The life and death of the glorious knight Sid Campeador

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The life and death of the glorious knight Sid Campeador
The life and death of the glorious knight Sid Campeador

Video: The life and death of the glorious knight Sid Campeador

Video: The life and death of the glorious knight Sid Campeador
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In the last article (El Cid Campeador, a hero little known outside of Spain), we started the story about Rodrigo Diased Bivar, better known as Cid Campeador. It was told about the origin of the hero, about his weapon and his beloved horse, as well as how he got the nicknames Sid and Campeador. However, then we talked about Rodrigo Diaz mainly as the hero of the famous poem "Song of My Side". Now let's talk about the life and exploits of this extraordinary person.

The beginning of the royal service

Rodrigo Diaz was born in 1043 in the small town of Castiglona de Bivar, which is 6 miles (about 10 km) from Burgos. Now Burgos is a relatively small city in the autonomous community of Castile and Leon with a population of about 179 thousand people. But in the 11th century, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Castile.

The life and death of the glorious knight Sid Campeador
The life and death of the glorious knight Sid Campeador

Our hero was educated at the San Pedro de Cardena monastery (readers of the first article should remember that Sid, his wife, and the hero's favorite horse were later buried on the territory of this monastery). Then Rodrigo was in the service at the court of King Fernando I and became closely acquainted with his eldest son, Sancho. Under King Fernando Rodrigo he began his military service.


In 1057, Rodrigo participated in a campaign against the Mauritanian kingdom (taifa) of Zaragoza, whose emir was forced to agree to the payment of tribute. And in the spring of 1063, Rodrigo Diaz was already fighting on the side of Zaragoza. The Infante Sancho, at the head of three hundred knights, then came to the aid of the vassal of Castile the Taifa in her conflict with Christian Aragon. One of the commanders in his unit was Rodrigo Diaz. The Battle of Graus ended with the defeat of the Aragonese troops and the death of King Ramiro I (this is the half-brother of Fernando of Castile).

After the death of Fernando I (1065), his kingdom was divided: Sancho received Castile, his second son, Alfonso, became king of Leon, the third, Garcia, went to Galicia. As almost always happened in such cases, war immediately broke out between the brothers. In 1068, Sancho II defeated the troops of Alfonso, and in 1071, together with him, he expelled Garcia from Galicia. In 1072, he again attacked Leon and captured Alfonso in one of the battles. Tom, however, soon managed to escape to Toledo, where he found shelter with the local emir. Sancho suspected that his sister, dona Urraca, who ruled the city of Zamora, had helped him then. This Infanta is now known mainly as the owner of the chalice, which was called the supposed Grail:


And Rodrigo Diaz at that time received the title of the royal standard-bearer (armiger regis) and the nickname Campeador (this was described in the last article).

Simultaneously with the campaigns against the brothers of King Rodrigo, he fought against the Muslims as part of the Castilian army. As a result of these wars, the kingdom of Sancho II expanded both at the expense of the Leone and Galician and Andalusian lands.


In 1072, King Sancho II died during the siege of the city of Zamora - he was killed by a defector. Many suspected Alfonso and Urraca of organizing this murder, for whom the death of the king was extremely beneficial. Since Sancho II had no children, Alfonso became the new king, with whom Rodrigo Diaz fought a lot. Already in 1073, Alfonso deceived his last brother, Garcia, by deception, and annexed the Galician lands to his state. He did not make Sancho's mistake, and the last of his brothers died in captivity.


According to the widespread version, a group of Castilian nobles, whose leader was Rodrigo Campeador (a dozen "oath assistants"), forced Alfonso to publicly swear on holy relics in the Church of Saint Agatha (Santa Gadea) in Burgos that he was not guilty of the death of King Sancho. In historical documents, information about this appears only in the XIII century, so many consider this episode legendary.

In the Jura de Santa Gadea (1864) painting by Marcos Giraldés de Acosta below, we see Sid demanding an oath from Alfonso VI (he is wearing a red cape):


This is how the episode is described in a Spanish folk romance:

“In Santa Gadea de Burgos, Where nobles swear

There at the king of the Castilians

Takes the oath of Sid.

And this vow is given

On a big iron castle, On an oak cross.

And sternly Don Rodrigo

He says the word, - so harshly, That our good king is embarrassed;

May you, king, be killed

Not noble nobility, And people of a simple title, -

To the ones that sandals wear

Not tied shoes

And on whom are simple cloaks, Not caftans, not camisoles, Whose pattern is not embroidered

Coarse wool shirts;

Let you be killed by the ones

Who is not a horse, not a mule, Who gets a donkey

If he gets ready for the road, And not with a leather bridle, And he will go from the rope;

May you be killed in the field

And not in a castle, not in a village, Not a gilded dagger, A cheap simple knife;

Let it be taken out through the right side

You got a heart out of your chest

If you don't tell the truth.

