El Cid Campeador - National Hero of Spain

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Reconquista on the Iberian Peninsula lasted more than 7 centuries. It was a time of glorious victories and bitter defeats, insidious betrayals and heroic devotion. The struggle of Christians against the Moors gave Spain one of its most famous national heroes, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivara, who was nicknamed El Cid Campeador.

El Cid Campeador - National Hero of Spain




The internecine war

The legendary "Song of my Side" states that the future hero of Castile, and then of all of Spain, came from a noble family. According to one of the versions, his ancestor held a high post of judge. The fact is that in Castile there was a long tradition - all disputed moments in the life of citizens were decided by two judges. Accordingly, only a noble and respected person could take such a position. Father de Vivara, Diego Laínez, devoted all his life to guarding the borders of Castile and Navara from the raids of the Moors.
Due to his high social status, Rodrigo was entrusted to the Castilian court and was educated at the monastery of San Pedro de Cardena. After the death of his father, Fernando I was brought up at the court, and his best friend was the king’s eldest son, Sancho. In the monastery Rodrigo taught to read and write. And the latter is proved, since the signature of El Cid has been preserved.

In the 1065 year, when the king of Castile Ferdinand I died, the kingdom was in the depths of civil war. The fact is that Ferdinand I divided the vast lands between three sons. Castile itself went to the eldest - Sancho, Leon went to the middle one - Alfonso. Well, the youngest, Garcia, got into their possession Galicia.

In the conflict that broke out, success was accompanied by Sancho II. It was on this king’s side that Rodrigo fought. He gained fame thanks to his courage and heroism during numerous battles. In one of them, El Cid did not just defeat the army of the enemy, but also captured King Alfonso. Thanks to this, Sancho II managed to take control of land belonging to a relative. According to one version, it was for this feat Rodrigo was nicknamed Kampeador. This word can be translated as “knight”, “great warrior”.

But the standoff did not end there. In 1072, Sancho II led his troops to the city of Zamora, in which his sister, Urrac, hid. She helped Alfonso escape from captivity and take refuge with Emir Mamun in Toledo. Of course, Sancho considered this a betrayal and decided to deal with an insidious relative. The inhabitants of Zamora were heroically holding their defenses, although the forces remained less and less. And when it seemed that the city was about to fall, Sancho II was killed. He was killed by scout Velido Alfonso, who played the role of defector and was able to thus penetrate the camp of the King of Castile and Leon. After the death of Sancho, Alfonso VI ascended to the throne.

Standoff with Alfonso

Becoming a full ruler of vast lands, Alfonso VI behaved wisely. First of all reconciled with Rodrigo. He did not want to find a natural enemy in the face of such a famous and respected warrior. True, according to one of the legends, El Sid demanded that the newly made king swear that he was not involved in the murder of his brother. This episode first surfaced in the middle of the 30 of the 13 of the 20th century. However, many historians consider it an author’s fiction, since no documents confirming the oath have been preserved.

By and large, true or not - it does not matter. Most importantly, Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar became the head of the whole army of Castile. And then he married a relative of King Jimene Diaz.

In those turbulent times, the rulers of fragmented Spain did not stop internecine wars. Moreover, for the sake of victory or financial gain, they did not disdain even to conclude short-term alliances with the main enemies - the Moors. It was because of such a skirmish that El Cid suffered. Joining together with the emir of Seville, Al Mutamid, who, by the way, was an ally of Castile, he joined an “open field” with the army of Abdullah, the ruler of Granada. That fight ended in victory for Rodrigo and Al Mutmida. But the joy of victory spoiled one fact. It turned out that Count García Ordóñez, under the patronage of Alfonso VI, was discovered in the army of Abdullah. This graph was captured by Rodrigo. And after that, El Cid still devastated the land of Toledo, which was also under the protectorate of the King of Castile.

I must say, Alfonso VI was rather cold about a successful commander. The wisdom shown at the beginning gave way to envy and fear of losing the throne. After all, El Cid was very popular in the army and among the people. Therefore, the capture of Ordóñez and the raid on Toledo Alfonso used with the maximum benefit for themselves. El Cid fell into disgrace and was forced to leave Castile in 1080.

