Authors: Leontina Ventura; António Resende de Oliveira
Digital ISBN: 978-989-26-0221-9
Publisher: Coimbra University Press
Date: January 2011
Price: 16,96 €
Size: 240 mm x 170 mm
N.º Pages: 403
In the medieval period, the Portuguese royal chancelleries— understood here in the narrow sense, as all the charters emanating from the court with the provisions of a king on matters addressed to him or which were integrated into his project for governance — constitute the most important source available to the historian of medieval Portugal. Of these, the Chancellery of King Afonso III occupies an unusual place in the development of the Portuguese royal court’s documental output. Just a few years after coming to the throne, the monarch ordered all the charters emitted by the chancellery (leases, charters, laws, settlement charters, barter agreements, donations to loyal vassals, treaties with Castile, composition charters, etc) to be registered in a specific codex in the order in which they were sent to their recipients. Begun in 1253, this register — which constitutes the so-called Book I of the Chancellery — was kept up to the eve of the king’s death on 16th February 1279. By then it contained more than 700 documents, and thus offered a reliable picture of the king’s government via the areas that attracted his attention over most of his reign. An additional two documental record books complemented the monarch’s administrative activity: Book II, written at the end of the 1250s, which contains nearly 200 leases and charters, many issued by previous kings; and Book III, smaller in size, prepared in the reign of King Dennis after the collection of documentation that had partially not been included in the first register for unknown reasons. Though these volumes by no means represent all the documental work developed by the chancellor and his notaries in the thirty years of their activity under King Afonso III, their broad time frame and great diversity means that they constitute the nucleus that best documents that activity and consequently the monarch that they served.