Answer: you were involved

Even if not in deed, so at least in a word, To the dastardly murder of your brother?"

And the king, pale with anger, He answers gloomily to Sid:

“Do you want to torture the king?

Sid, bad you ask for an oath …

Leave then Rodrigo

And leave my domain

Forget your way to me

If you are a bad knight.

Exactly one year do not come back."

Sid said, “Are you persecuting me?

Well, drive, drive away!

This is your first order

The day you ascended the throne.

But you chase me for a year

And I'll leave for four."

And don Rodrigo rode, Turned around without kissing

Without kissing, without stooping

Up to the hand to the royal.

He leaves his Bivar, Leaves the land, the castle, He locks the gate

And pushes the bolts.

He takes on a chain of steel

All your greyhounds and hounds

He takes many falcons

Different - young and adults.

Three hundred brave knights

They are leaving with Sid."

However, in fact, Alfonso, apparently, then decided that Burgos is worth … no, not Mass, but an oath.

But, most likely, Rodrigo Diaz did not "push" and get on the rampage, because "you can't beat your butt with a whip," but you have to live somehow. He continued his service in Castile. Between 1074 and 1076 Rodrigo married for love Jimena Diaz, daughter of the Count of Oviedo.


Tradition claims that Jimena's father was opposed to this marriage, considering Rodrigo Campeador too lowborn for such a party. The case allegedly ended in a duel (at the initiative of the count), from which Rodrigo Diaz emerged victorious.

Campeador's first exile

Alfonso VI did not trust his brother's former commander, and our hero did not use the location of the new king.

The denouement came in 1081. Before that, in 1079, by order of King Rodrigo Diaz, he went to Seville, whose emir was a tributary of Castile, but delayed payments. Around this time, our hero's rival, Count García Ordonez, was sent to Granada, who had a secret order from the king to arrange a small war between two Mauritanian typhoons in order to weaken them mutually. The army of Granada and the Knights of Ordonez attacked Seville while Rodrigo Campeador was there. With his people, he sided with his king's vassal and not only repulsed this attack, but also captured Ordonez and other Castilians in the battle of Cabra. Only three days later, when the situation cleared up, Ordonez and his subordinates were released. Of course, Ordoñez's actions were declared unauthorized, and the ill-wishers accused Diaz of willful interference in an outside conflict and violation of the peace treaty with Granada, and at the same time - of appropriating part of the Seville tribute. This was the reason for his exile in 1081. And Garcia Ordonez, who allegedly acted without permission, took over the position that Diaz had previously held.

The banishment of the hero is described as follows:

“The nobles, out of their great envy of Sid, said a lot of bad things about him to the king, trying to embroil him with the king, and kept repeating:“Sovereign! Rui Diaz Sid broke the peace concluded and established between you and the Moors, and he did so not for anything else, but only to kill you and us. " The king, being very angry and angry with Sid, immediately believed them, because he held a grudge against him for the oath he took from him on the occasion of the death of his brother, King Don Sancho."

Learning about disgrace, Sid

"He summoned relatives and vassals and announced that the king ordered him to leave Castile, that only nine days were given."

In "Song of my Side" it says so about what happened next:

“His relative Alvar Fanes said:

“We will follow you wherever you go, As long as we are alive, we will not leave you in trouble, We will drive the horses to death for you, We will gladly share the latter with you, We will never change our liege."

Don Alvar was approved by all in unison."


In the romance cited above, it is stated that 300 knights went into exile with Rodrigo. The author of "Song" gives a more modest figure - 60 people. And among them, most likely, was not Alvar Fanes (in other sources there is evidence that he continued to serve King Alfonso). But at the Arlanson Bridge, another 115 daredevils joined Diaz's detachment, who, relying on the reputation of the Campeador, decided to slightly improve their financial situation in service in foreign lands. From the previous article, you remember that they did not lose: even ordinary soldiers of this detachment later became caballeros.

And then Diaz left his wife and two daughters in one of the monasteries.

Initially, he went to Barcelona, intending to enter the service of Count Ramon Berenguer II, but was refused. But the emir of Taifa Zaragoza received the hero with open arms. In Zaragoza, Rodrigo Campeador received the nickname El Cid - "Master" from the Moors subordinate to him.


