The Quest for El Cid

Copertina anteriore
Oxford University Press, 1991 - 217 pagine
Rodrigo Diaz, the legendary warrior-knight of eleventh-century Castile known as El Cid, is remembered today as the Christian hero of the Spanish crusade who waged wars of re-conquest for the triumph of the Cross over the Crescent. He is still honored in Spain as a national hero for liberating
the fatherland from the occupying Moors. Yet, as Richard Fletcher shows in this award-winning book, there are many contradictions between eleventh-century reality and the mythology that developed with the passing years.
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 cids, or bosses, 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 written in tribute of the conquest of Almería; posthumously he was immortalized in the great epic Poema de Mio Cid and became the centerpiece for countless other works of literature. 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.
In this ground-breaking inquiry into the life and times of El Cid, Fletcher 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 life. A fascinating journey through a turbulent
epoch, The Quest for El Cid is filled with the excitement of discovery, and will delight readers interested not only in Spanish history and literature, but those who want to understand how myth can shape our perception of history.

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LibraryThing Review

Recensione dell'utente  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

Some people are remembered after their deaths, but not perhaps for who they actually were. Rodrigo Diaz del Vivar El Cid was the big Castilian Medieval hero. Mr. Fletcher's work deals with the changes that various ages and writers put on the bones of the story. Only workmanlike prose. Leggi recensione completa

LibraryThing Review

Recensione dell'utente  - antiquary - LibraryThing

Popularly written but by a good professional historian, arguing the Cid was more an adventurer than a crusader; intended to some extend as a response to Menendez Pinal, whose heroization of the Cd was the sais of the movie (and book) I enjoyed greatly when young. Leggi recensione completa


The Problem and the Method
The Breaking of the Necklace
The Heirs of the Visigoths
S A Few Men in a Small Land
The Sources
The Campeador
Exile in Zaragoza
IO The Almoravide Invasion
The Prince of Valencia
My Cid of Vivar

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Parole e frasi comuni

Brani popolari

Pagina 208 - N. Daniel, Islam and the West: The Making of an Image, Edinburgh, 1960, and Islam,Europe and Empire, Edinburgh, 1966; D.
Pagina 213 - R. Bartlett, Trial by Fire and Water: the Medieval Judicial Ordeal (Oxford, 1986), pp. 32-3: 'It [ordeal] was lex paribilis, or apparens, or aperta- "the manifest proof". It was a device for dealing with situations in which certain knowledge was impossible but uncertainty was intolerable.

Informazioni sull'autore (1991)

Richard Fletcher is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of York and is the author of numerous books on medieval Spain, including the forthcoming Moorish Spain.

Informazioni bibliografiche