471. In 1473, he married Leonor of Viseu, an infanta of Portugal and his first cousin.
Even at a young age, John was not popular among the peers of the kingdom since he was immune to external influence and appeared to despise intrigue. The nobles (including particularly his half second cousin Ferdinand II, the Duke of Braganza) were afraid of his future policies as king.
After his official accession to the throne in 1481, John II took a series of measures to curtail the power of the Portuguese aristocracy and concentrate power in himself. As one of example of the measure he took, he deprived the nobles of their right to administer justice on their estates. Immediately, the nobles started to conspire. Letters of complaint and pleas to intervene were exchanged between the Duke of Braganza and Queen Isabella I of Castile.
King John took the precaution of renegotiating the "Tercerias de Moura" agreement to insure that his son Afonso was living safely back at court before he would move against Braganza, the most powerful noble in the realm (the original agreement called for Afonso to live in Moura, Portugal, with his intended Spanish bride, Isabella, Princess of Asturias, as children before their marriage). In 1483, additional correspondence was intercepted by royal spies. The House of Braganza was outlawed, their lands confiscated and the duke executed in Évora. The Duke's widow, Isabella of Viseu, John's cousin and sister-in-law, fled with her children to Castile.
In the following year, the Duke of Viseu, John's cousin and brother-in-law, was summoned to the palace and stabbed to death by the king himself for suspicion of a new conspiracy. Many other people were executed, murdered, or exiled to Castile, including the Bishop of Évora, who was poisoned in prison. Following the crackdown, no one in the country dared to defy the king and John saw no further conspiracies during his reign. A great confiscation of estates followed and enriched the crown, which now became the dominant power of the realm.
Facing a bankrupt kingdom, John II showed the initiative to solve the situation by creating a regime in which a Council of Scholars took a vital role. The king conducted a search of the population and selected members for the Council on the basis of their abilities, talents and credentials ( Meritocracy ). John's exploration policies (see below) also paid great dividends. Such was the profit coming from John II's investments in the overseas explorations and expansion that the Portuguese currency had become the soundest in Europe. The kingdom could finally collect taxes for its own use rather than to pay debts, mainly thanks to its main gold source at that time, the coast of Guinea.
John II famously restored the policies of Atlantic exploration, reviving the work of his great-uncle, Henry the Navigator. The Portuguese explorations were his main priority in government. Portuguese explorers pushed south along the known coast of Africa with the purpose of discovering the maritime route to India and breaking into the spice trade. During his reign, the following achievements were realized:
The true extent of Portuguese explorations has been the subject of academic debate. According to one theory, some navigations were kept secret for fear of competition by neighbouring Castile. The archives of this period were mainly destroyed in the fire after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, and what was not destroyed during the earthquake was either stolen or destroyed during the Peninsular War or otherwise lost.
When Columbus returned from his first voyage early in 1493, he first stopped in Lisbon to claim his victory in front of King John II. King John II's only response to this was that under the Treaty of Alcáçovas previously signed with Spain, Columbus's discoveries lay within Portugal's sphere of influence. Before Columbus even reached Isabella I of Castile, John II had already sent a letter to them threatening to send a fleet to claim it for Portugal. Spain quickly hastened to the negotiating table, which took place in a small Spanish town named Tordesillas. A papal representative was present to act as mediator. The result of this meeting would be the famous Treaty of Tordesillas, which sought to divide all newly discovered lands in the New World between Spain and Portugal.
The nickname the Perfect Prince is a posthumous appellation that is intended to refer to Niccolò Machiavelli's work The Prince. John II is considered to have lived his life exactly according to the writer's idea of a perfect prince. Nevertheless, he was admired as one of the greatest European monarchs of his time. Isabella I of Castile usually referred to him as El Hombre (The Man).
The Italian scholar Poliziano wrote a letter to John II that paid him a profound homage:
Indeed, Poliziano considered his achievements to be more meritorious than those of Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar. He offered to write an epic work giving an account of John II accomplishments in navigation and conquests. The king replied in a positive manner in a letter of 23 October 1491, but delayed the commission.
|By Leonor of Viseu (2 May 1458 – 17 November 1525; married in January 1471)|
|Infante Afonso||18 May 1475||13 July 1491||Prince of Portugal. Died in a horse riding accident. Because of the premature death of the prince the throne was inherited by Manuel of Viseu, Duke of Beja, son of Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, who reigned as Manuel I, 14th King of Portugal.|
|By Ana de Mendonça (c. 1460-?)|
|Jorge||21 August 1481||22 July 1550||Natural son known as Jorge de Lencastre, Duke of Coimbra.|
|By Brites Anes (c. 1460-?)|
|D. Brites Anes de Santarém||c. 1485||?||Married João Pires Amado.|
His cousin, Isabella of Castille, herself no weakling, admiringly dubbed him 'el Hombre', for all the world like some early spaghetti-western hero.
