El Cid Documents from the National Historical Archive of Spain

El Cid Documents from the National Historical Archive of Spain

Spain — ca. 11th century

Knights of the Reconquista: historical documents of the famous Spanish national hero of the 11th century, El Cid

  1. This collection of documents relates the Castilian hero Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (ca. 1043–1099), better known as El Cid

  2. El Cid is considered to be a Spanish national hero and is the main character of numerous novels and films

  3. Ten 11th century documents consisting of originals, copies, and forgeries offer details from the life of El Cid

El Cid Documents from the National Historical Archive of Spain

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
El Cid Documents from the National Historical Archive of Spain

The legendary person of the Castilian hero Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, better known as El Cid was one of the most outstanding figures in the history of 11th century Spain and these documents possess an immediacy unmatched anywhere else. 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. In the documents of the compendium at hand, assembled in the Spanish National Archive, El Cid lives on as a real historical person!

El Cid Documents from the National Historical Archive of Spain

The legendary person of the Castilian hero Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, better known as El Cid was one of the most outstanding figures in the history of 11th century Spain and these documents possess an immediacy unmatched anywhere else. 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. In the documents of the compendium at hand, assembled in the Spanish National Archive, El Cid lives as a real historical person!

Originals, Copies, Forgeries

The letters, documents, and other evidence of the person of El Cid, which are collected in the compendium at hand, were compiled from various public and private archives, and today are united in the Spanish National Archive in Madrid. They are ten documents from the 11th century altogether, consisting of originals, copies, and even forgeries. They offer the opportunity to understand the biography of the legendary El Cid in the greatest detail possible. The phases of his rise and fall in the grace of the royal court can be read here. Entries from medieval cartularies present El Cid as an open-handed benefactor of the church and account for the deep religiosity of the Castilian hero.

In the Service of the Castilian Kings

Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (ca. 1043–1099) is considered to be a Spanish national hero today. The Castilian knight, who was famous as a mercenary captain and warrior in the Reconquista, is famous by his epithet El Cid. This name comes from Arabic and essentially means ‘the Lord’. El Cid, who presumably came from a village near Burgos, had a connection to the Castilian royal court since early childhood. After the death of his father, he was raised under King Ferdinand I of Castile and Leon alongside the son of the king, Sancho. El Cid aspired for a military career and served, among others, as a royal standard bearer under Sancho II of Castile. He additionally attained social advancement through his marriage to Jimena Diaz.

Knight and Lord of Valencia

After Sancho’s death, El Cid stood in the service of his successor, King Alfonso VI of Castile and Leon. He fell into disgrace because of his involvement in military affairs and was banned. Thus he came into the service of the Moorish princes of Saragossa and finally created his own mercenary company. El Cid was able to expand his power through legendary victories. He triumphed in battle against the Almoravid dynasty among others, and thus won the control of Valencia. There the knight ruled totally until his death in 1094.

A Legendary Figure as a Real Life Person

Many legends wrap themselves around the person of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, better known as El Cid. His life and heroic deeds offer rich material for fantastical embellishments. Thus, the Historia Roderici already existed in the 12th century. Additionally known as El Cantar de Mio Cid, the famous Old Spanish epic is transmitted in a magnificent 13th century manuscript. Yet, in spite of the numerous medieval knight’s tales, modern films, and other works, the hero was nonetheless a real person who existed, and who continues to live in this historical documents in the compendium at hand!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Documentos del Cid en el Archivo Histórico Nacional
El Cid: Dokumente aus dem Archivo Histórico Nacional in Spanien
Size / Format
10 documents / Various sizes
Origin
Spain
Date
ca. 11th century
Language
Content
The life and deeds of Castilian hero Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (ca. 1043–1099), better known as El Cid

Available facsimile editions:
El Cid Documents from the National Historical Archive of Spain – Archivo Histórico Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
Millennium Liber – Madrid, 2007
Limited Edition: 995 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Documentos del Cid en el Archivo Histórico Nacional

Millennium Liber – Madrid, 2007

Publisher: Millennium Liber – Madrid, 2007
Limited Edition: 995 copies
Binding: Presented in a black cloth case with the commentary volume
Commentary: 1 volume by Ignacio Panizo Santos
Language: Spanish
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
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