Aviz, Order of

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Portuguese military religious order, known originally as the Order of Evora. In 1166 the fortress of Evora, in the province of Alemtejo, was taken from the Moors. Ten years later the king ceded various properties to the master and knights of Evora, promovendis ordinem sancti Benedicti. This is the first authentic document concerning the order. Whether it began as an independent community or as a branch of the Castilian Order of calatrava is debatable. Considering that properties given to the Order of Evora are listed among Calatrava's possessions in 1187, an affiliation of the two orders before that date seems certain. This is implied in innocent iii's bull of 1201 granting the privileges of Calatrava to the knights of Evora, professis ordinem de Calatrava. As a result of Afonso II's donation of Aviz in 1211, the knights transferred their headquarters to that fortress. Henceforth the order was known as Aviz. The visitation of Aviz in 1238 by the master of Calatrava reveals that Aviz was affiliated to Calatrava just as Calatrava was affiliated to the Cistercian abbey of morimond. In 1385 the master of Aviz was elected King João I of Portugal; his dynasty came to be known as Aviz. He attempted to free the order from any dependency on Calatrava; in the 15th century the administration of the order was entrusted to royal princes. In 1551 Pope julius iii annexed the mastership to the crown in perpetuity.

Bibliography: a. l. javierre mur, "La Orden de Calatrava en Portugal," Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 130 (1952) 323376. m. de oliveira, "A milicia de Évora e a Ordem de Calatrava," Lusitania Sacra 1 (1956) 5167.

[j. f. o'callaghan]