Turning out to be unnecessary to Alfonso, Rodrigo began an active search for a new equally powerful and influential patron. First of all, he offered help in the fight against the Moors to the counts of Barcelona. But for some reason they refused to El Cid. And then Rodrigo went over to the camp of the enemies - he rose “under the gun” to the emirs of Zaragoza.

At the time, it was not considered out of the ordinary. The usual common practice among Christian warriors who could not find a master of similar faith. The emirs went to the service because of the acute shortage of means of livelihood or because of persecutions at home. The Moors, in turn, sought to lure the Christian warriors, because they differed discipline and training. In addition, they had no relatives or any influential friends among Muslims. So, in the undercover intrigue, they did not climb. It turned out mutually beneficial cooperation in the context of the ongoing war for the liberation of the Iberian Peninsula from Muslims.

While in the service of the Saragossky Emir, El Cid joined the fight against Barcelona. And in several battles he managed to defeat the graphs, who not so long ago refused him patronage.

In 1086, the Christians had a new enemy - at the invitation of the emirs of Seville, Granada and Badajoz, the Almoravid troops invaded Morocco from Andalusia. In one of the biggest battles of all time Reconquista - the battle of Zallak - Spanish Christians suffered a crushing defeat. King Alfonso VI himself miraculously escaped from the battlefield.

According to one of the versions, El Cid Kampeador took part in that battle. And although the battle was lost, he managed to regain the position of the king of Castile and returned to his homeland.

Just a year later, El Cid again went on the warpath. This time the conflict broke out over Valencia. Against Rodrigo spoke his old opponent - Ramon Berenguer, Count of Barcelona, ​​who supports the emirs. I must say, Kampeador himself also spoke on the side of the Muslims. In the battles for Valencia, El Cid was stronger, and the city passed under the protectorate of Alfonso VI. The King of Castile valued and hated Rodrigo at the same time. Therefore, when he refused to support Alfonso in the raid on the Moors, the governor again banished Campeador.

Per se

After another undeserved disgrace, according to El Cid, he began to work exclusively for himself. Using enormous prestige, Campeador managed to conquer the lands of Valencia, having gained recognition from his emirs. Then once again defeated the army of Ramon Berenger and managed to capture him. For the release of Rodrigo demanded from the enemy once and for all abandon claims to the land of Valencia. The count had to agree.

In 1094, El Cid was able to subdue the city itself. The Almoravids tried several times to discourage Valencia, but all their attempts failed.

El Cid, as befits a real hero, did not die in his own bed. According to legend, before the battle with the Moors it was wounded by a poisoned arrow. Feeling the approach of death, Rodrigo ordered his wife to dress him in armor and put him on a horse so that the enemy would not suspect anything. Jimena fulfilled the wish of her husband. The Moors most likely knew that El Cid was mortally wounded, so his appearance caused fear in them, and they fled. So, at least, it is written in the legends.
But when the news of the death of Rodrigo spread throughout Spain, the Moors began to try to conquer Valencia with redoubled force. Jimena, as she could, defended the city. But a few years later, when the forces were exhausted, she asked for protection from Alfonso VI. The King of Castile did not bother with the Moors, but simply suggested that Christian residents leave the city. And soon Valencia was occupied by Muslims.

El Cid and his family are buried in the monastery of Burgos. An epitaph composed by Menedes Pidal is stamped on the tomb: “Here lie Rodrigo Dias, Kampeador, who died in Valencia on 1099, and his wife Jimena, daughter of Count Diego de Oviedo, of royal family. They all achieved honor and were born in good time. ”

National hero

Due to the character and great number of victories, El Cid was considered to be the true embodiment of the Castilian spirit even during his lifetime. Therefore, he gained immortality as the national hero of Spain in traditions and songs-romancero. For example, “Song of My Side”, composed from the end of 12 to the beginning of 13 centuries. She is considered a model of the Spanish medieval epos.

