Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pilgrimages and Genealogy

Next week there will be no posts to the blog because I will be going on pilgrimage to Lourdes. I will meet there with thousands of brothers and sisters in the faith.  

But any topic is good to talk about genealogy and this time we will talk about Portuguese genealogy. There is a story recorded on the “Livro Velho” that mentions that an Armenian princess was going to Santiago de Compostela on pilgrimage.  On the way there Mendo Alam was captivated by her beauty and married her (some other say the Portuguese prince abducted her). The word used in the "Livro Velho" is "filhou" literally "made son" what means he took the princess to him not necessarily by force.

There has been many discussions about the characters of this legend but most historians believe it is true. For the genealogical reconstruction I will follow Francisco Doria’s proposal. The mentioned Mendo Alam, born about 965 AD  was son of Alain de Nantes and a princess from Asturias, who was son of Guerech I Count of Nantes, son of Alan II Duke of Brittany, etc.  The Armenian princess would be daughter of Senek'erim Hovhannes Artsrouni, king of Vaspourakan (1018), who’s kingdom was annexed by the Byzantine empire in 1021.  The deposed Armenian king was married to Kouschkousch Bagratid, daughter of Gagik I and had several sons and daughters, the majority later assassinated. Gagik I King of Armenia, was son of Ashot III, son of Abas I, son of Simbat I, etc (all king of Armenia).

The House of Braganza descends on the female line from this union, and this lineage later became the royal house of the Kingdom of Portugal from 1640 to 1910. In 1822 a branch of the house proclaimed independence of a colony of Brazil, founding the Empire of Brazil.

A pilgrimage brought Armenian blood to a noble linage in the Galician / Portuguese border that many generations later were Kings of Portugal and Emperors of Brazil. The Caucasian monarchies (Armenia and Georgia) offer the best possibility for a connection with the ancient genealogies (Persians, Ancient Greeks and Egyptians, Babylonians, etc.).  That is a genealogical discipline known as “Descendant from Antiquity” and we will discuss that possibility in a future article.