John II of Portugal
Cadet branch of the House of BurgundyBorn: 3 March 1455 Died: 25 October 1495
| King of Portugal
| King of Portugal
| Prince of Portugal
| Prince of Portugal|
Abraham Zacuto (Hebrew: אַבְרָהָם בֵּן שְׁמוּאֵל זַכּוּת, romanized: Avraham ben Shmuel Zacut, Portuguese: Abraão ben Samuel Zacuto; 12 August 1452 – c. 1515) was a Spanish astronomer, astrologer, mathematician, rabbi and historian who served as Royal Astronomer to King John II of Portugal. The crater Zagut on the Moon is named after him.Afonso of Braganza, 1st Marquis of Valença
Alphonse of Braganza (in Portuguese Afonso) (1400–1460) was the eldest son of Afonso, 1st Duke of Braganza, natural son of King John I of Portugal, and of his wife, Beatriz Pereira Alvim, the only daughter of Nuno Álvares Pereira and Leonor de Alvim.Through a formal document dated 4 April 1422, his maternal grandfather, the Constable Nuno Álvares Pereira, granted to him the County of Ourém. However, this grant only gained the Portuguese King Edward’s royal confirmation on 24 November 1433.
Alphonse was sent by the King as his special ambassador to the Council of Basel (1436) and to the Council of Florence (1439), during which time he also visited Ferrara and Rome.
In a document issued on 11 October 1451, King Afonso V of Portugal granted him the title of Marquis of Valença. He was the first Portuguese nobile to be made a Marquis.
During October 1451, he escorted Infanta Eleanor of Portugal (King Edward’s daughter) on her journey from Lisbon to Livorno, where she met her betrothed, Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor. They were married in Rome, with Pope Nicholas V blessing their marriage.
In 1458, Alphonse took part in the Portuguese expedition to north Africa which led to the capture of the Moroccan city of Alcácer Ceguer (Al Qsar as-Seghir).
Alphonse had a natural son with Dona Beatriz de Sousa (it is said that they were secretly married). This son, Afonso de Portugal, was required to join the clergy by King John II of Portugal. Afonso de Portugal was appointed Bishop of Évora. He had a natural son named Francisco de Portugal (Francis of Portugal) who was later appointed as Francis I, 1st Count of Vimioso, from whom Counts of Vimioso descend.Bartolomeu Dias
Bartolomeu Dias (; Portuguese: [baɾtuluˈmew ˈdi.ɐʃ]; Anglicized: Bartholomew Diaz; c. 1450 – 29 May 1500), a nobleman of the Portuguese royal household, was a Portuguese explorer. He sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488, the first European to do so, setting up the route from Europe to Asia later on. Dias is the first European during the Age of Discovery to anchor at what is present-day South Africa.Conquest of Melilla
The Conquest of Melilla occurred in September 1497, when a fleet sent by the Duke of Medina Sidonia (the precise involvement of the Catholic Monarchs in the operation is a moot point in historiography) seized the north African city of Melilla., as continuation of reconquest of Mauretania Tingitana
During the 15th century the mediterranean cities of the Sultanate of Fez (Melilla among them) fell in decadence in opposition to cities located in the Atlantic facade, which concentrated most of the economic activity. By the end of the 15th century, the port of Melilla, that had been often disputed between the rulers of Fez and Tlemcen, was nearly abandoned.Plans for the conquest occurred as soon as the Fall of Granada in 1492. Spanish captains Lezcano and Lorenzo Zafra visited the coast of Northern Africa to identify possible locations for the Spanish to overtake, and Melilla was identified as a prime candidate. Melilla was, however, in the Portuguese zone of influence under the terms of the 1479 Treaty of Alcáçovaz. At Tordesillas in 1494, King John II of Portugal, the Portuguese ruler agreed to make an exception and permitted the Spanish to attempt the conquest of Melilla.The duke sent Pedro Estopiñán who conquered the city virtually without a fight in 1497, as internal conflicts had depleted it of troops, and its defenses were weakened. The Wattasid ruler Muhammad al-Shaykh sent a detachment of cavalrymen to retake control of the city, but they were repulsed by the guns of the Spanish ships.Count of Ourém
Count of Ourém (in Portuguese Conde de Ourém) is a Portuguese title granted in 1370 by King Fernando I of Portugal, to Dom João Afonso Telo, uncle of Queen Leonor Teles. Later he also became the fourth Count of Barcelos.