After several centuries, the hero was remembered by the writer Guillen de Castro, who composed the plays “Youth of Sid”. Then this idea was picked up and developed by the playwright Pierre Corneille in the poetic play Sid. And if the creation of de Castro was, in fact, parochial, nobody knew about him outside of Spain, then the Frenchman brought Rodrigo world fame. According to the play, the composer Massenet composed the opera. And at the beginning of the 19 century, Kampeadore was remembered by the poet Robert Southey from England, who wrote the Chronicle of Sid. The filmmaker didn’t get around this topic either - the Hollywood film “El Cid” appeared in 1961, and in 2003 the Spaniards created a cartoon called “The Legend of Side”.

Rodrigo's Blade

“The song about my Side” glorified not only the brave Rodrigo. His swords, Tysona and Colada, became famous too. And, very importantly, both of these swords have survived to the present day. One of them is definitely a contemporary of Campeador. This was confirmed by chemical analysis.

According to some historians, after the death of El Cid, his blade was among the ancestors of the future King Ferdinand II of Aragon. That, in turn, at the beginning of the 16-th century presented weapon Marquis de Falces as a sign of gratitude for the dedicated service. As the legend says, the king allowed de Falces to choose what he wanted. And the Marquis took the legendary blade instead of money or a castle.

In 2007, the owner of the sword sold it to the region of Castile and Leon. After that, the weapon settled in the Cathedral of Burgos, where El Cid himself is intoxicated.

It is curious that at one time it was rumored that Tysona was a fake. An examination was carried out. She showed that the hilt of the sword was made in the 16 century, but the blade itself dates from the 11 century. But El Cid’s second sword, Colada, did not belong to the national hero of Spain. He was forged in the 13 century.
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  1. +6
    28 September 2017 07: 35
    In the History Reading for 6 grades, an excerpt from the Song of Side was published .. A collection was published in which there was a Song of Side, a Song of Roland, A Word about Igor's regiment .. but it was in Soviet times .. it’s a pity they don’t publish now like ...
    1. +3
      28 September 2017 12: 06
      Quote: parusnik
      but it was in Soviet times .. it’s a pity they don’t publish anything like that now ...

      Previously, they often showed the American film "El Cid", in excellent translation ... in childhood it was interesting to watch.
    2. +1
      28 September 2017 20: 24
      Quote: parusnik
      ...... sorry now do not publish this ...

      My grandmother left me a 200th hundredth volume of World Literature. Among them, there are.
  2. +19
    28 September 2017 08: 16
    A unique phenomenon is the Reconquista (conquering from the Arab invaders - usually, after all, everything happened the other way around). In Spain and Crete, such a miracle happened.
    El Cid is a real ascetic.
    Important and necessary topic, thanks to the author
  3. +1
    28 September 2017 08: 20
    Looking at today's Spain, Rodrigo spins in the grave with a propeller.
  4. +2
    28 September 2017 12: 07
    First of all, he offered help in countering the Moors to the counts of Barcelona. But they for some reason refused El Sid. And then Rodrigo went over to the camp of enemies - stood "under the gun" to the emirs of Zaragoza.
    Everything is interesting ... that’s the question, and would the current Barcelona authorities refuse such a defender now?
  5. +1
    28 September 2017 19: 39
    Quote: svp67
    Quote: parusnik
    but it was in Soviet times .. it’s a pity they don’t publish anything like that now ...

    Previously, they often showed the American film "El Cid", in excellent translation ... in childhood it was interesting to watch.

    I didn’t have to watch it, I’ll look in YouTube. Hollywood HAD BEAUTIFUL films for children, I mean CLASSIC Hollywood
  6. +1
    28 September 2017 21: 55
    That's what great PR means! Sil worked mainly as himself, his beloved - but his rival Garcia Ordonez worked all his life for the good of his homeland - and he entered the epic only as an enemy of Sid! But only the heroic death of Ordonez is worth a separate epic poem!
  7. 0
    2 January 2018 19: 40
    Any Alfonso will deceive a real knight. Of course, after death only the memory will remain of the great man and the knight. BUT, unfortunately, with every hidalgo, like a clinging rag at a spur, next to it there will always be a memory of the stink of Alfonso.

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