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the Cid (El Cid, El Campeador, Rodrigo, or Ruy, Díaz de Vivar)

Born: 1043? AD
Died: 1099 AD.

Nationality: Spanish
Categories: Military Officer


1043 - Born in Vivar, near Burgos, Castile. A Castilian military leader and national hero. His popular name, El Cid (from Spanish Arabic al-s+d, “lord”), dates from his lifetime.

1065 -  When Sancho succeeded to the Castilian throne, he nominated the 22-year-old Cid as his standard-bearer (armiger regis), or commander of the royal troops.

1067 - He accompanied Sancho on a campaign against the important Moorish kingdom of Zaragoza (Saragossa) and played a leading role in the negotiations that made its king, al-Muqtadir, a tributary of the Castilian crown.

1072 - He played a prominent part in Sancho's successful campaigns against Alfonso and so found himself in an awkward situation, when the childless Sancho was killed while besieging Zamora, leaving the dethroned Alfonso as his only possible heir.

1074 - In July, probably at Alfonso's instigation, he married the king's niece Jimena, daughter of the count of Oviedo. He thus became allied by marriage to the ancient royal dynasty of Leon.

1079 - While on a mission to the Moorish king of Sevilla (Seville), he became embroiled with García Ordóñez, who was aiding the king of Granada in an invasion of the kingdom of Sevilla.

1081 - He led an unauthorized military raid into the Moorish kingdom of Toledo, which was under Alfonso's protection, the king exiled the Cid from his kingdoms.

1082 - On behalf of al-Mu¿tamin, he inflicted a decisive defeat on the Moorish king of Lérida and the latter's Christian allies, among them the count of Barcelona.

1084 - He defeated a large Christian army under King Sancho Ramírez of Aragon. He was richly rewarded for these victories by his grateful Muslim masters.

1092-1093 - His moment of destiny came in October when the q + (chief magistrate), Ibn Ja%%f, with Almoravid political support rebelled and killed al-Qdir. The Cid responded by closely besieging the rebel city. The siege lasted for many months; an Almoravid attempt to break it failed miserably.

1099 - He died on July 10th in Valencia. The Cid's body was taken to Castile and reburied in the monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña, near Burgos, where it became the centre of a lively tomb cult.


Page last updated: 2:57pm, 28th Feb '07