Cid or Cid Campeador (sĭd, Span. thēħ kämpāäħōrˈ) [key] [Span., = lord conqueror], d. 1099, Spanish soldier and national hero, whose real name was Rodrigo (or Ruy) Díaz de Vivar. Under Ferdinand I and Sancho II of Castile he distinguished himself while fighting against the Moors, but Alfonso VI distrusted him and banished (1081) him from Castile. Entering the service of the Moorish ruler of Zaragoza (a course not unusual among Castilian nobles of his time, in accord with the rights of a free lord in feudal society), he fought against Moors and Christians alike. In 1094 he conquered the kingdom of Valencia, which he ruled until his death. His widow Jimena surrendered the kingdom to the Almoravids in 1102. The Cid's exploits have been much romanticized. The Song of the Cid, an anonymous Old Spanish work of the 12th cent., has served as basis for numerous treatments, notably the plays by Guillén de Castro y Bellvís and Pierre Corneille.
See R. Menéndez Pidal, The Cid and His Spain (2 vol., 1929, tr. 1934, repr. 1971); R. Southey, ed., Chronicle of the Cid (1980).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.