An Overview of the Life of a Spanish National Hero
Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, known best as El Cid, is revered as a great national hero of Spain. The name El Cid comes from the Arabic ‘El Seid’ meaning the Lord. Known to his admiring countrymen as ‘campeador’, or champion, he was a Spanish warrior whom later legend made into a hero and the symbol of chivalry and virtue. El Cid was born in Vivar near Burgos in 1043. His father, Diego Lainez, was a member of the minor nobility, called the ‘infanzones’ of Castile. El Cid was also directly connected on his mother’s side to royalty.
History paints two pictures of Rodrigo Diaz. He was an unprincipled adventurer, who battled against both Christians and Moors. And on the other hand, he was also a symbol of romance, legend, and ballad. He is shown as the tender, loving husband and father, the loyal, courageous soldier, and an ever-present inspiration to Spanish patriotism. He stands out as the central figur...