El Cid Campeador is a nickname that haslots of symbols. El Cid means “the Lord”, or“Master”, and Campeador’s meaning is “the Champion”, an honorable title rarely given to a man during his lifetime. His real name is Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar.He was a Castilian nobleman, military leader, and diplomat. Some of his the most popular achievements are the capture of Valencia and participating in Reconquista. It’s worth saying that he became a main hero for many works of literature.
The most rich source with the facts of his lifeis an epic poem “Cantar de mio Cid” writtenby the unknown author. This work has lots ofre-written versions but the content doesn’tchange a lot. It’s better to add that some specialistscompare “Cantar de mio Cid” with the mostpopular Medieval poem “La Chanson deRoland” (The song about Roland).
Modern Spanish translation (a piece from first song): De los sos ojos tan fuertemientre llorandotornava la cabeça e estávalos catando,vio puertas abiertas e uços sin cañados,alcándaras vazías, sin pielles e sin mantose sin falcones e sin adtores mudados.Sospiró mio Çid, ca mucho avié grandes cuidados,fabló mio Çid bien e tan mesurado,-Grado a ti, Señor, Padre que estás en alto,esto me an buelto mios enemigos malos.-Allí piensan de aguijar, allí sueltan las riendas,a la exida de Bivar ovieron la corneja diestrae entrando a Burgos oviéronla siniestra.Meçió mio Çid los ombros e engrameó la tiesta,-¡Albriçia, Álbar Fáñez, ca echados somos de tierra!-
English translation (a piece from first song):He turned and looked upon them, and he wept very soreAs he saw the yawning gateway and the hasps wrenched off the door,And the pegs whereon no mantle nor coat of vair there hung.There perched no moulting goshawk, and there no falc on swung.My lord the Cid sighed deeply such grief was in his heartAnd he spake well and wisely: "Oh Thou, in Heaven that artOur Father and our Master, now I give thanks to Thee.Of their wickedness my foemen have done this thing to me."Then they shook out the bridle rein further to ride afar.They had the crow on their right hand as they issued from Bivar;And as they entered Burgos upon their left it sped.And the Cid shrugged his shoulders, and theCid shook his head:“Good tidings Alvar FanezWe are banished from our weal,But on a day with honor shall we come unto Castile."
Birthing & his family:El Cid was born in1043 AD in Vivar, also known as Castillona de Bivar, asmall town about six miles north of Burgos, the capital of Castile. His father,Diego Laínez, was a courtier, bureaucrat, and cavalryman who had fought inseveral battles. Despite the fact that El Cids mothers family was aristocratic,in later years the peasants would consider him one of their own. These factsabout relationship between him and lower orders are important because hebecame a national hero not only thanks to his victories and courage but also tohis character, kindness, generosity and magnanimity. Court: Born a member of the minor nobility, Díaz was brought up at the court of Ferdinand I in the household of the kings eldest son, Sancho. When Sancho succeeded Ferdinand as King Sancho II in 1065, he appointed El Cid as commander of the royal troops and standard-bearer. In 1067 Sancho made war on his brother Alfonso, who had inherited Leon, and the Cid played an important part in the successful campaigns of his king. King Sancho was murdered in 1072, and his younger brother, Alfonso, came to the throne. As it was widely suspected that Alfonso was responsible for Sancho’s death, El Cid became regarded as a natural leader to those Castilians who werent particularly happy about being governed by a king of Leon, because he was loyal to his old friend Sancho. Some years later Rodrigo was exiled from the king’s court and he left it.But approximately 300 others knights went with him denying all their titles and property.
Service under Sancho:As a young man in 1057, Rodrigo fought against theMoorish stronghold of Zaragoza, making its emir al-Muqtadir a vassal of Sancho. In the spring of 1063,Rodrigo fought in the Battle of Graus where he killed Ramiro I of Aragon (knight who was the leader ofthe enemy’s army) in single combat, after which hereceived the honorific title Campeador. Service under Moorishes:After exile he visited several Spanish citiesproposing service bur all of them refused to takehim. In 1081, El Cid, went on to offer his services tothe Moorish king of the city of Zaragoza, Yusuf al-Mutaman ibn Hud, and served both him and hissuccessor, Al-Mustain II. He was given the title ElCid (The Master) and served as a leading figure ina vibrant Moorish force consisting of Muladis,Berbers, Arabs and Malians.
F ight against the compatriots:El Cid was victorious in battles against the Moorish king of Lérida and hisChristian allies, as well as against a large Christian army under King SanchoRamírez of Aragon. Returning from the exile: In 1086, Alfonso was defeated by Almoravids from North Africa. As time proved, King Alfonso was simply not capable of defeating the Muslim general Yusuf. There was only one man who could defeat him, and that man was the Cid. Alfonso overcame his antagonism to the Cid long enough to recall him from exile. El Cid was at court on July 1087; however, what happened after that is unclear. El Cid returned to Alfonso, but now he had his own plans. He only stayed a short while and then returned to Saragossa. El Cid was content to let the Almoravid armies and the armies of Alfonso fight without his help, even when there was a chance that the armies of Almoravid might defeat Alfonso and take over all of Alfonsos lands. The reason El Cid did not want to fight was because he was hoping that both armies would become weak. That would make it easier for him to carry out his own plan which was to become ruler of the Kingdom of Valencia.
