Diniz, Port. Dinis dēnēsh´ [key], 1261–1325, king of Portugal (1279–1325), son and successor of Alfonso III. Like his grandfather, Alfonso X of Castile, whose legal works he had translated into Portuguese, Diniz was a poet and a patron of literature. He founded (1290) at Lisbon the university that was later moved to Coimbra . He also stimulated commerce and industry and encouraged agriculture, giving special favors to nobles who would pursue farming. He is therefore sometimes called o Lavrador [the farmer]. Diniz laid down laws to restrict further acquisitions of land by the church, confiscated the lands of the Templars, and generally worked to increase the royal holdings. The reign was relatively peaceful, though at its beginning the king's brother led several unsuccessful revolts, which involved Diniz in a desultory war with Castile. The last years of his reign were darkened by revolts of his son, later Alfonso IV. All these conflicts were settled by the intervention of Diniz's wife Isabella, better known as St. Elizabeth of Portugal. Diniz is also known in English as Denis or Dionysius.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Spanish and Portuguese History: Biographies