The Conquest of Silves: A Contemporary Narrative

The Conquest of Silves: A Contemporary Narrative

By John E. Slaughter

The Journal of the American Portuguese Cultural Society, Vol. 2 (1968)

Introduction: The capture of Silves from the Moors was a celebrated event in the history of the Reconquista in Portugal, as well as in the annals of the Crusades. Its fame was due more to the variety of crusaders who participated in the siege, however, than to the importance of the city. The presence of these crusaders was noted in contemporary narratives in England, France, the Low Countries, Germany and in Portugal. In Spain, the Algrave had been tentaviely allocated to the kingdom of Leon by the treaty between Sancho and Fernando, kings of Castile and Leon, after the death of their father, Alfonso VII, in 1157. Yet the taking of Silves seems to have been the result of an ambitious plan which Sancho I, the second king of Portugal, may have had for some time.

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