El Cid, with a combined Christian and Moorish army, began maneuvering in order to create his own fiefdom in the Moorish Mediterrenean coastal city of Valencia. Several obstacles lay in his way. First was Berenguer Ramón II, who ruled nearby Barcelona. In May 1090, El Cid defeated and captured Berenguer in the Battle of Tébar. Berenguer was later released and his nephew Ramón Berenguer III married El Cids youngest daughter Maria to ward against future conflicts. Along the way to Valencia, El Cid also conquered other towns, many of which were near Valencia, such as Castejón and Alucidia. El Cid gradually came to have more influence on Valencia, then ruled by al-Qadir. In October 1092 an uprising occurred in Valencia inspired by the citys chief judge Ibn Jahhaf and the Almoravids. El Cid began a siege of Valencia. A December 1093 attempt to break the siege failed. By the time the siege ended in May 1094, El Cid had carved out his own principality on the coast of the Mediterranean. Officially El Cid ruled in the name of Alfonso; in reality, El Cid was fully independent. The city was both Christian and Muslim, and both Moors and Christians served in the army and
In 11th century Spain, a famous order of monks, the Carthusians, were known for their horses. A young boy named Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar was brought up near the Carthusian monastery around Burgos. His godfather, a monk known as Pedro El Grande because of his large size, looked after the boy much as a father would and counseled him in matters both religious and practical. When the young Rodrigo came of age, his godfather granted him the pick of a herd of beautiful Andalusian horses. The boy could not wait to enter the corral and make his choice. After looking for a while, his eyes fell upon a white foal who, for some reason, stole his heart. The priest was astonished and disappointed and calledthe boy to task for choosing such a frail and poorly formed figure of a horse. Rodrigo defended his choiceand named him Babieca, my stupid one, the name that had been shouted at him for being, in the eyes of his godfather, such a poor judge of horses. Babieca became an imposing white standard of the Andalusian race, obedient and nimble; noble and of generous spirit. He soon grew into a formidable charger, a frightening machine of war. He carried his master courageously into all battles for thirty years, each time towards victory. After the death of El Cid, Babieca was never mounted again and died two years later at the incredible age of forty. His master had asked that his wife and famous steed be buried with him at the Monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña. But unfortunately their remains were removed after the Peninsular Wars and taken to the cathedral in Burgos where they were finally interred and where they currently rest today.
A hero needed a wife and El Cid was married in either in 1074 or 1075 to Doña Ximena of Oviedo, who was Alfonsos kinswoman. El Cid and Ximena had three children. Their two daughters Cristina and María both married high nobility; Cristina to Ramiro, Lord of Monzón, grandson of García Sánchez III of Navarre and María, first to a prince of Aragon and second to Ramón Berenguer III, count of Barcelona. El Cid’s son Diego Rodríguez was tragically killed while fighting against the invading Muslim Almoravids from North Africa at the Battle of Consuegra in 1097. After his death Ximena ruled in his place for three years until the Almoravids once again besieged the city. Unable to hold it, she abandoned the city and organised the evacuation of the Christians. King Alfonso ordered the city to be destroyed to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Almoravids and what was left of Valencia was captured by Masdali.
The Tizona is a legendary sword of El Cid that has a rich history. Legend says El Cid snatched the Tizona from King Búcar, a defeated Moorish opponent during a fight. Some time after his death it passed on to the grandfather of Ferdinand II of Aragon, known as the Catholic, and the king who finally defeated the Moors. La Tizona is a solid, seventy-fiveEl Cid also had asword with a black centimetre long sword called Colada, which wasn’t arather pleasant thing but rather a lethal killing weapon. La handle and has become as importantTizona was a heritage as King Arthur’s Colada was longer to Spanish one-handed sword but thein length and was a two-handed blade. Excalibur in England.
Following in the footsteps of El Cid Campeador The Way of El Cid is a journey through locations linked to the legendary horseman Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, El Cid Campeadors life. The famous 12th- century Spanish poem “Cantar de mio Cid” will be a guide for this trip. Following the trail set out in the book, you may head through the lands of Castile-León, Castile-La Mancha, Aragón and Valencia. The route of El Cid runs from Vivar del Cid (Burgos), the popular knights birthplace, to Orihuela (Alicante), a territory won from the Moors by El Cid.
Movie “El Cid” If you start being interested in El Cid’s life you may watch the film “El Cid”. It was shot in 1961 by the American editor Anthony Mann. The cast is really great: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone, Geneviève Page etc… This film
Firstly it should be said that after ElCid’ s death Ximena fled north with hisbody to Burgos where he wasoriginally buried in the monastery ofSan Pedro de Cardeña but his bodynow lies at the centre of the BurgosCathedral. El Cid had asked that his wife and famoussteed be buried with him at the Monastery ofSan Pedro de Cardeña. But unfortunately theirremains were removed after the PeninsularWars and taken to the cathedral in Burgoswhere they were finally interred and where theycurrently rest today.There also different monuments among theSpain: in Sevilla, Burgos and some others.
Links, where you can find much more information about El Cid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodrigo_Diaz_de_Vivar http://www.laits.utexas.edu/cid/main/folio.php?f=01r& v=nor http://omacl.org/Cid/cantarI.html http://historymedren.about.com/od/elcid/a/bio_el_cid.htm http://www.roman-catholic-saints.com/el-cid.html http://www.artbycrane.com/thesupremewarhorseofspain.html http://anotherbagmoretravel.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/el-cid-and-his-wife- ximena/ http://anotherbagmoretravel.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/el-cid-and-la-tizona/ http://www.spainisculture.com/en/rutas_culturales/grandes- rutas/camino_del_cid.html
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