Siege of Santarém (1184)

The siege of Santarém, lasted from June 1184 to July 1184. In the spring of 1184, Abu Yaqub Yusuf assembled an army, crossed the straits of Gibraltar and marched to Seville. From there he marched towards Badajoz and headed west to besiege Santarém, Portugal, which was defended by Afonso I of Portugal.[1] Upon hearing of Abu Yusuf's attack, Ferdinand II of León marched his troops to Santarém to support his father-in-law, Afonso I.

Siege of Santarém
Part of the Portuguese Reconquista
DateJune–July 1184
Result Christian victory
PortugueseFlag1143.svg Kingdom of Portugal
Leon banner.svg Kingdom of León
Flag of Almohad Dynasty.svg Almohad Caliphate
Commanders and leaders
Afonso I of Portugal
Ferdinand II of León
Abu Yaqub Yusuf 
unknown unknown
Casualties and losses
unknown unknown

Death of YusufEdit

Abu Yusuf, believing he had sufficient troops to maintain the siege, sent orders for part of his army to march to Lisbon and lay siege to that city too. The orders were misinterpreted and his army, seeing large contingents of men leaving the battle, became confused and started to retreat. Abu Yusuf, in an attempt to rally his troops, was wounded by a crossbow bolt[2] and died on 29 July 1184.[3]

Papal recognitionEdit

The victory at Santarém was a major achievement for Afonso I. Pope Alexander III formally recognized him as rex Portugalensium.[4]


  1. ^ O'Callaghan, Joseph F., A History of Medieval Spain, (Cornell University Press, 1975), 241.
  2. ^ E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936, Vol. 2, Ed. Martijn Theodoor Houtsma, (BRILL, 1987), 153.
  3. ^ Hirtenstein, Stephen, The unlimited mercifier: the life and thought of Ibn ʻArabī, (Anqa Publishing, 1999), 254.
  4. ^ O'Callaghan, 241.