The Reconquista, which lasted more than seven centuries, was not at all a continuous tough confrontation between mortal enemies, as many believe. Service in the Mauritanian typhoons, which either fought with the Christian kingdoms, or acted as their allies, was not considered shameful. The main thing was to properly terminate vassal duties with the former overlord, returning all awards to him. The same Sid, after the conquest of Valencia, generously rewarded his people, but warned that those wishing to go home would have to return the property they received and abandon their new possessions. And the author of "Song" calls this order "wise."

Since King Alfonso VI himself broke his vassal relationship with Rodrigo Diaz, he had every right to find any other overlord, this was not considered treason. Therefore, no one then reproached Sid with the service to the Moors.

Rodrigo Diaz fought both Muslims, hostile to Zaragoza, and Christians, in particular, he defeated the army of the Kingdom of Aragon at the Battle of Morell in 1084. Then he fought with the Castilians, who eventually captured Salamanca, which belonged to the Zaragoza typha.

Sid's return to Castile

In 1086 the Berber army of the Almoravids came to the Iberian Peninsula from North Africa. In alliance with the troops of the Mauritanian typhoons of Seville, Granada and Badajoz, the Muslims defeated the combined army of Castile, Leon and Aragon at the Battle of Sagrajas. The Taifa of Zaragoza did not participate in this war. The defeat forced Alfonso VI to seek reconciliation with Rodrigo, who was now not only a Campeador, but also Cid. The hero returned to Castile and, having stood at the head of the army, where both Christians and Muslims ended up, in May 1090, in the battle of Tibar, he defeated the troops of the Count of Barcelona Berenguer Ramon II, who was then taken prisoner. But then there was a new quarrel with the king, and El Cid returned to Zaragoza. The angry king sent Rodrigo's wife and two daughters to prison.

Conquest of Valencia

And Cid now had his own plans for the conquest of Valencia, and his own interests, different from those of both Alfonso VI and the Emir of Zaragoza. Acting almost independently, he began his war as early as 1088. In 1092the Moorish ruler of Valencia had already paid tribute to him. And in 1094, besieged Valencia fell, and El Cid Campeador actually became king, but it was officially believed that he ruled on behalf of Alfonso VI. Among the subjects of our hero were both Christians and Muslims, who peacefully got along with each other.


The fate of the children of Sid Campeador

After the conquest of Valencia by Sid, Alfonso VI released his wife and daughters. The authority of Campeador was so high that these ladies on the border of his possessions were met not only by the knights of Valencia, but also by a detachment of Moors led by Abengalbon, the ruler of Molina (Molina de Segura, a city in Murcia), who was called a friend of Cid: both an honorary escort and extra security in a newly conquered area would not hurt.

However, the only son of El Cid, Diego Rodriguez, was now in the service of the King of Castile - apparently as an honorary hostage. He died fighting against the Almoravids at the Battle of Consuegra in 1097. El Cid's lineage in the male line was interrupted. His female descendants were already representatives of other dynasties and bore different surnames.

The new Count of Barcelona, Ramon Berenguer III, entered into an alliance with Sid by marrying his youngest daughter Maria. His other daughter, Christina, was married to the grandson of the King of Navarre, Ramiro Sanchez. Her son will go down in history as the King of Navarre Garcia IV Ramirez.


The story of the marriage of these girls with the Carrionian infants and the brutal beating of their unworthy husbands, told in the third part of "A Song of My Side", is legendary and has no confirmation. Yes, and it is difficult to imagine that someone would dare to insult such a serious and dangerous person as the ruler of Valencia Sid Campeador.


Relations with subordinates

Very interesting information about the relationship of Sid with his subordinates and methods of management. They say that he often ordered the reading of books by Roman and Greek authors in front of the formation of soldiers, which told about the campaigns of famous generals. And before the battle, he often arranged a discussion of the plan for the upcoming battle with his deputies in a "brainstorming" manner.

Sources speak of Sid's honesty and generosity with vassals and warriors. In order to fulfill his obligations to the people who decided to go into exile with him, he went on to deceive two rich Jewish usurers. Rodrigo gave them on bail two tightly closed and sealed chests of sand, claiming that they contained his gold. Even the names of his creditors - Judah and Rachel - and the amount they lent (600 marks) are given. But whether Sid later began to buy his sand from these Jews is not reported in the poem. When Judah and Rachel nevertheless opened these lari, Diaz vaguely promised them to reimburse them in the future, and the author does not return to this issue anymore.

So did Rodrigo Diaz pay off his debt to the Jews? Perhaps the author simply forgot to mention the final calculation in the course of the further narration. Or did he think that the readers knew without him how the noble Spanish gentlemen of the 11th century acted in such cases?

And what do you think: did Sid pay off his debt to the creditors who believed him, or generously left the "despicable Jews" with sand, to which the hands of the great hero touched?

