Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Cid Campeador

Cid Campeador, the title of the Spanish hero Don Rodrigo de Bivar, the historical side of whose character has been almost obscured by the fanciful embellishments heaped upon it by minstrel and troubadour, and most English boys have at some time or other revelled in his exciting history as related by Southey in his Chronicle of the Cid, where poetry and prose are woven into a work of wonderful charm. A Castilian noble, born at Bivar or at Burgos about 1040, he was at 25 the virtual commander of the forces of Sancho II., of Castile. When Sancho was killed at Zamora, the Cid, with the other Castilians, acknowledged the banished Alfonso of Leon - brother of Sancho - as king. Alfonso gave to the Cid his own cousin Ximena in marriage, but could never forgive him for having been formerly his enemy, and in 1081 banished him from the kingdom. He now entered upon the life of a free lance, fighting for his own hand, now for the Christians, and now for the Moors, and finally making himself master of Valencia, where he reigned like a king in the company of his faithful wife. But in 1099 the Almoravides, who had been defeated by him, defeated in their turn one of his lieutenants, and the news is said to have killed the Cid, now toil-worn and battle weary. The heroic Ximena held Valencia for two years, and then carried with her to Burgos the embalmed body of the Cid, which for years was enthroned by the high altar of Cardena. Historically the Cid seems to have been the true type and forerunner of the Spanish guerilla, and the Cid of romance may bear the same relation to him as Sir Walter Scott's Rob Roy to the historical Highland cateran. One of his Moorish enemies writing of him bears witness to his "love of glory, strength of character, and heroic courage."