The title subsequently passed to Juan Fernández Andeiro (a Galician noble, lover of the Queen), but when King John I of Portugal seized the throne, his Constable, Nuno Álvares Pereira, inherited it.
When the Constable's daughter married the first Duke of Braganza, Count of Ourém became a subsidiary title of the House of Braganza.
In 1483, Fernando II, third Duke of Bragança, was condemned for treason by order of king John II of Portugal. The House of Braganza estates were confiscated and the Condado of Ourém was granted to Pedro de Menezes, 1st Count of Vila Real, grandson of João Afonso Telo, 1st Count of Ourém.
When king Manuel I inherited the Portuguese throne, he restored the Braganzas with all their previous honours, and from then on the County of Ourém was included in the Braganzas’ assets.Diogo Ortiz de Villegas
D. Diogo Ortiz de Villegas "Calzadilla" was a Castilian priest, theologian and astronomer at the service of the Portuguese monarchs. He was born in Calzadilla, Castile, ca. 1457 and died in Almeirim (Portugal), in 1519.
Ortiz came to Portugal in 1476, accompanying Castilian Princess Joanna La Beltraneja. He became an adviser to King John II of Portugal and later Manuel I, being successively appointed Bishop of Tanger (1491–1500), Bishop of Ceuta (1500–1504) and Bishop of Viseu (1505–1519). During his rule, he led a comprehensive artistic remodelling of Viseu Cathedral.
Ortiz advised the Portuguese kings on matters related to astronomy and navigation during the Age of Discovery. Manuel I named him tutor of his heir, future John III of Portugal.
Ortiz taught on the writings of Cato, Terence, Virgil, Sallust and some parts of the Bible, the theory of the planets and some elementary matters about astrology he heard from Tomás de Torres, an eminent doctor and astrologer of that time.Duke of Aveiro
The Dukedom of Aveiro was an aristocratic Portuguese title, granted in 1535 by King John III of Portugal to his 4th cousin, John of Lencastre, son of Infante George of Lencastre, a natural son of King John II of Portugal.
John of Lencastre was already Marquis of Torres Novas when the King granted him the new title of Duke of Aveiro. Later, their descendants strongly supported Philip II of Spain during the 1580 Portuguese succession crisis. Thus the Dukes became the second aristocratic House of Portugal, after the Braganzas.
Raimundo of Lencastre, 4th Duke of Aveiro maintained his House's traditional support for the Habsburg monarchy, even after the 1640 national revolution in Portugal. Therefore the Aveiro property was confiscated by the new Kings of the Braganza Dynasty, and granted in 1668 to his uncle, Peter of Lencastre, who already was Archbishop of Évora and general Inquisitor, becoming 5th Duke of Aveiro. He died in 1673 without issue.
The succession was given to his niece, Maria de Guadalupe of Lencastre, who was married to the Spanish Duke of Los Arcos. She returned to Portugal with her younger son, while her husband and her older son stayed in Spain. She regained the control of her House and estates and recognised the Braganzas royalty.
Due to the participation of the 8th Duke of Aveiro in the Távora affair (a conspiracy against the King), all the possessions of the Dukes of Aveiro were confiscated, their coat-of-arms destroyed from the public places, their houses demolished and their lands salted. Only the Palace of the Dukes of Aveiro in Azeitão, Portugal remains (albeit with the destroyed coat of arms on its facade) as a testament to the family's previous might and power.
The Aveiro palace in Lisbon, demolished and salted, gave place to a stone memorial in order to perpetuate the memory of the shame of the Aveiro House. In it the following text can be read (in Portuguese): Aqui foram arrasadas e salgadas as casas de José Mascarenhas, exautorado das honras de Duque de Aveiro e outras condemnado por sentença proferida na Suprema Juncta de Inconfidencia em 12 de Janeiro de 1759. Justiçado como um dos chefes do barbaro e execrando desacato que na noite de 3 de Septembro de 1758 se havia commetido contra a real e sagrada pessoa de D.José I. Neste terreno infame se não poderá edificar em tempo algum. ("In this place were put to the ground and salted the houses of José Mascarenhas, stripped of the honours of Duque de Aveiro and others, convicted by sentence proclaimed in the Supreme Court of Inconfidences on the 12th of January 1759. Put to Justice as one of the leaders of the most barbarous and execrable upheaval that, on the night of the 3rd of September 1758, was committed against the most royal and sacred person of the Lord Joseph I. In this infamous land nothing may be built for all time.")
