In Exile, the Banished Cid Becomes the Protector of the Moorish Kingdom of Zaragoza

March 24, 2022

The Cid rode on until he came to a high hill above Monte Real, and there he pitched his tents; and from that place he did much harm to the Moors of Medina, and of the country round about, and he made many towns pay him tribute. When this news reached the king of Zaragoza, he was much displeased. And that hill was always called afterward, “The Hill of the Cid.”

El Poyo del Cid (Teruel). Statue marking El Cid’s camps during his exile in this town.

After the Cid had waited a long time for Alvar, and he did not come, he removed by night and pitched his camp in the pine forest of Tebar; and from there he fought the Moors of Zaragoza and made them pay him tribute. When this agreement was made, Almundafar, the king of Zaragoza, became his friend and received him into his town. In three weeks after this Alvar came from Castile. And with him came two hundred knights of good families, every one with a sword at his side, and foot-soldiers in great numbers. When the Cid saw Alvar coming, he rode to meet him and kissed him on the mouth and on his eyes. Alvar told him all that he had done, and the face of the Cid brightened, and he said. “It will go well with me, as long as you live.” The whole host rejoiced to see Alvar, for he brought them messages from their wives and families. The Cid, with the fleecy beard, was most joyful that he had tidings of his wife and daughters.

Zaragoza

While the Cid tarried in Zaragoza, the King Almundafar died, and left his kingdom to be divided between his two sons, Zulema and Abenalfange, and Zulema took the kingdom of Zaragoza, and Abenalfange the kingdom of Denia. And Zulema put his kingdom under the protection of the Cid and bade all his people obey him even as they would himself.

Calvin Dill Wilson, The Story of the Cid: For Young People (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1901), 101–102.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 821

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