Soeiro Viegas: (1211-1233)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Soeiro Viegas, Bishop of Lisbon from 1211 until his death in 1233, won early royal favour as one of King Afonso II’s principal lawyers, defending the Portuguese king’s interests in the papal curia in Rome against the claims of his sisters in a dispute over important territorial dispositions contained in the will of their late father, King D. Sancho I. Thereafter, Soeiro was one of the principal architects and leaders of what has been called the “First Portuguese Crusade”, namely the “Crusade” to Alcácer (do Sal) in 1217. Although victory at Alcácer brought great advantages to Afonso II, including further successes in Rome with the issue of important bulls favourable to Portugal including confirmation of Afonso II’s kingship with full military honours, the king embarked on a policy designed to limit and reduce the now dangerously burgeoning powers of Bishop Soeiro and the Portuguese Church. In the resulting struggle, Soeiro was among the first propelled into a bitter fight for hegemony that grew progressively more acrimonious and continued long after the death of Afonso II in 1123, not coming to be settled until the substitution by papal decree of his heir, Sancho II, for his younger sibling Afonso III in 1247/48, following notorious and lengthy periods of chaos and civil war. During his turbulent career at the head of his diocese, Bishop Soeiro was involved in several other disputes with powerful adversaries, including with his own dean Vicente Hispano (the royal favourite), the Order of the Temple, the Bishop of Coimbra, King Sancho II and even the pope himself. Forced more than once to flee Portugal, Soeiro spent his final years in the papal curia in Rome where, among other things, he helped compile the canonisation file for St Anthony of Lisbon/Padua. Soeiro Viegas is buried in Lisbon Cathedral where his epitaph recorded his leading role in the 1217 conquest of Alcácer from Islam.
Original languagePortuguese
Title of host publicationOs Bispos e Arcebispos de Lisboa
EditorsAntónio Camões Gouveia, João Luís Fontes, Maria Filomena Andrade, Mário Farelo
Place of PublicationLisboa
PublisherLivros Horizonte
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978-972-24-1868-3
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2018


  • Bishop of Lisbon
  • Portuguese Crusade
  • Alcácer do Sal
  • Vicente Hispano
  • Sancho I
  • Afonso II
  • Sancho II
  • Afonso III
  • Estevão Soares
  • Lanfranco of Milan
  • Lisbon Cathedral
  • Teresa
  • Mafalda
  • Branca
  • Sancha
  • Innocent III
  • Fourth Lateran Council
  • Honorius III
  • Gregory IX
  • Urraca of Castile

Cite this