Rodrigo DAsaz, the legendary warrior-knight of eleventh-century Castile known as El Cid, is still honored in Spain as a national hero for liberating the fatherland from the occupying Moors. Yet, as this book reveals, there are many contradictions between eleventh-century reality and the mythology that developed later. By placing El Cid in a fresh, historical context, Fletcher shows us an adventurous soldier of fortune who was of a type, one of a number of qcids, q or qbosses, q who flourished in eleventh-century Spain. But the El Cid of legend--the national hero--was unique in stature even in his lifetime. Before his death El Cid was already celebrated in a poem; posthumously he was immortalized in the great epic Poema de MAso Cid. When he died in Valencia in 1099, he was ruler of an independent principality he had carved for himself in Eastern Spain. Rather than the zealous Christian leader many believe him to have been, Rodrigo emerges in Fletcher's study as a mercenary equally at home in the feudal kingdoms of northern Spain and the exotic Moorish lands of the south, selling his martial skills to Christian and Muslim alike. Indeed, his very title derives from the Arabic word sayyid, meaning 'lord' or 'master.' And as there was little if any sense of Spanish nationhood in the eleventh century, he can hardly be credited for uniting a medieval Spanish nation. This ground-breaking inquiry into the life and times of El Cid disentangles fact from myth to create a striking portrait of an extraordinary man, clearly showing how and why legend transformed him into something he was not during his lifetime.--From publisher description.Yet, as this book reveals, there are many contradictions between eleventh-century reality and the mythology that developed later.
|Title||:||The Quest for El Cid|
|Author||:||Richard A. Fletcher|
|Publisher||:||Oxford University Press, USA - 1991|