El Cid

Spanish online reading and listening practice - level B1

Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar lived in the 11th century and was known by the honorific title of El Cid Campeador. His story became a legend and has been an inspiration for many stories and adaptations, starting with the 12th century epic poem El Cantar de mio Cid and the most recent being a new series on Amazon Prime released at the end of 2020. El Cid means "lord" and its origin is probably from the Arabic word sayyid while campeador is a term referring to anyone who distinguishes themselves in battle (battlefield = campo de batalla) and it is often translated as "of the battlefield".

Learn about this famous Medieval warrior with this reading and listening exercise which can help you practise relative pronouns, past tenses and past participles as adjectives. It is associated with the following studylists:

If you are interested you can view the trailer for the new series before scrolling down to the audio and text of the exercise.

Exercise: El Cid

Listen to the audio, then read the transcript. Click any phrase for the translation and links to related grammar lessons which you can add to your Kwiziq notebook to practise later.

Text by Ana Matilla and audio by Inma Sánchez.

Q&A relating to this exercise 4 questions, 6 answers

Per IvarA2Kwiziq community member

Usar de imperfecta o de pretérito

Porque “..era un caballero medieval” pero “fue un héroe nacional..”

Asked 3 weeks ago

Usar de imperfecta o de pretérito

Porque “..era un caballero medieval” pero “fue un héroe nacional..”

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ClaraC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Gracias por el reader sobre El Cid

Muchas gracias a Shui y Inma por este reader. 

¡Qué emocionante! No puedo esperar a ver la serie :)

I used to love to watch the Hollywood production of 'El Cid' as a youngster. At Christmas of 2019, my daughter and I went to Burgos (where so many of my family & ancestors are from) and we saw El Cid's grave in the beautiful Cathedral of Burgos. 

Voy a ver la serie en Amazon Prime :))

Asked 3 weeks ago

Gracias por el reader sobre El Cid

Muchas gracias a Shui y Inma por este reader. 

¡Qué emocionante! No puedo esperar a ver la serie :)

I used to love to watch the Hollywood production of 'El Cid' as a youngster. At Christmas of 2019, my daughter and I went to Burgos (where so many of my family & ancestors are from) and we saw El Cid's grave in the beautiful Cathedral of Burgos. 

Voy a ver la serie en Amazon Prime :))

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Per IvarA2Kwiziq community member

Porque «..era (imperfect) un caballero medieval» pero «Fue (pretérito) un héroe nacional..”

Asked 3 weeks ago

Porque «..era (imperfect) un caballero medieval» pero «Fue (pretérito) un héroe nacional..”

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DavidC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Comments on the Cid, and on others from the same period in history.

Thank you Shui, Ana and Inma - well chosen - it is indeed part of an important era in Spanish history. I actually wrote a short essay on that period: http://www.dlmcn.com/AlfonsoSexto.html (for a local publication in Almería, drawing from the book "ALFONSO VI - Señor del Cid, Conquistador de Toledo" by Gonzalo Martínez Díez). It seemed worth highlighting the fact that one of Alfonso VI's wives - Zá'ida - is the only Muslim woman in the whole of history who became a Christian queen; (originally, she was the daughter-in-law of the Muslim Ruler of Seville).


When asked what she thought was "el peor momento de la historia de España", the Madrid historian María Lara Martínez replied:

"La batalla de Uclés contra los almorávides en el año 1108 marcó un "antes y un después". Murió Sancho Alfónsez, y Alfonso VI se quedó sin heredero varón. Sancho Alfónsez era un príncipe de dos sangres, pues su madre era la mora Zá'ida. ¿Qué habría pasado si este adolescente hubiera llegado al trono? ¿En qué medida su muerte truncó el proyecto de convivencia de judíos, cristianos y musulmanes?"


The film starring Charlton Heston and Sophía Loren was very well presented; unlike many modern-day productions it at least made an effort to comply with several facts presented in historical documents.

 

The relationship between the Cid and his King Alfonso VI was not always smooth: for example the Cid did not contribute to the conquest and occupation of the key fortress at Aledo (near Totana in the Region of Murcia, at that time lying deep within Muslim-held territory; my essay contains photos). And the Cid did not participate in the Battle of Uclés.


