Gay king Alfonso

“It is more suited to a warrior to love men than women.”

Big Alf going into action

Big Alf going into action

Big Alf going into action

The right is currently spinning the fairly successful line that conservative, Catholic Spain is under threat from a tidal wave of atheistic poofters. What’s strange about this is that Spain became ultra-conservative and -Catholic in large part thanks to the sweat and blood of several conspicuously godless deviants in the first couple of centuries of the second millennium. Here’s Vicente de la Fuente (Estudios críticos sobre la historia y el derecho de Aragón (1884), quoted in Agustín Ubieto Arteta, Leyendas para una historia paralela del Aragón medieval (1999)):

King Alfonso I [ca 1073-1134], the reconqueror of Zaragoza, left no ba$tard or legitimate children, but that proves nothing. He married Lady Urraca of Castile and she, in spite of all the conjugal problems that led them to divorce, never accused him of impotence or any kind of perversion. Why, then, did a shadow hang over the sexual conduct of the Battler?

The shadow of doubt, unsupported by evidence, could only come from the side of his irreconcilable enemies, the Moors. And, indeed, an Arab writer, a certain Ben Al-Afhir, talking of Alfonso I–who he cites as Ben-Radmir, which is to say “son of Ramiro”–described him as “the strongest of the Frank kings in valour, and the most solicitous of them in making war on the Muslims and in suffering. On his expeditions he slept without a bed. They said to him once, ‘Why don’t you take in secret a concubine from among the daughters of Muslim magnates who you have captive?’ But he responded, ‘It is more suited to a warrior to love men than women.’ Allah gave peace from him and freed Muslims from his wickedness.”

Alfonso’s (unexecuted) will left his kingdom to those notorious fomentors of homosexuality, the Templars, Hospitallers, and Knights of the Sepulchre, and his death is attributed in legend by both Christian and Muslim to his having offended Allah-God by doing stuff like stabling horses, soldiers and the odd camp follower in temples of religion. This is surely the kind of leader Andrew Sullivan would be able to endorse without difficulty, but he doesn’t seem to have a Spanish equivalent.

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