Afonso Mendes de Besteiros
Trovador medieval


Nationality: Portuguesa

Biographical Note:

Portuguese troubadour, possibly a native of São Cosme de Besteiros, close to Paredes, in the lands of Sousa. Although the name Besteiros has other occurrences in the Portuguese toponymy (namely Santa Maria de Besteiros, Tondela, Viseu), his connection to the lineage of the Riba de Vizela, suggested by Resende de Oliveira1, may indicate the first location as the most probable. This connection to the Riba de Vizela lineage seems to be inferred from Afonso Mendes’s signature on several documents concerning the family, namely the partition between Martim Gil de Riba de Vizela and his sisters (1285 and 1286)2 or, in 1290, a donation from the same Martim Gil to the monastery of São Vicente de Fora. He would be quite old by this time, since his song against one of the “traitor” alcaides during the Portuguese civil war (1245-1247), shows him in full activity already by that time. That same composition equally shows us that, just like Dom Gil Martins, head of the Riba de Vizela lineage and a staunch supporter of King Sancho II, Afonso Mendes de Besteiros was at the defeated king’s side in the conflict that led to his deposition, and may have accompanied him in his exile in Toledo (1248). Being that the context or not, what seems certain is that he frequented the Castilian court, as it may be inferred from a satire against a knight on the run from the Andalucian battlefields. Beyond his songs and the mentioned documents there aren’t, however, up to this moment, any other indications that would allow us to clarify his biography.


References

1 Oliveira, António Resende de (1994), Depois do espectáculo trovadoresco. A estrutura dos cancioneiros peninsulares e as recolhas dos séculos XIII e XIV, Lisboa, Edições Colibri, p. 309.

2 Pizarro, José Augusto (1999), Linhagens medievais portuguesas: genealogias e estratégias 1279-1325, vol. I, Porto, Centro de Estudos de Genealogia, Heráldica e História da Família da Universidade Moderna, p. 548, nota 80.
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Amigos, nunca mereceu
Cantiga de Amor

Cativ'! E sempre cuidarei?
Cantiga de Amor

Coitado vivo, há mui gram sazom
Cantiga de Amor

Dom Foão, que eu sei que há preço de livão
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Fals'amigo, per bõa fé
Cantiga de Amigo

Já lhi nunca pediram
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Mia madre, venho-vos rogar
Cantiga de Amigo

O arrais de Roi Garcia
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Oimais nom há rem que mi gradecer
Cantiga de Amor

Oimais quer'eu punhar de me partir
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Per bõa fé, nom sabem nulha rem
Cantiga de Amor

Que sem meu grado me parti
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Senhor fremosa, mais de quantas som
Cantiga de Amor

Senhor fremosa, vejo-me morrer
Cantiga de Amor