Throughout the first dynasty, the literati at the service of the Portuguese Crown played an increasingly important role in the assertion of royal power. They can be found serving the royal house as officers, representing the Portuguese kings in political and diplomatic acts, and even playing a wide range of other functions in the central administration: legal, medical, economic, administrative, etc. The presence of these elements next to the monarchs was felt since the foundation of the kingdom, but the corollary of this process occurred with the arrival of King Afonso III to the throne of Portugal. Thus, his circle of scholars constitutes an interesting case study to understand the notion of an aulic circle, the light of European values of the thirteenth century. At the same time, illustrates the paradigm of a well-oiled bureaucratic machine in search for a strong political centralization.