Battle of Moclín (1280)

Last updated
Battle of Moclín
Part of the Reconquista
Castillo de Moclin 2.JPG
The castle at Moclín.
Date23 June 1280
Location 37°20′20″N3°47′10″W / 37.33889°N 3.78611°W / 37.33889; -3.78611 Coordinates: 37°20′20″N3°47′10″W / 37.33889°N 3.78611°W / 37.33889; -3.78611
Result Granadan victory
Bandera de la Corona de Castilla.svg Crown of Castile
Cross Santiago.svg Order of Santiago
Standard of Grenade after Cresques Atlas s XIV.svg Emirate of Granada
Commanders and leaders
Bandera de la Corona de Castilla.svg Infante Sancho
Cross Santiago.svg Gonzalo Ruiz Girón
Standard of Grenade after Cresques Atlas s XIV.svg Muhammad II
Casualties and losses
More than 2,800 killed Figures unknown
Red pog.svg
Location within Province of Granada
Relief Map of Spain.png
Red pog.svg
Battle of Moclín (1280) (Spain)

The Battle of Moclín, also known as the Disaster of Moclín, was a battle fought in the Granadian municipality of Moclín on 23 June 1280. The battle pitted the troops of the Emirate of Granada, commanded by Muhammad II, the Sultan of Granada, against those of the Kingdom of Castile and the Kingdom of León who were composed mainly of mercenaries and of members of the Order of Santiago, being commanded by the contemporary grand master of the order Gonzalo Ruiz Girón and by Sancho, son of King Alfonso X of Castile.



Between February and March 1280, Alfonso X of Castile and his council convened a meeting in the city of Badajoz to finalize preparations for waging war against Muhammad II and the Emirate of Granada. Most of the members of the royal family were present at this meeting, except the queen, Violant of Aragon, who had become estranged from the king. Alfonso X ordered his forces to be gathered in the city of Córdoba, from where they would commence operations into the Vega de Granada. Alfonso was struck with an eye ailment and was unable to accompany his army on the campaign and instead stayed in the city of Córdoba. [1]


In June 1280, Sancho, son of Alfonso X of Castile directed the incursion into the Vega de Granada accompanied by, amongst others, Gonzalo Ruiz Girón, Grand Master of the Order of Santiago. Sancho ordered Gonzalo to proceed along with his retainers, Gil Gómez de Villalobos, abbot of Valladolid, and Fernán Enríquez and protect the troops stockpiling supplies for the army with an expeditionary force whilst he stayed at Alcalá la Real and awaited reinforcements. [2] Upon returning from the aforementioned expedition, the Castilian and Leonese forces were attacked by Muslim forces under the command of Muhammad II who had been waiting in ambush around the city of Moclín.

Feigning flight, the Muslim troops stationed in Moclín drew the Castilian-Leonese troops to the spot where they had set their ambush. The Christian troops pursued those of Muhammad II who proceeded to cut off their means of retreat. The Muslim forces then attacked, defeating the Christian forces and inflicting heavy casualties. [3]

The slaughter, referred to as the Disaster of Moclín, resulted in the deaths of over 2,800 Castilian-Leonese knights and soldiers and the deaths of most of the knights in the service of the Order of Santiago. The order's Grand Master, Gonzalo Ruiz Girón was mortally wounded in the action. When the infante Sancho heard news of the disaster, he ordered that the remaining troops under his command hold their ground, a move that prevented an overall rout and slaughter of all the Christian troops on the campaign. [4]

Once all the Christian troops had reorganized after the disaster, the infante Sancho passed through Moclín and proceeded into Granada to cut the valley in two. After a campaign of aggression throughout that area of Granada, Sancho returned to Córdoba via Jaén. The following Spanish language extract from Manuel González Jiménez' chronicle reveals that by August 7, the campaign had ended and Sancho had returned to Córdoba. [5]

Sancho debió regresar a Córdoba en los primeros días de agosto, ya que consta su presencia en la ciudad el día 7 de este mes. En ese día prometió a la Orden de Calatrava entregarle Villa Real, con todos sus derechos, cuando fuese rey. (Sancho must have returned to Córdoba in the first days of August, as his presence in the city was recorded the 7th day of that month. On that day he promised the Order of Calatrava that he would bestow upon them Villa Real, with all its rights, when he became king.)


