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Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, El Cid, The Spanish, El Cid and the Reconquista--single mounted figure with banner
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Item Number: CID-01

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, "El Cid"

EL CID AND THE RECONQUISTA

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, was born near Burgos around 1043CE, and was the son of a minor Castilian noble.  He became a Castilian knight and warlord in medieval Spain.  The Moors called him EL CID, which meant the Lord, and the Christians called him EL CAMPEADOR, which means “The Champion”, in modern Spanish, but can also be translated as “The Master Of The Battlefield”.

Vivar became well known for his service in the armies of both Christian and Muslim rulers, and is probably one of the most famous warriors of the middle Ages.

Unlike the shadowy Arthur of Britain, Spain’s national hero has left us with a written history of his exploits, and even his signiture as proof that this great warrior once existed.  After his death, El Cid became Spain’s celebrated national hero and the protagonist of the most significant medieval Spanish epic poem, “El Cantar de Mio Cid”.

The Spanish Warlord is probably best known as a slayer of Moors immortalised in the 1961 movie, especially by the compelling final image of Charlton Heston riding through hordes of black clad Almoravids outside the walls of Valencia.

 

THE SPANISH

The age in which El Cid lived has since been termed the “Reconquista”, or Christian reconquest of Spain from the Moors, and was one of the most colourful periods in military history.  The armies are spectacular and varied, ranging from the noble Christian Knights to the Muslim Andalusians, through to the religious zeal of the African invaders, the Almoravids and Almohads.  Although the period is often portrayed as a simple war of religion, it was in fact a great deal more complex, with Muslim commonly fighting Muslim, and Christian fighting Christians, with both sides using allies and mercenaries whenever it suited them.

This period, during the lifetime of El Cid (1040-1100CE), saw the rise of heavy cavalry charges and other northern European influences, especially in the kingdoms of Aragon and Catalonia, which had the strongest links to France.

Released in APRIL 2021.