Babylonian Captivity

views updated May 23 2018

Babylonian Captivity

Babylonian Captivity (1580–1640), the period when Spain ruled Portugal. Since Portugal first declared her independence in the twelfth century, Spaniards had yearned to regain control of the western kingdom. The successive deaths of Sebastian (1578) and Cardinal Henry (1580) without issue made it possible for Philip II of Spain to claim Portugal and her empire. Thereafter three successive sovereigns, Philip II, III, and IV, ruled Portugal from a distance via councils of regency and with the aid of an itinerant advisory body, the Council of Portugal, but proved unable to honor pledges to preserve the integrity of the empire. As the eastern empire began to crumble in response to indigenous pressures and challenges posed by Holland and England, the Portuguese also witnessed the loss of much of their navy and, for a time, of the sugar-producing captaincies of northeastern Brazil as well as the growth of commodities prices and taxes used to defend Spanish but not Portuguese interests. A series of protest revolts in 1637 were indications of widespread discontent within the kingdom. On 1 December 1640 a group of young nobles entered the royal palace in Lisbon, compelled the resignation of Margaret of Mantua, the last Spanish regent, and acclaimed João, duke of Bragança, as the first king of the restored monarchy.

See alsoBragança, House of; João IV of Portugal.


Joel Serrão, ed., Dicionário de história de Portugal, 4 vols. (1971).

Joaquim Veríssimo Serrão, História de Portugal, vol. 4 (1979).

Additional Bibliography

Stella, Roseli Santaella. Brasil durante el gobierno español, 1580–1640. Madrid: Fundación Histórica Tavera, 2000.

                                              Dauril Alden

Babylonian Captivity

views updated May 29 2018

Babylonian Captivity Deportation of the Jews to Babylon, between the capture of Jerusalem in 586 bc by Nebuchadnezzar and the reformation of a Palestinian Jewish state (c.538 bc) by Cyrus the Great. Many Jewish religious institutions, such as synagogues, were founded in the period of exile and parts of the Hebrew Bible also date from this time. The term was later applied to the exile of the popes at Avignon (1309–77). See also Diaspora; Great Schism

Babylonian captivity

views updated May 18 2018

Babylonian captivity. Period (586–538 BCE) during which many Israelites were held in exile in Babylon. The phrase was applied by Petrarch to the Church during the period when the papacy was at Avignon (1309–77): see ANTIPOPE.