El Cid

Spanish - A Spanish hero. Son of Diego Laynez. Husband of Ximena. Father of Elvira and Sul. When Gomez insulted his father, El Cid killed him. He then went to the court of King Ferdinand but his manner was so haughty that the king banished him. He raised a force of warriors and went off to fight the Moors and, in the first encounter, took five Moorish kings prisoner, forcing them to pay a tribute and foreswear hostilities as the price of their release. In this fight he won the sword Tizona. Soon after, he married Ximena, daughter of Gomez, the man he had killed, and the king gave them four cities as a wedding gift. He was said to have seen a vision of St Lazarus and gave money for the establishment of a leper-house. Ferdinand was in dispute with Ramiro of Aragon and appointed El Cid as his champion to meet Martin Gonzalez in combat to settle the matter. In a later battle with the Moors, it was said that his army was led by St James riding a white horse. He was appointed as champion of Ferdinand to fight the Pope's champion when Ferdinand refused to submit to the Pope's authority, and was again victorious. served his son, Sancho. One of the sons, Garcia, seized the city of Zamora which had been given to his sister, Urraca, and she sought help from Sancho who sent an army under El Cid to her aid. Both El Cid and Garcia were captured by their opponents but El Cid broke his bonds and escaped, charging into the opposing forces and capturing Alfonso who was helping his brother Garcia. Sancho then took over the realms of both Garcia and Alfonso. seized Toro from their sister Elvira and laid siege to Zamora. When El Cid failed to persuade Urraca to surrender, Sancho dismissed him but soon called him back to his service. Sancho was killed during the siege and the throne passed to Alfonso who dismissed El Cid from his service. He went into exile with a small band of followers and waged war against the Moors, capturing two of their strongholds and winning another marvellous sword, Colada. His successes restored him to favour with Alfonso but they quarrelled again and El Cid took his followers to attack Castile, leaving the siege of Toledo, on which he had been engaged, to Alfonso. When Alimaymon died, the city of Toledo passed to his son, Yahia, and he broke the siege during El Cid's absence in Castile, whereupon Alfonso recalled El Cid who soon completed the capture of the city. El Cid then became ruler of Valencia where he settled with his wife and daughters. When his daughters were ill-treated by the Counts of Carrion whom they had married, El Cid demanded redress and appointed three knights to meet the two counts and their uncle in single combat. The girls later married princes from Navarre and Aragon.Valencia was attacked by the Moors but El Cid drove them off. They returned some years later, under the leadership of Bucar, the king of Morocco, and El Cid prepared for further battles. He saw a vision of St Peter who told him he would die within thirty days but would defeat his enemies. On the thirtieth day, El Cid died and, in accordance with his instructions, his embalmed body, flourishing the sword Tizona, was strapped into the saddle of his horse, Babieca, and his men emerged from the city with El Cid in the van, driving off the Moors in terror. His body was seated in state for ten years before it was buried. Referred to as El Cid, Cid, Cid, El Campeador, El Campeador, Mio Cid, Mio Cid, (El) Campeador, (El) Campeador, Rodrigo Bivar, Rodrigo Bivar, Rodrigo Diaz, Rodrigo Diaz, Ruy Diaz, Rodrigo Vivar or Rodrigo Vivar.

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