The Poema de Mío Cid (more than likely written approximately 1200) is well-known as Spain’s best epic poem. Whether that is the case is another matter, and also whether all areas of Spain hail him as their hero is open to question.

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Epic poetry in the Western legacy is a narrative in verse that generally recounts the deeds of a hero or heroes identified via the background and widespread destiny of a human being.

Because that common destiny was achieved mainly on the area of fight, the hero commonly achieves heroic stature through his armed forces success. He faces countless challenges and typically undertakes perilous journeys. He suffers adversity, is fearmuch less in the challenge of fatality, and stays resolutely loyal to his cause while overcoming a collection of obstacles.

The epic mirrors a male conquered world where action overrules reflection and also victory is measured in regards to conquest. The hero might be divinely motivated or protected, in which situation the neighborhood may perceive itself through him to be divinely favoured by God.

The hero acquires larger-than-life qualities with generally exaggerated accomplishments and also chronological distance (the action takes place well in the past), characteristics of myth making.

The people he inbehavior is fundamentally aristocratic and what he does shows the values and concerns of the nobility, the ruling elite; it is not the human being of plain people. Consequently, the language is elevated and also sober, and the message uplifting and also ethically edifying.

Although the Cid embodies many kind of of the attributes outlined above, he is –as the following summary suggests, a very various kind of hero: one whose extremely human qualities are as essential as his military occupations.

The Poema de mío Cid is based upon the life of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (ca 1043-1099), a Castilian knight of modest birth. The poem traces the fortunes of the Cid (as he is better recognized, from his Arabic title, definition “lord”) complying with his second exile from Castile, at the command of Alfonso VI, king of León-Castile.


In the Poema, the Cid is additionally frequently addressed or referred to as “Campeador, most likely from the Latin “campi doctus/doctor” “grasp of the (battle)field.”

The factor for the exile is not mentioned, however it can have been had in the opening lines, which are lacking in the text that has actually come dvery own to us. As it stands, the poem opens with the Rodrigo’s tearful leave from his confiscated house in Vivar and also his arrival in nearby Burgos, accompanied by a little retinue of loyal followers. Tright here, no one dares speak to him or sell him refuge for are afraid of contravening the King’s edict, and it is left to a 9-year old girl to define why.

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Page from Cid manumanuscript.

Socially ostracised and also impoverimelted, the Cid must start immediately to fend for himself and his followers.

His initially act is to fill 2 chests through sand, and via the assist of an emissary deceive two money lenders from Burgos right into proceeding him funds with which to buy provisions. He then sets out, taking tearful leave of his wife, Ximena, and also their 2 daughters, whom he leaves under the defense of the abbot of the Benedictine monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña, near Burgos.


From then on it is by the deeds of his sword that the Cid prospers. Successtotally raiding and dominating Moorish villeras and also towns between Burgos and Zaragoza, he quickly becomes famous and his followers rise in number.


Not every one of the Cid’s adversaries are Moors. He additionally deaccomplishments the Christian Count of Barcelona, vv 957-1009)

The booty he wins ensures his survival, and also although out of favour via Alfonso, he nevertheless sends out the king generous parts of his spoils as proof of his loyalty.

The capture of Valencia (vv. 1170-1220) in 1094 marks the high point of the Cid’s product success. Soon after, the king pardons him, retransforms his confiscated property and also allows Ximena and also her daughters to be reunited via him in Valencia. Tright here, the Cid delights in mirroring his family members the city which he has actually won for them. Shortly after, he defends it in their presence versus a powerful Muslim army, demonstrating, as he so aptly puts it, “just how breview is won in these lands.”

In the meantime, the Cid’s success has not passed unnoticed among the better nobility in the court of Alfonso. Two brothers, the Infantes de Carrión (first mentioned in v 1372), members of the Leonese nobility, seeing avenues for enrichment, petition the king for the hands of the Cid’s daughters. The king agrees, yet the Cid, uneasy around the arrangement, accepts only bereason it is the king’s wish, and refuses to give them ameans himself at the marriage ceremony.

The Cid’s unease proves well started. The Infantes shortly show themselves to be cowardly, and vain and avaricious. They hide once a lion gets loose in the Cid’s family (vv. 2281-2307), and are fearful at the news of another Moorish assault on the city (vv. 2317-2337).

Although they execute apparently take part in the battle, no one have the right to remember seeing them in the thick of the action. Aggrieved by feeling themselves the butts of jokes among the Cid’s men, the Infantes look for permission to take their wives to Carrión, ostensibly to display them their residential or commercial property.

The Cid showers them with presents, and also presents the Infantes through his two the majority of priceless swords –Colada and also Tizón– both won in battle. In the middle of a forest, however, the two brothers strip their wives, beat them mercilessly via their belts and also leave them for dead (vv. 2712-2752).

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When the Cid hears the news, he demands justice, reminding the king that it was he who authorised the marital relationship. Alfonso calls a meeting of the Cortes (Parliament) at Toledo where the Infantes are shamed and also discredited, and obliged to return Colada and also Tizón to the Cid. 

A judicial duel, dealt with in the king’s visibility between the Cid’s champions (the Cid has went back to Valencia) and the Infantes, completes the latters’ disgrace. As the culmicountry of the Cid’s success, his daughters are remarried to the heirs to the thrones of Aragón and also Navarre, from which union, the poet concludes, “the majesties of Spain are descendants this day.”

Sources. Blackburn, Paul transl  Poem of the Cid Normale Oklahoma 1966 (1998) Fletcher, Rictough The Quest for El Cid London 1989 Hamilton, Rita & Perry, Janet The Poem of the Cid Manchester: 1975; Penguin 1984. Pclimbed translation, with extremely valuable introduction. Lowney, Chris A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain Oxford 2006 Montaner, Alberto ed Cantar de Mío Cid Barcelona 1993 Smith, Colin Poema de Mío Cid Madrid 1996 Image of manuscript from Wikipedia: Cantar de Mío Cid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantar_de_Mio_Cid A extremely valuable internet website –in both Spanish and English– on matters relating to the Cid deserve to be found at: www.caminodelcid.org Also incredibly valuable, the interactive site: http://www.laits.utexas.edu/cid