HOME ~ Contact us

Aznar Sánchez, Lord of Larraun, and Onneca Fortunez

HUSBAND:
Aznar Sanchez. Lord of Larraun [Familytree].
Son of SANCHO, Lord of Pamplona. (S1).

Larraun (Laron) is a town and municipality located in the province and autonomous community of Navarre, northern Spain.

He married Onneca Fortunez. (S2).

WIFE:
Onneca Fortunez. (Iniga Fortúnez). [Familytree].
Born about 848; daughter of Fortún Garcés, King of Pamplona, and Oria]. (S2,S3)

Onneca Fortúnez was a Basque princess from the Kingdom of Pamplona, later known as the Kingdom of Navarre. At the time of Onneca's birth, which occurred between 848 and 850, the Iberian Peninsula was largely under the domination of the Muslim Umayyad dynasty. Only the northern kingdoms of Asturias and Pamplona remained under Christian rule, perpetuating the Hispano-Roman Visigothic traditions. Onneca was a member of the Íñiguez dynasty, named after her great-grandfather Íñigo Arista, who founded the Kingdom of Pamplona. (S3).

Biographical details about her come from two main sources: the Roda Codex and the accounts of Muslim Andalusian historians, who refer to Onneca by the Arabic name Durr, meaning pearl. Onneca's historical importance stems from the fact that she provided an important genealogical link between the Muslim caliphs of Córdoba and the Christian kings of Pamplona, as well as between the first two royal dynasties of Pamplona. Onneca is known for marrying into the Umayyad dynasty. Although matrimonial unions between Christian slave-concubines and Muslim rulers were common, Onneca's case is one of the few examples of a Christian princess marrying into Muslim royalty. Her marriage created family ties between the Christian and Muslim ruling families of the Iberian peninsula, initially leading to close collaboration between the Christian House of Íñiguez and the Muslim Umayyads. The political effects resulting from Onneca's marriages continued to be felt long after her death, which occurred at an unknown date. (S3).

Marriage to Emir Abdullah

Onneca's father Fortún Garcés, the then heir to the throne of Pamplona, was captured in 860 in the town of Milagro during a punitive expedition led by Muhammad I, the Muslim emir of Córdoba, against the small Kingdom of Pamplona. The expedition resulted in the devastation of the Christian kingdom's territory and the seizure of three castles by the Muslim forces. Fortun Garcés, nicknamed al-Anqar by the Muslims because he was one-eyed, was taken to Córdoba where he was detained for two decades in gilded captivity. Onneca accompanied or followed her father to Córdoba, where she was wedded to Muhammad I's son Abdullah around 862-863. It is not known when or how she came to Córdoba. She may have been captured with her father, or sent to join her father at the emir's court at a later date. Onneca was presumably still a teenager when she bore Abdullah a son named Muhammad in 864. As Abdullah's wife, Onneca became known as Durr. According to some sources, she converted to Islam. (S3).

In addition to Muhammad, Onneca bore Abdullah two daughters: al-Baha' and Fatima the Younger. Abdullah became emir in 888, and Onneca's son Muhammad was named heir to the throne. However, Muhammad was assassinated by his younger half-brother al-Mutarrif on 28 January 891. There is disagreement among historians as to whether al-Mutarrif acted on his own or at the instigation of his father Abdullah. Al-Mutarrif himself was beheaded in 895 under orders of his father. As a result, Muhammad's son Abd-ar-Rahman, who was born three weeks prior to his father's assassination, was the one who succeeded his grandfather Abdullah as emir of Córdoba. Known in the West as Abd-ar-Rahman III, he later elevated himself to the position of caliph. (S3).

Onneca was thus the paternal grandmother of Abd-ar-Rahman III, who inherited from her as well as from his mother Muzna hailing from the Pyrenees (probably a Basque) European facial features such as blue eyes and light reddish hair that he attempted to alter (notably through hair coloring) in order to look more typically Arab. (S3).

Marriage to Aznar Sánchez de Laron

In about 880, after two decades in Córdoba, Onneca abandoned her Muslim family, and returned with her father to Pamplona, to which he would shortly succeed. Shortly after her return, Onneca married her first cousin Aznar Sánchez de Laron. Together they had a son and two daughters, probably born between 880 and 890: Sancho, Toda and Sancha. Their son Sancho Aznar is only known from the Roda Codex genealogies and may have died young. Their daughters Toda and Sancha would both become queens consort of Pamplona by marrying into the Jiménez dynasty, which came to power in 905 after displacing Onneca's father Fortún Garcés from the throne. Toda married Sancho I Garcés, thus uniting the royal houses of Íñiguez and Jiménez. Toda's sister Sancha was wedded to Sancho I Garcés' brother and successor Jimeno Garcés, and was later killed in France by her son García Jiménez. (S3).