Asked 3 weeks ago
MargaritaB2Kwiziq community member

Gracias! Es fascinante!

ClaraC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hola David,

Once again thank you for sharing your invaluable information. It's just great!

Saludos 

Clara

InmaKwiziq team member

¡Gracias David!

¡Qué artículo tan interesante!

Al leerlo me he sentido tentada a buscar información sobre Zaida, y he encontrado también información sobre el poeta Al-mutamid. Yo siempre he escuchado nombrar a Almutamid en el flamenco, en esta canción - (Al-mutamid y Rummaykiyya).

Ahora ya sé a quién dedicaban la canción...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FdOqcoJfjo

Saludos

Inma

DavidC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you Inma ...

Yes, the story describing how al-Mutámid met and was enchanted by Rumaikiyya is certainly a delightful one:-

Paseando un día a orillas del Guadalquivir con su amigo Ibn Ammar, al-Mutámid jugaban a improvisar poemas, entretenimiento extremadamente popular en la sociedad andalusí de la época. Al levantarse una ligera brisa sobre el río, dijo al-Mutamid:

"El viento tejiendo lorigas en las aguas".

Ante lo cual esperaba la respuesta de su compañero. Sin embargo, Ibn Ammar no tuvo tiempo de responder, puesto que ambos oyeron una voz femenina que completaba la rima:

"¡Qué coraza si se helaran!".

La voz correspondía a una muchacha escondida tras los juncos. Era una joven bellísima llamada Rumaikiyya, esclava de un arriero. Al-Mutámid quedó inmediatamente enamorado, la llevó a su palacio y la hizo su esposa, tomando el nombre de Itimad. Cuando al-Mutamid fue depuesto, Rumaikiyya partió con él al exilio, junto a otros miembros de su familia.

Wikipedia does not mention any other wives of al-Mutámid - so Rumaikiyya was probably the mother of Abu Nasr al-Fath al-Ma'muun - Zá'ida's [first] husband (who was killed by the Al-Morávide invaders - forcing Zá'ida to flee to Toledo and ask Alfonso VI for protection).

ClaraC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I've just finished reading your essay David. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful piece of work. To my shame my knowledge of Spanish history is limited. Your essay is now tempting me to further my knowledge:))

DavidC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Buenas tardes Clara >>

"History is philosophy drawn from examples" - DIONYSIUS OF HALICAR-NASSUS, c. 10 BC

Un abrazo - David M


Comments on the Cid, and on others from the same period in history.

Thank you Shui, Ana and Inma - well chosen - it is indeed part of an important era in Spanish history. I actually wrote a short essay on that period: http://www.dlmcn.com/AlfonsoSexto.html (for a local publication in Almería, drawing from the book "ALFONSO VI - Señor del Cid, Conquistador de Toledo" by Gonzalo Martínez Díez). It seemed worth highlighting the fact that one of Alfonso VI's wives - Zá'ida - is the only Muslim woman in the whole of history who became a Christian queen; (originally, she was the daughter-in-law of the Muslim Ruler of Seville).


When asked what she thought was "el peor momento de la historia de España", the Madrid historian María Lara Martínez replied:

"La batalla de Uclés contra los almorávides en el año 1108 marcó un "antes y un después". Murió Sancho Alfónsez, y Alfonso VI se quedó sin heredero varón. Sancho Alfónsez era un príncipe de dos sangres, pues su madre era la mora Zá'ida. ¿Qué habría pasado si este adolescente hubiera llegado al trono? ¿En qué medida su muerte truncó el proyecto de convivencia de judíos, cristianos y musulmanes?"


The film starring Charlton Heston and Sophía Loren was very well presented; unlike many modern-day productions it at least made an effort to comply with several facts presented in historical documents.

 

The relationship between the Cid and his King Alfonso VI was not always smooth: for example the Cid did not contribute to the conquest and occupation of the key fortress at Aledo (near Totana in the Region of Murcia, at that time lying deep within Muslim-held territory; my essay contains photos). And the Cid did not participate in the Battle of Uclés.


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