After 1759 the title was extinct. However, in 1939, Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza, authorized the use of the personal title of Duke of Aveiro to Caetano Henriques Pereira Faria Saldanha de Lancastre, Count of Alcáçovas, who did not use the prerogative. The only legitimate relatives of José de Mascarenhas da Silva e Lencastre, 8th Duke of Aveiro, are descended from his sister Francisca das Chagas Mascarenhas and her husband the 1st Marquis of Lavradio.Duke of Coimbra
Duke of Coimbra (Portuguese: Duque de Coimbra) was an aristocratic Portuguese title with the level of royal dukedom, that is, associated with the Portuguese royal house, created in 1415, by King John I of Portugal to his 2nd male son, Infante Pedro. Pedro was regent of the kingdom but he was killed in the domestic Battle of Alfarrobeira (1449).
None of their children inherited this title, which was granted much later to Pedro's great-grandson, George, Duke of Coimbra, natural son of King John II of Portugal.
The current Duchess of Coimbra, is Infanta Maria Francisca the current Duke of Braganza's only daughter.Filipa de Almada
Filipa de Almada (fl. 15th century) was a Portuguese poet and noblewoman.Almada is known to have lived and written during the reigns of kings Alfonso V and John II of Portugal. Her poetry was included in the 1516 songbook Cancioneiro Geral anthologized by Garcia de Resende.Francisco de Almeida
Dom Francisco de Almeida (Portuguese pronunciation: [fɾɐ̃ˈsiʃku dɨ aɫˈmɐjðɐ]), also known as "the Great Dom Francisco" (c. 1450–1 March 1510), was a Portuguese nobleman, soldier and explorer. He distinguished himself as a counsellor to King John II of Portugal and later in the wars against the Moors and in the conquest of Granada in 1492. In 1505 he was appointed as the first governor and viceroy of the Portuguese State of India (Estado da Índia). Almeida is credited with establishing Portuguese hegemony in the Indian Ocean, with his victory at the naval Battle of Diu in 1509. Before Almeida could return to Portugal, he lost his life in 1510. His son Lourenço de Almeida was also killed in the Battle of Chaul.Jaime, Duke of Braganza
Jaime of Braganza (1479 – 20 September 1532) was the 4th Duke of Braganza and the 2nd Duke of Guimarães, among other titles. He is known for reviving the wealth and power of the House of Braganza which had been confiscated by King John II of Portugal.Jorge de Lencastre, Duke of Coimbra
Jorge de Lencastre (English: George; 21 August 1481 – 22 July 1550) was a Portuguese prince, illegitimate son of King John II of Portugal and Ana de Mendonça, a maid of Joanna la Beltraneja. He was created the second Duke of Coimbra in 1509. He was also master of the Order of Santiago and administrator of the Order of Aviz from 1492 to 1550.Marquis of Vila Real
Marquis of Vila Real (in Portuguese Marquês de Vila Real) was a Portuguese title of nobility created by a royal decree, dated from 1 March 1489, by King John II of Portugal, and granted to Dom Pedro de Menezes, also known as Peter II of Menezes, 3rd Count of Vila Real.
The House of Vila Real was the most powerful aristocratic House in Portugal, during the 16th and 17th centuries, after the Dukes of Braganza and the Dukes of Aveiro.
To reward their support during the 1580 Portuguese succession crisis, the Spanish Habsburgs granted this House new titles (Duke of Vila Real and Duke of Caminha). However, all this wealth was confiscated and Miguel Luís II, 2nd Duke of Caminha, was executed for high treason, by King John IV of Portugal instructions, for supporting the right of the Spanish Habsburg Kings to the Portuguese throne after the revolution of 1640.Nicolás de Carvajal, Marquis of Sarria
Nicolás de Carvajal y Lancaster, Marquis of Sarria (died March 4, 1770) was a Spanish noble and military figure from the 18th century.
He was the son of Bernardino de Carvajal y Vivero, second count de la Quinta de la Enjarada, and Maria Josefa de Lancaster y Noroña. His mother was a descendant of Jorge de Lancastre, a natural son of King John II of Portugal. His brothers were José de Carvajal y Lancáster, Spanish prime minister between 1746 and 1754, and Juan Carvajal y Lancaster, 4th Duke of Abrantes.
He was lieutenant general, and colonel of the Spanish infantry regiment of the Reales Guardias. King Fernando VI made him a Grandee of Spain first class in 1755.
