El Cid's gallant battle against the Moors: the only surviving manuscript of the greatest hero in Spanish history

Cantar de Mio Cid

Vivar (Spain) — Late-13th century to mid-14th century

Cantar de Mio Cid

Cantar de Mio Cid

Vivar (Spain) — Late-13th century to mid-14th century

  1. Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (ca. 1043-1099), better known as El Cid, was known as the “First Knight of Castile”

  2. Numerous legends have wrapped themselves around the Spanish national hero, including the 12th century tale at hand

  3. Created in 1207 by a certain “Per Abbat”, the only surviving specimen was later incorporated into a 14th century manuscript

Cantar de Mio Cid

Alternative Titles:
  • Poema de Mio Cid
  • Poem of the Cid
  • Gesänge des Mio Cid
Cantar de Mio Cid  – VITR/7/17 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The Castilian warlord Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, better known as El Cid, is the greatest hero in the history of medieval Spain. His nickname El Cid is from Arabic and means “the lord” or “sir”. The “Song of My Cid” was composed sometime in the mid-12th century by an unknown author and has survived to the present in a single 14th century manuscript. Although depicting a real person, the narrative has taken the form of a chivalric epic in the style of the Song of Roland.

Cantar de Mio Cid

Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (ca. 1043-1099), better known as El Cid, is the greatest hero in the history of medieval Spain. He rose in the service of the kings of Castile, founded his own mercenary troop after his ignoble banishment, fought against the Almoravid dynasty, and finally became the ruler of Valencia. Numerous legends and tales have wrapped themselves around the person of El Cid, he is considered to be a Spanish national hero and is the main character of numerous novels and films. The son of a minor nobleman from Castile, he was closely befriended with the late King Sancho II (1036/38-1072), with whom he was raised at the court of King Ferdinand the Great (ca. 1015-1065). Already in his youth, he gained fame as a warrior and was named “First Knight of Castile”.

A Real Hero of Legendary Proportions

The nickname El Cid is from Arabic and means “the lord” or “sir”. The Cantar de Mio Cid, or “Song of My Cid” was composed sometime in the mid-12th century, but the identity of its author remains unknown. The only surviving manuscript of the work was made in 1207 by a certain Per Abbat (Abbot Peter) and later incorporated into a 14th century manuscript. It is the first important literary monument of the Castilian language, one of the highpoints of the medieval epic, and a fundamental work of Spanish literary culture. The work may have originally been recited in public until someone wrote it down. First and foremost the story of an archetypal epic hero who recovers his honor through his prowess as a warrior. It is modelled on the French Song of Roland, elevating this historical hero to the mythic status of the German Siegfried, the Greek Achilles, or the Roman Aeneas.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Poema de Mio Cid
Poem of the Cid
Gesänge des Mio Cid
Date
Late-13th century to mid-14th century
Style
Gothic
Language

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Cantar de Mio Cid “

Poema de Mio Cid
Cantar de Mio Cid  – VITR/7/17 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
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Poema de Mio Cid

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Circulo Cientifico – Madrid, 2008
Limited Edition
800
Commentary
1 volume by Pedro Salinas
Language: Spanish

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