The Spanish word for Brotherhood. An association of the principal cities of Castile and Aragon bound by a solemn league for the defense of their liberties in time of trouble. The sovereigns approved this brotherhood as agents for suppressing w the increasing power of the nobles, and without cost to the government. The Hermandad was first established in Aragon in the thirteenth century, and in Castile about thirty years later, while, in 1295, thirty- five cities of Castile and Leon formed a joint confederacy, pledging themselves to take summary vengeance on every robber noble who injured a member of the association. The Santa, or Holy Brotherhood, finally checked so effectually the outrages of the nobles, that Isabella of Castile, in 1496, obtained the sanction of the Cortez to reorganize and extend it over the whole kingdom.
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