Drama-queen Maria of Aragon gave birth to a son

Maria of Aragon, sister to Joanna of Castile and Catherine of Aragon gave birth to a son 7 June 1502. His birth was marked by a special court drama created by Gil Vicente known as “the Troubadour”. He was the Chief dramatist of Portugal and is sometimes called the Portuguese Plautus. It was his job to entertain the royal family with his plays. He created this piece Monologue of the Cowherd to celebrate John III’s birth.  Maria of Aragon would become his patron for the rest of her life. The play was shown one day after the prince was born in the rooms of Maria of Aragon in the presence of the King Manuel I, Queen Maria of Aragon, former Queen of Portugal and widow of John II Leonor of Viseu, and the King’s mother Beatriz of Portugal.

John III of portugal

O Monólogo do vaqueiro (Monologue of the Cowherd), as it would have been performed by Gil Vicente himself by Alfredo Rogue Gameiro.

The play was an adaption of the Adoration of the Shepherds and included offerings of simple rustic gifts like cheese to the future king, of whon great achievements were expected. The play was a hit and the queen requested that he would repeat the same play for Christmas but Gil Vicente had a whole new play ready by Christmas.

John III of portugal 2

Christmas Play by Gil Vicente painted by Vicente Gil

He would write many more plays poems and books during his life and continued to serve John III after his mom’s death. He also was one of the very few people that could get away with criticizing society and even the church without grave problems with the inquisition thanks to his royal protectors. In that way he was also a bit like a court jester. Though he wrote many patriotic and religious plays to make up for that as well.

buenas noches mis amigos, Hilde





8 thoughts on “Drama-queen Maria of Aragon gave birth to a son

  1. Hi, Hilde, I wonder if Juana la Beltranhja was at that play Monologue of the Cowherd? You know what I mean. Even though she was suppose to be incarcerated in a nunnery, apparently she ran away from the nunnery on a regular basis to go to the Portuguese Court. So I was wondering if she was at this play that commenorated the future King of Portugal’s birth. She was the daughter of Henry the Fourth of Castile and Juana of Portugal, so it would only be natural for her to be there, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Juana, I’m sorry I don’t know for sure. I know which woman you mean and i have read that she was eventually allowed to reside at Castle Sao Jorge which is the castle where Monologue of the Cowherd premiered so it is a possibility, but she isn’t mentioned as one of the guests present like the other people I mentioned. But yeah if she lived there at the time it would have been natural for her to see the play.



      • aaaw sorry Catalina for being so slow! My upcoming trip to New York is quite distracting. I never realized that you are one and the same person! I was thinking of you the other day when I was writing about Philips that got the measles because we talked about that earlier. Im soon going to write about his trip home to Flanders while poor Joanna had to stay in Spain whenever I have time. 🙂


      • I know. I know. That really pissed me off. She is pregnant with Ferdinand and Philip leaves her in Castile. I am telling you the guy is a s.o.b. Thanks for thinking of me. That Juana of Castile name that comes us, I really do not know what that is all about but then I do not really know the computer that well and sometimes I mess about some where on the cyber world and it comes back to bite me, if you know what I mean, Hilde. That is just a term.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Birth of Isabella of Portugal | hemmahoshilde (@Hilde's home)

  3. Pingback: Beatrice of Portugal was born | hemmahoshilde (@Hilde's home)

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