Alternative chronology

The Roda Codex, the sole source for Onneca's Christian marriage, places this union with her cousin Aznar Sánchez de Laron before her marriage, as a widow, to Abdullah of Córdoba. Based on this, French historian Évariste Lévi-Provençal developed a chronology for Onneca's life that placed her birth date around 835. Lévi-Provençal believed that Onneca did not accompany her father when he returned to Pamplona in 882, either because she had already died, or because she had converted to Islam and chose to remain in Abdullah's harem. However, such a chronology is problematic since it implies that Onneca's children by Aznar were born before or only shortly after her father's capture in 860, thus making Onneca's daughter Toda Aznárez a sexagenarian at the time of her son García Sánchez I's birth (which is known to have occurred in either 919 or 922), and nearly a centenarian at the time of her 958 visit to Cordoba. Therefore, most historians addressing the question have concluded that the Roda Codex was in error with regard to the order of Onneca's two marriages. (S3).

Onneca died after 890. (S3).

CHILDREN of Aznar Sánchez, Lord of Larraun, and Onneca Fortunez:
  1. Sancho. probably died young.
  2. Toda Aznárez. [Familytree]. She married Sancho I, King of Pamplona.
  3. Sancha Aznárez, wife of king Jimeno Garcés, who was brother of Sancho I.


SOURCES:

HOW ARE WE RELATED:
Aznar Sánchez, Lord of Larraun, and Onneca Fortunez
Toda Aznárez and Sancho I, King of Pamplona
Garcia Sanchez I, King of Pamplona, and Andregoto Galindez
Sancho II Garcés Abarca of Pamplona and Urraca Fernandez
García Sánchez II of Pamplona and Jimena Fernández
Sancho Garces III of Navarre and Muniadona Mayor
Ferdinand I, The Great, and Sancha of León
Alfonso VI, The Brave, and Constance of Burgundy
Raymond Count of Burgundy and Urraca I Princess of Castile and Leon
Alfonso VII, Emperor of Spain, and (1) Berenguela of Barcelona; and (2) Richeza of Poland
    ____________________________________|________________________________|
    |                                                                    |
FERDINAND II, King of León, and and Urraca                     Sancha married Alfonso II, The Chaste, King of Aragón
                                                             Alfonso II, Count of Provence, and Gersenda II of Sabran 
Alfonso IX and Berenguela of Castile                         Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence, and Beatrice of Savoy
Ferdinand III and Elizabeth of Hohenstaufen                  Eleanor of Provence and Henry III, King of England              
Alfonso X, King of Castile, and Violante of Aragon           Edward I, King of England, and Eleanor of Castile 
Sancho IV, The Brave, and María de Molina                    Edward II, King of England, and Isabella of France
Ferdinand IV, King of Castile, Constance of Portugal          Edward III, King of England, and Philippa of Hainaut 
Alfonso XI of Castile XI and Maria of Portugal                Lionel Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, and Elizabeth de Burgh 
Pedro The Cruel and María de Padilla                          Philippa Plantagenet and Edmund de Mortimer 
Isabella of Castile and Edmund of Langley                     Roger de Mortimer and Eleanor de Holand 
Richard, Earl of Coinsburgh,      ----      and     ----      Anne de Mortimer
Richard, Duke of York and Cecily de Neville
Edward IV, King Of England and Elizabeth Lucy
Elizabeth Plantagenet and Thomas de Lumley                   
Sybel Lumley and William Hilton
William Hilton and Margaret Metcalfe
(Capt) Mark Roger Hilton
Rebecca Hilton and Thomas Roberts
Anna Roberts and James Philbrick
Joseph Philbrick and Tryphena Marston
Ester Philbrick and Amos Rand
Ann Rand and Thomas Shannon
Sarah Shannon and Jeremiah Leavitt
Jeremiah Leavitt and Sarah Sturtevant
Sarah Pricscilla Leavitt and Jacob Vernon Hamblin
Ella Ann Hamblin and Warren Moroni Tenney
Clive Vernon Tenney and Minnie Williams
Mildred Ella Tenney and Glenn Russell Handy
Deborah Lee Handy and Rodney Allen Morris