Joćo II, the perfect

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Joćo II lived his life under the ideal concept of a perfect prince but people of his time often referred to him as a tyrant; nevertheless, during his tenure as the king of Portugal, some significant things were achieved in the race to explore the world.

"Whether you live to be 50 or 100 makes no difference, if you made no difference in the world." - J. Kinz.

Born in 1455, Joćo II was the son of king Afonso V and Isabel de Coimbra[1.7][171][172]; he was raised with the best resources available and was involved in politics years before he was crowned. In 1477, after the battle of Arzila, he was knighted. Six years after that, his father, Afonso V, apparently suffering from serious depression, abdicated in his favor (see Afonso V, The African).

Political disputes:

The aristocracy didn't like Joćo II very much and some conspiracies began to unfold both within Portugal and abroad. On reaching the throne, he began concentrating power in himself to the detriment of the aristocracy The duke of Braganca, Fernando II, who had been very close to Joćo's father and was also a relative, Afonso V, was especially vocal against the new king's decisions.

Spies from the king intercepted correspondence that the duke had with Isabel I of Castilla, and so the duke was judged and all his properties were confiscated. Joćo's successor later reverted those sanctions.

Apparently, after the exemplary execution the king said to the nobles something like "I am the Lord of Lords, not the servant of servants"; the move was correct in the sense that no one dared question the king's policies after.


As a revival of the deeds of Henry the Navigator, Joćo restarted the exploration of the Atlantic in earnest. Some of the results achieved during his reign in terms of exploration were:

Diogo Cćo reached the mouth of the Congo river.

Pźro da Covilhć and Afonso de Paiva were sent overlanding as disguised as merchants on a trip to India, with the covert intention of finding the alleged kingdom of Perter John, which legend had set in Africa.

Bartholomeu Diaz sailed around the Cape of Good Hope.

Alvaro Caminha began colonizing Sćo Tomé and Prķncipe.

Technical aspects of ships like the caravels an carracks were improved, increasing their range and durability, as well as the organization and management of crews.

The Treaty of Tordesillas was signed with Spain, effectively splitting the world to be explored in two.

However, most of the records related to exploration trips around the time of the rule of Joćo II were lost in the earthquake that leveled Lisbon in 1755, so many details and other achievements may never be known.

Family, descendants and traits:

He is often referred as "The Perfect" or "The Perfect Prince" and such a nickname comes apparently from Macchiavelli's work and as a result of Joćo's desire to rule like a model leader. However, tho his contemporaries he was more often known as a tyrant, and very much disliked by many, including aristocrats and Jews that formed the backbone of the Portuguese economy and its strategic goals (see The Age of Discovery and its Financiers). He, in fact, implemented some anti - Semitic measures that later were overturned by his successor but could not stop atin - Semitic actions (see The Easter Massacre) the impending expulsion of Jews from Portugal, some decades later, during the XVI century, and the advent of the Inquisition by copying the Spanish model, which had it firmly in place by 1492 (see The Mother of All Mistakes).

The problem in Portugal was that even more than in Castilla and Aragón, Jews formed part of the élite; they were skilled workers, financiers and also members of the court, the nobility and the royals. Muslims were also integrated to the upper classes in a similar, although lesser degree for example, Luis de Lancastre - one of Joćo's grandsons - married Magdalena de Granada, who was a direct descendant of the last Nasrid sultans of the Kingdom of Granada[1.174][1.175] by way of his father, Jean de Granada who, in turn, was the son of Isabel de Solķs and Muley Hacen Abu l Hasan Ali, sultan of Granada[1.176][1.177][1.178].

With Leonor the Viseu he had one son, Afonso, who died in a horse race under suspicious circumstances in 1491; he also had another son, Jorge de Lancastre, duke of Coimbra[1.170], with Ana de Mendonēa[1.119]. Jorge was a natural son and despite that Joćo attempted to legitimate him as a successor with the papal authorities but he failed; hence, Jorge did not become the heir to the throne after Afonso's death.

Instead, he began using the old family surname - Lancaster - adapted to the Portuguese language as Lancastre or Lencastre. One of his granddaughters married Dom Iago de Sampayo y Belmonte. From there and yet another marriage between the Vaz - Sampayo and Mascarenhas families we come (see Dom Iago de Sampayo y Belmonte); Joćo is the 15th great grandfather of my generation in the Schoenberg - Skowronek family.

Joćo II died without a male heir in 1495; he was succeeded by his cousin and brother in law, Manuel I.

Joćo II de Portugal
King Joćo II de Portugal,
From Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia, public domain[173].

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