Gonzalo Ruiz Girón, Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, died from his wounds a few days after the disaster. He was buried in a sepulcher in the city of Alcaudete. [3]

To avoid the extinction of the Order of Santiago due to the deaths of so many of its knights, Alfonso X of Castile integrated the members of the Order of Santa María de España into that of Santiago and named Pedro Núñez as grand master of the newly integrated order. The Order of Santa María de España, which King Alfonso X had founded himself, ceased to exist. [6]

See also


  1. González Jiménez 2004 , Chapter XII, pp. 335-336
  2. García Fitz 2005 , p. 95
  3. 1 2 Lafuente Alcántara 2008 , p. 340
  4. González Jiménez 2004 , Chapter XII, pp. 336-337
  5. González Jiménez 2004 , Chapter XII, p. 337
  6. González Jiménez 1991 , pp. 220–221

Related Research Articles

Ferdinand II of León King of León and Galicia

Ferdinand II, was a member of the Castilian cadet branch of the House of Ivrea and King of León and Galicia from 1157 until his death.

Alfonso XI of Castile King of Castile, León and Galicia from 1312 to 1350

Alfonso XI, called the Avenger, was King of Castile, León and Galicia. He was the son of Ferdinand IV of Castile and his wife Constance of Portugal. Upon his father's death in 1312, several disputes ensued over who would hold regency, which were resolved in 1313.

Ferdinand IV of Castile King of Castile and León

Ferdinand IV of Castile called the Summoned, was King of Castile and León from 1295 until his death.

This is a timeline of notable events during the period of Muslim presence in Iberia, starting with the Umayyad conquest in the 8th century.

Alfonso of León, Lord of Molina was an infante (prince) of León and Castile, the son of King Alfonso IX of León and his second wife Queen Berengaria of Castile. He was the brother of King Ferdinand III of Castile and León, and father of Queen Maria of Molina, wife of King Sancho IV. He became Lord of Molina and Mesa after his first marriage to Mafalda González de Lara, the heiress of those lands.

María de Molina Queen consort of Castile and León

María Alfonso Téllez de Meneses, known as María de Molina, was queen consort of Castile and León from 1284 to 1295 by marriage to Sancho IV of Castile, and served as regent for her minor son Ferdinand IV and later her grandson Alfonso XI of Castile (1312-1321).

Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada Navarrese-born Castilian Roman Catholic bishop and historian

Rodrigo Jiménezde Rada was a Roman Catholic bishop and historian, who held an important religious and political role in the Kingdom of Castile during the reigns of Alfonso VIII and Ferdinand III, a period in which the Castilian monarchy consolidated its political hegemony over the rest of polities in the Iberian Peninsula. He was at the helm of the Archdiocese of Toledo from 1208 to 1247. He authored De rebus Hispaniae, a history of the Iberian Peninsula.

Gonzalo Ruiz or Rodríguez was the feudal lord of La Bureba throughout much of the mid-twelfth century. He held important positions at the courts of successive Castilian monarchs and guarded the frontier with Navarre, to whose Jiménez rulers he was related. He was a cultured man, with connexions to at least one, possibly two, troubadours. He may have written poetry himself, though in what language is not known.

Pedro Fernández de Castro (died 1214)

Pedro Fernández de Castro "the Castilian" was a Castilian nobleman, son of Fernando Rodríguez de Castro and Estefanía Alfonso la Desdichada. He inherited the Infantazgo of León from his parents and was mayordomo mayor of Fernando II and his son Alfonso IX of León.

Pedro Núñez

Pedro Núñez was a Spanish noble. He was a master of the Order of Santa María de España and Grand Master of the Order of Santiago from 1280 to 1286. He became Grand Master of the order after the death of Gonzalo Ruiz Girón during the reign of Alfonso X of Castile. He was succeeded to the Grand Mastership by Gonzalo Martel.