In 1762 he became commander of the Spanish invasion of Portugal, but he was very slow in assembling his troops and commencing the hostilities.
This gave the British the time to bring over an expeditionary force in support of the weak Portuguese army. King Charles III of Spain was disgusted by Sarria's lethargy and had him replaced by the Count of Aranda.
Sarria received the order of the Golden Fleece, as compensation, and as a reward for his earlier services to the Crown.
He married Ana María Josefa López de Zúñiga y Castro, marquesa de Sarriá, daughter of Juan Manuel de Zúñiga, 11th Duke of Béjar and Rafaela de Castro y Centurión, and widow of Ginés Miguel Fernando Ruíz de Castro y Portugal, 11th count of Lemos.
He died without an heir on March 4, 1770.Patrice Lumumba Preparatory School
Patrice Lumumba Preparatory School (Portuguese: Escola Preparatória Patrice Lumumba, abbreviation: EPLP) is a lyceum located in the southwestern part of the city centre of São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe. It is the oldest secondary school in the country, established in 1952. It currently has about 3,000 students.The one story building of the former Colégio-Liceu of São Tomé was designed by Lucínio Cruz. In 1959 it was renamed Liceu Nacional D. João II, after King John II of Portugal.After independence in 1975, the school became a preparatory school, and the National Lyceum moved to the former technical school building. In 1988, in the midst of reforms of Santomean education, the school was named after Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba.Poliziano
Angelo Ambrogini (14 July 1454 – 24 September 1494), commonly known by his nickname Poliziano (Italian: [politˈtsjaːno]; anglicized as Politian; Latin: Politianus), was an Italian classical scholar and poet of the Florentine Renaissance. His scholarship was instrumental in the divergence of Renaissance (or Humanist) Latin from medieval norms and for developments in philology. His nickname, Poliziano, by which he is chiefly identified to the present day, was derived from the Latin name of his birthplace, Montepulciano (Mons Politianus).
Poliziano's works include translations of passages from Homer's Iliad, an edition of the poetry of Catullus and commentaries on classical authors and literature. It was his classical scholarship that brought him the attention of the wealthy and powerful Medici family that ruled Florence. He served the Medici as a tutor to their children, and later as a close friend and political confidante. His later poetry, including La Giostra, glorified his patrons.
He used his didactic poem Manto, written in the 1480s, as an introduction to his lectures on Virgil.Prince of Portugal
Prince of Portugal (Portuguese: Príncipe de Portugal), officially Hereditary Prince of Portugal (Príncipe Herdeiro de Portugal), or Princess of Portugal, was the title held by the heirs apparent and heirs presumptive to the Kingdom of Portugal, from 1433 to 1645.
The title differs from the title Infante of Portugal, which is the title given to all children of the monarch except the first in the line of succession, and is often translated into English as "prince".Tomé Pires
Tomé Pires (1465?–1524 or 1540) was a Portuguese apothecary from Lisbon who spent 1512 to 1515 in Malacca immediately after the Portuguese conquest, at a time when Europeans were only first arriving in Southeast Asia. After his arduous experiences in India and the East Indies, he headed the first official embassy from a European nation in China (Portugal, to the Chinese Zhengde Emperor, during the Ming dynasty), where he died.
Pires was apothecary to the ill-fated Afonso, Prince of Portugal, son of King John II of Portugal. He went to India in 1511, invested as "factor of drugs", the Eastern commodities that were an important element of what is generally called "the spice trade". In Malacca and Cochin he avidly collected and documented information on the Malay-Indonesian area, and personally visited Java, Sumatra and Maluku.Álvaro Caminha
Álvaro Caminha was appointed by King John II of Portugal in 1492 Captain-major (governor) – apparently the third – of the Portuguese colony of São Tomé and Príncipe which had been discovered 22 years earlier.
He was a knight of the king's household and was told to settle and "Christianize" the then deserted island with his family and friars, and for that purpose was apparently given the children of Spanish Jewish refugees from Granada, which had not been able to pay the tax requested by the king, and who were married to Black people from the Congo.
|Ancestors of John II of Portugal|
|House of Burgundy (1139–1383)|
|House of Aviz (1385–1580)|
|House of Habsburg (1581–1640)|
|House of Braganza (1640–1910)|
Debatable or disputed rulers are in italics.
* also an infante of Castile and León, Aragon, Sicily and Naples, § also an infante of Spain and an archduke of Austria, # also an infante of Spain, ‡ also an imperial prince of Brazil, ¶ also a prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke in Saxony, ¤ title removed in 1920 as their parents' marriage was deemed undynastic, ƒ claimant infante