His father, Diego Laínez, was a nobleman who died during a battle. El Cid became an orphan at the age of seven. He went to the court of King Fernando in order to be educated as a knight. Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar was born in 1043. In those days the king of Castile and Leon was Fernando I, who was constantly fighting against the Taifa KingDoms. CHILDHOOD
El Cid started his education as a knight. He spent his childhood with the sons of King Fernando I. One of his best friends was the oldest son of Fernando: Sancho. Both children were excellent fighters. In the King’s Court
When Fernando died he divided all his territories among his heirs and heiresses. This was the beginning of fights and battles between brothers and sisters. El Cid was at the service of Sancho and he helped him to fight against the Muslim kingdoms. When Sancho was besieging the city of Zamora, where his brother Alfonso had taken refuge, he was attacked and died. The Death of King Fernando I
The oath of Santa Gadea The new king was Alfonso VI, and El Cid was now at his service. All the knights thought that Alfonso VI was responsible for the murder of Sancho II, but no one dared to tell him. Only El Cid asked Alfonso to swear on the Bible that he didn’t take part in this murder. Alfonso VI swore that he was innocent.
Later El Cid married Doña Jimena, who was an important noblewoman, as she was a relative of King Alfonso VI. El Cid continued fighting for Alfonso VI and conquered new territories for him. He also collected more “parias” for his king.
THE FIRST EXILE OF EL CID Du ring the year 1080, El Cid attacked the Taifa of Toledo, which was an ally of King Alfonso VI. The king was very angry and sent El Cid to his first exile. El Cid left his wife and children and left the kingdom with his army. He started to work as a mercenary. He worked for Christian Kings, but also for Muslim Kings.
Alfonso forgave el Cid and asked him to come back. But El Cid arrived late to a battle and the king thought that he had done this on purpose. So he sent El Cid to his second Exile. El Cid never came back to Leon and Castile, but he conquered the kingdom of Valencia in 1093 and became its king. When he died in 1099, his wife became the Queen of Valencia. Valencia was conquered by the Muslims in 1102. THE END OF THE FIRST EXILE