Gonzalo Ruiz Girón 13th-century Spanish nobleman

Gonzalo Ruiz Girón was a Spanish nobleman from Palencia. He was Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, and Adelantado of the Kingdom of Murcia. Ruiz was killed at the Battle of Moclín. He was a member of the House of Girón.

Order of Saint Mary of Spain

The Order of Saint Mary of Spain, also known as the Order of the Star, was a Spanish military order concentrating in naval activity created by Alfonso X of Castile, King of León and Castile in 1270.

Battle of Algeciras (1278) 1278 naval battle of the Reconquista

The Battle of Algeciras was a naval battle which occurred on July 25, 1278. The battle pitted the fleets of the Kingdom of Castile, commanded by the Admiral of Castile, Pedro Martínez de Fe, and the combined fleets of the Marinid dynasty and that of the Emirate of Granada, commanded by Abu Yaqub Yusuf an-Nasr. The battle was fought in the context of the Moorish naval expeditions to the Iberian Peninsula. The battle, which took place in the Strait of Gibraltar, resulted in a Muslim victory.

Alfonso Fernández el Niño was a Spanish nobleman, the illegitimate son of King Alfonso X of Castile and Elvira Rodríguez de Villada. He was the lord of Molina and Mesa through his marriage to Blanca Alfonso de Molina, daughter of the infante Alfonso of Molina and niece of King Alfonso IX of León.

Siege of Algeciras (1278–1279) 1278-79 battle of the Reconquista

The siege of Algeciras was the first of many sieges of the city by Christian forces in the lengthy period of the Spanish Reconquista. The siege, ordered by King Alfonso X of Castile also known as "el Sabio", was a fruitless military campaign initiated by the Kingdom of Castile with the objective of removing the Benimerins from Algeciras. The siege on Algeciras, then known to the Muslims as Al-Jazira Al-Khadra, was strategically important because Algeciras had been at the time the main fortress and landing place for African reinforcement troops in the Iberian Peninsula. Castile, which had a powerful armada of ships anchored in the Bay of Gibraltar to blockade such reinforcement, had a few days previously to the siege, seen that fleet obliterated by the Muslim admiral, Abu Yusuf Yaqub at the Naval Battle of Algeciras.

Battle of Écija (1275)

The Battle of Écija was a battle of the Spanish Reconquista that took place in September 1275. The battle pitted the Muslim troops of the Nasrid Emirate of Granada and its Moroccan allies against those of the Kingdom of Castile and resulted in a victory for the Emirate of Granada.

Philip of Castile Infante of Castile

Philip of Castile was an Infante of Castile and son of Ferdinand III, King of Castile and León, and his first queen, Beatrice of Swabia. He was Lord of Valdecorneja, and, according to some sources, Knight of the Order of the Temple, in one of those churches, the Church of Santa María la Blanca in Villalcázar de Sirga, he was buried in a coffin adorned with emblems of the Templars.

Álvaro Núñez de Lara (died 1218)

Álvaro Núñez de Lara was a Castilian nobleman who played a key role, along with other members of the House of Lara, in the political and military affairs of the Kingdoms of León and Castile around the turn of the 13th century. He was made a count in 1214, served as alférez to King Alfonso VIII of Castile, was the regent during the minority of King Henry I of Castile, and was mayordomo (steward) to King Alfonso IX of León. He opposed Queen Berengaria of Castile and her son King Ferdinand III and supported the King of León during the war between the two countries of 1217–1218. At the end of his life he was a knight of the Order of Santiago, in whose Monastery of Uclés he was buried.

Juan Núñez I de Lara

Juan Núñez I de Lara y León, also known as "el Gordo" or "the Fat", was a Spanish noble. He was the head of the House of Lara, Lord of Lerma, Amaya, Dueñas, Palenzuela, Tordehumos, Torrelobatón, and la Mota. He was further known as Señor de Albarracín through his first marriage with Teresa Álvarez de Azagra.