October 21, 2014


Sebastian, king of Portugal from 1557, a fanatically religious ruler who lost his life in a crusade against the Muslims in Morocco.

After his death, which many of his people disbelieved, he came to symbolize freedom from Spanish oppression.

Sebastian was the posthumous son of John, heir to the Portuguese throne.
He succeeded his grandfather John III at the age of three and after a regency marked by troubles in Portugal´s overseas dominions, assumed personal control of the government in 1568.

By military training, hunting, and religious exercises, he prepared himself to lead new conquests in Morocco, from which John III had been gradually withdrawing.
But his expeditionary force was defeated in the Battle of the Three Kings, and SEbastian was killed.
His body (never found?) was buried at Alcazarquivir, but rumours spread in Portugal that he was still alive.
After conquering Portugal in 1580, KIng Philip II of Spain ransomed Sebastian´s body(?), but the movement known as Sebastianism grew, its adherents believing that their king would return as the saviour of Portugal.

Four pretenders to the throne impersonated him(?) between 1584 and 1598.

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