The last years of the life of Sid Campeador

El Cid Campeador ruled in Valencia until his death in 1099. All this time he had to repel the onslaught of the Almaravids. Tradition claims that in the last battle he was wounded by a poisoned arrow and, already dying, ordered to put himself on a horse and tied to a saddle in order to prevent the loss of spirit among his soldiers. The triumphant Moors, who were sure of the hero's death, allegedly fled when he suddenly reappeared at the head of his army. However, historians believe that this legend was based on another event. After Sid's death, his wife defended Valencia from the Berber armies of the Almaravids for two more years. Finally, having exhausted all possibilities of resistance and without receiving help from neighbors, she agreed to evacuate Christians from Valencia. It was possible to win it back again only after 125 years. It was the memories of the solemn entry of Jimena into Burgas with the embalmed body of Sid in 1102 that were probably transformed later into the legend of the last battle of the knight tied to the saddle.

Hero's tombs

According to the will, Cid Campeador was buried in the monastery of San Pedro de Cardena.


Later his wife was also buried there. In 1808, the monastery was plundered by French soldiers. Sid's grave was also damaged. The French governor Paul Thibault, upon learning of this, ordered the reburial of the remains of the Spanish hero and his wife in the Cathedral of Burgos. By his order, Sid's ashes were even given military honors. At the same time, a memorial sign in the form of an obelisk was erected over the new grave. Later, the director of the Louvre, Domenique Vivant-Denon, visited Burgos. He accompanied Napoleon on his campaign to Egypt, and then took an active part in the selection of works of art for his museum in captured foreign cities. This man had a strange hobby - he was collecting his "atheist's relic": a reliquary in which not the relics of Christian saints were kept, but some fragments of the remains of great people. In his collection were hairs from the mustache of Henry of Navarre, a piece of the shroud of Turenne, fragments of the bones of Moliere, La Fontaine, Abelard and Héloise, a fragment of Voltaire's tooth, a lock of General Deset, hair of Agnes Sorel and Ines de Castro. And here such "luck" - the remains of the Spanish hero Sid Campeador. At Denon's request, Thibault gave him pieces of bones from both Sid and his wife Jimena (they still did not remember about Babek's horse or did not know).

After the departure of the French, the Spaniards immediately broke the monument erected by the occupiers in the Cathedral of Burgos, and the ashes of Cid and his wife in 1826 were again transferred to the monastery of San Pedro de Cardena. In 1842, the remains of the couple were returned to Burgos Cathedral. And then it turned out that during the French occupation, Sid's bones were very popular, and not only Denon took away their fragments as souvenirs. In 1882, several of these fragments were transferred to Spain by a member of the Hohenzollern dynasty. In 1883 they were solemnly placed in the grave. The missing fragments are still being delivered to Burgos, the last reburial took place in 1921. Since then, the hero's ashes are no longer disturbed, new fragments are laid side by side - on the showcase (!).

Tomb of Sid Campeador in Burgos Cathedral:


Camino del Cid

In modern Spain, there is a tourist route Camino del Cid ("Way of the Cid"), which runs from the northwest to the southeast from the Castilian city of Burgos to the Valencian city of Alicante on the Mediterranean coast.


This trail runs through eight historic provinces and includes five themed trails. Famous philologist Ramon Menendez Pidal and his wife Maria Goiri took part in their development. They were compiled on the basis of the analysis of the text of "Song of my Side", which was considered as a kind of guidebook. And you need to go through them in turn - from the first ("Exile") to the last ("Defense of the southern territories").

The Exile route is the longest (340 km), starting from Bivar del Cid (province of Burgos) and ending in Atiense (Guadalajara). Some go on foot - 15 days! By car, the estimated time of the route is 4 days.

The next route - "Borderlands", leads from Atienza to Calatayud: by car - 3 days, by bicycle - 6, on foot - 12.

Further - "Three typhas": from Ateca (province of Zaragoza) to Celia (province of Teruel). By car, 3 days are enough, cyclists will complete it in 6, those who decide to walk will need 13 days.

"Conquest of Valencia" - from Celia to Valencia: it is assumed that the road trip will take 3 days, "bike ride" - 5, walk 12 days.

One of the points of the fourth route is the city of Teruel, which is called the capital of the Mudejar style.


Route "Protection of the southern lands" - castles and fortresses from Valencia to Orihuela near Alicante: 2 days by car, 4-5 by bike, 11 - on foot.

Tourists who have correctly completed this or that route and made notes in a special "passport" (it is called a "security certificate") receive a certificate - like pilgrims going to Santiago de Compastella on the road of St. James.