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Jiménez dynasty

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The Jiménez or Giménez/Ximenes Basque pronunciation: ʃimenes̺, alternatively called the Jimena, the Sancha, the Banu Sancho, the Abarca or the Banu Abarca,1 were an Iberian ruling family from the 10th century to the 13th century


  • 1 History
  • 2 Rulers
    • 21 Navarre
    • 22 Castile, León, and Galicia
    • 23 Sobrarbe and Ribagorza
    • 24 Aragon
    • 25 Viguera
  • 3 References


The first known member of the family, García Jiménez of Pamplona, is obscure, it being stated by the Roda Codex that he was "king of another part of the kingdom" of Pamplona, presumably lord of part of Navarre beyond the area of direct control of the Íñiguez kings: probably the frontier areas of Álava and the western Pyrenees given the list of their landholdings preserved in a later charter It was long believed that their origins lay in Gascony

In 905 Sancho Garcés, a younger son of the dynasty founder, used foreign assistance to displace the Íñiguez ruler Fortún Garcés and consolidate the monarchy in his dynasty's hands He would be viewed as founder of the dynasty, with several Iberian Muslim sources calling the family the Banu Sanjo Arabic: بنو شانجه‎‎ - the descendants of Sancho for several subsequent generations, while a 12th-century Tunisian chronicler of Al-Andalus, Ibn al-Kardabūs, would referred to Sancho III of Pamplona as ibn Abarca Arabic: بن أبرك‎‎ - son or descendant of Abarca, referencing a nickname originally borne by Sancho I in the naming of this Banu Abarca dynasty1 In addition to repulsing several attacks from the Emir of Córdoba, Sancho I crushed the neighboring Banu Qasi and thus expanded Pamplona to the upper Ebro River valley, as well as incorporating the previously-autonomous County of Aragon into the realm

Following the death of Sancho in 925, his brother Jimeno Garcés maintained a position of strength, intervening in the politics of neighboring Christian and Muslim states His death left the crown to his nephew, Sancho's son García Sánchez I, who was still a child Originally ruling under the tutelage of his mother, the Íñiguez descendant Toda Aznar who established a web of political and marital alliances among the Iberian Christian states, he invited the intervention of his cousin Abd-ar-Rahman III of Córdoba to achieve emancipation from his mother There followed three generations of defeat and subjugation by the Caliphate He did create for his younger son a short-lived sub-kingdom centered at Viguera, which lasted for several decades until it was reabsorbed into the Pamplona kingdom

The kingdom of Pamplona only reemerged from the Cordoban shadow during the reign of Sancho the Great, who ruled from 1000 to 1035 in Pamplona, but also ruled Aragon, Castile, Ribagorza and eventually León but not Galicia by right or 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 sons at his death, giving rise to three independent medieval kingdoms each ruled by a Jiménez monarch

The Kingdom of Navarre, passing to the eldest son García, was unable to maintain its hegemony, leading to the full independence of Aragon under his illegitimate brother Ramiro I, who had previously taken over the territories of murdered brother Gonzalo of Sobrarbe and Ribagorza Younger sibling Ferdinand I, then Count of Castile, killed in battle his nominal overlord the King of León and Galicia in 1037 and thereby inheriting them and bringing them fully into the orbit of his ruling clan He then defeated García, achieving a sort of hegemony over his brothers, but again divided his realm among his sons One of these, Alfonso VI, not only succeeded to the reunited realm of his father, but also conquered Toledo, reclaimed the imperial title and even pretended to rule over both Christian and Moslem Spain

The Navarre branch of the dynasty went into eclipse when in 1076 Sancho IV was assassinated by his siblings, and his cousins Alfonso VI of Castile and Sancho Ramírez of Aragon converged and divided the kingdom, with the Aragon ruler gaining the Navarre crown, while ceding western lands to Castile

The holdings of the family were briefly reunited when Alfonso the Battler of Navarre and Aragon married Alfonso VI's daughter Urraca, Queen of Castile and León, and claimed the imperial title However, the marriage failed and the kingdoms of Castile and León passed out of the dynasty, to Urraca's son by a prior marriage The Kingdom of Aragon and that of Navarre likewise went their separate ways following Alfonso's death, the former passing to his brother, the latter to a descendant of its original ruling family, with each eventually passing to other dynasties through heiresses: Petronilla of Aragon, who married the ruler of Barcelona and thus united those two realms into the Crown of Aragon; and 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, who had been a competitor for the thrones of Navarre and Aragon following the death of Alfonso the Battler Pedro was a scion of this family, being grandson of Sancho Ramírez, Count of Ribagorza, illegitimate brother of king Sancho Ramírez of Aragon Such a descent would thus have made the Borgias male-line descendants of the Jiménez dynasty However, the descent was a fabrication


Emperors in bold Date of assumption of imperial title in parentheses


See also: Navarre rulers family tree
  • 905–925 Sancho I, son of García Jiménez of Pamplona 'king of another part of the kingdom'
  • 925–931 Jimeno Garcés, brother of Sancho I
  • 925–970 García Sánchez I, son of Sancho I
  • 970–994 Sancho II, son of García
  • 994–1000 García Sánchez II, son of Sancho II
  • 1000–1035 Sancho III 1034, son of García
  • 1035–1054 García Sánchez III, son of Sancho III
  • 1054–1076 Sancho IV, son of García
United with Aragon 1076 to 1134
  • 1134–1150 García Ramírez, grandson of an illegitimate son of García Sánchez III
  • 1150–1194 Sancho VI, son of García
  • 1194–1234 Sancho VII, son of Sancho VI
Navarre to House of Champagne in 1234

Castile, León, and Galiciaedit

  • 1035–1065 Ferdinand I 1056, son of Sancho III
Took León and Galicia in 1037
  • 1065–1072
    • Sancho II in Castile, son of Ferdinand
    • Alfonso VI in León, son of Ferdinand
    • García II in Galicia and Portugal displaced in 1071 by Sancho II and Alfonso VI, son of Ferdinand
  • 1072 Sancho II in Castile, León, and Galicia
  • 1072–1109 Alfonso VI 1077
  • 1109–1126 Urraca, daughter of Alfonso, briefly wife of Alfonso I of Aragon
Galicia to House of Burgundy in 1111, León and Castile in 1126

Sobrarbe and Ribagorzaedit

  • 1035–1043 Gonzalo, son of Sancho III
Sobrarbe and Ribagorza merged into Aragon in 1043


  • 1035–1063 Ramiro I, illegitimate son of Sancho III
  • 1063–1094 Sancho Ramírez, son of Ramiro
  • 1094–1101 Peter I, son of Sancho
  • 1104–1134 Alfonso I 1109, half-brother of Peter
  • 1134–1137 Ramiro II, brother of Alfonso
  • 1137–1162 Petronilla, daughter of Ramiro II
Aragon to House of Barcelona in 1137


  • 970–991 Ramiro Garcés, son of García Sánchez I, half-brother of Sancho II
  • 991–1002 Sancho Ramírez son of Ramiro
  • 1002–1005/1030 García Ramírez, brother of Sancho
Viguera reabsorbed onto Navarre by 1030


  1. ^ a b Alberto Cañada Juste, "¿Quién fue Sancho Abarca, Príncipe de Viana, 73: 79-132

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