El Cid Is Made a Knight

November 11, 2021

Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar is knighted.

At this time also Rodrigo was made a knight, on account of the great deeds he had done at this siege and in former battles. This ceremony was performed in the great Mosque of Coimbra, which having been a Mahometan temple was now dedicated as a Christian church. In the presence of a great company Rodrigo knelt down before the king, and the king girded on him his sword, and gave him a kiss, but he did not dub him with a blow as the custom often was. In order to do him the greater honor, the queen herself held the rein of his horse, and the Princess Doña Urraca fastened on his spurs; so that he was more honored than any other knight had been.

Doña Urraca of Zamora

The king commanded him also to knight nine noble squires with his own hand; and he took his sword before the altar and knighted them. Then the king appointed a governor of the city of Coimbra, and departed; but soon after, Benalfagi, who was a great leader among the Moors, gathered a great host, and entered the town of Montemor and from there made war against Coimbra; so that the people of that place sent word to the king to come to their help. So the king returned and laid siege to Montemor. There Rodrigo gained great honor, for the enemy came out against him, and three times in one day he was attacked by them. Though he was in great peril, he refused to send to the camp for help, but put forth all his strength and drove the foe back with great slaughter. From that day the king made him head over all his household.

Calvin Dill Wilson, The Story of the Cid: For Young People (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1901), 40–41.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 803

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