Toda of Pamplona

Queen consort of Pamplona
Tenure 905 - 925
Died 958
Burial Monastery of San Millán de Suso
Spouse Sancho I
Father Aznar Sánchez of Larraun
Mother Onneca Fortúnez

Toda Aznárez (Basque: Tota Aznar; 876 – 958), known as Toda of Pamplona, was Queen consort of Pamplona by her marriage with Sancho I of Pamplona. She was daughter of the Earl Aznar Sánchez of Larraun and Onneca Fortúnez, and sister of Sancha Aznárez, who was married to Jimeno Garcés of Pamplona. Toda was the granddaughter of Fortún Garcés of Pamplona.


She was the daughter of Aznar Sánchez, lord of Larraun, paternal grandson of king García Íñiguez of Pamplona, while her mother Onneca Fortúnez was a daughter of king Fortún Garcés. Thus, Toda's children were also descendants of the Arista dynasty of Navarrese monarchs. She was sister of Sancha Aznárez, wife of king Jimeno Garcés, her husband's brother and successor, while Toda and Sancha were also aunts of Caliph Abd-ar-Rahman III, through their mother's first marriage to ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad.

With the death of her brother-in-law Jimeno in 931, she became regent and guardian for her young son, García Sánchez I. In 934 Toda signed a treaty pledging allegiance to her nephew Abd-ar-Rahman III, and released hostages of the Banu Di n-Nun clan, the caliph confirming the rule of her son García (this has sometimes been interpreted as an act of the Caliph to liberate García from his mother's direct control). This led to the rebellion in Falces by a count Fortún Garcés, an "irascible man who hated Muslims", the uprising being suppressed with Cordoban arms. Toda violated her treaty in 937, forcing a punitive campaign.

During several stretches she appears in the royal charters of the kingdom to the exclusion of her daughter-in-law, the queen, from 947 to 955, and again in 959. In 958 she was ruling her own subkingdom, in the area of Degio and Lizarra, towns not otherwise identified.[1]

The same year, she took an interest in the health of her Leonese grandson Sancho I, whose obesity was largely responsible for his dethronement.[2][3] Toda requested the assistance of Abd-ar-Rahman III, the Caliphate of Córdoba being renowned for its physicians. The caliph sent her his Jewish physician Hasdai ibn Shaprut, who promised to cure Sancho on condition that Toda visit the city of Córdoba.[4] Therefore, Toda, her son García Sánchez I of Pamplona and grandson Sancho I of León, nobles and clergymen arrived in Córdoba, where they were received with full honors and amid much pomp.[5][6][7] The arrival of this Christian queen in the capital of an Islamic caliphate enhanced Abd-ar-Rahman III's prestige among his subjects,[8] and is considered a landmark in the history of medieval diplomacy.[9] Sancho's medical treatment was successful, and he was "relieved from his excessive corpulence."[10][11]

She had been an energetic diplomat, arranging political marriages for her daughters among the competing royalty and nobility of Christian Iberia. She died in 958

Marriage and children

Toda was married to Sancho I of Pamplona, with whom she had the following children:



  1. Roger Collins, "Queens-Dowager and Queens-Regnant in Tenth-Century León and Navarre", in John Carmi Parsons, Medieval Queenship, 1998, pp. 79-92.
  2. Cantera Burgos 1966, p. 363
  3. Hajji 1970, p. 74
  4. Nykl 1974, pp. 6–7
  5. Cantera Burgos 1966, p. 363
  6. Vallvé Bermejo 1992, p. 177
  7. Hajji 1970, p. 75
  8. Guichard 2008, p. 101
  9. Azizur Rahman 2001, p. 147
  10. Hajji 1970, p. 76
  11. Jayyusi 1992, p. 37
  12. Salas Merino, Vicente (2008). La Genealogía de Los Reyes de España [The Genealogy of the Kings of Spain] (in Spanish) (4th ed.). Madrid: Editorial Visión Libros. p. 216. ISBN 978-84-9821-767-4.
Royal titles
Preceded by
Queen consort of Pamplona
Succeeded by
Sancha Aznárez
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