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El Cid (Epic of Spain)

Introduction of the epic El Cid:

TheCantar de mio Cid (El Cid) recounts the heroic deeds of the Cid, an exiled member of the lower nobility who wins back his king’s favor by battling the Islamic inhabitants of Spain. Based on the exploits of a historical personage, Rodrigo (Ruy) Diaz de Vivar, who lived from 1040-1099, this epic offers an important example of the interaction of history and literature in the Middle Ages.

The Cid is best known for its interweaving of irony, heroic drama, and a rare strain of realism that incorporates multifaceted portraits of Moors, Jews, and Christians. One of the oldest Spanish documents in existence; it is also the only Spanish epic to have survived almost intact. It is contained in a fourteenth-century manuscript, which bears the date 1207, most likely referring to an earlier version of the poem that was copied in the later book. Several accounts of the Cid’s life, however, exist before this epic poem was written in manuscript form. Two Latin poems, one written before the Cid’s death, and the other just after, chronicle his life. He is mentioned in Arabic sources, and his fame endured throughout the Middle Ages, in works of varying quality.

Fast Facts of the epic El Cid:


This epic, El Cid is the life story of a Castilian soldier, Rodrigo Dias de Bivar. His life is told in different media and this style of being an epic is one of the means that made the dissemination of his story possible. Many wrote his own version of his tale and some wrote it even in different forms. Most of them wrote it in poems. After some time, people made it in films and made computer games with a background story of El Cid. In short, the author of his story can’t be counted because they are so many but we may say that the real author of the story is of course, the one who experience the incidents, El Cid. Every man is the author of his own life, of his own adventure.


The epic took place in Spain somewhere in Castile. This is where El Cid serves as a knight to King Alfonso. Some parts of the story, especially El Cid’s exile, happened in the land near the small Moorish state of Aragon. This is where he recovers his power by having a Christian-Moorish army that made him able to conquer the city of Valencia. Most incidents happened in Spain where the real life of the real man, El Cid, occurred.

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