The Almoravid King of Seville Attacks El Cid in Valencia and Is Routed

July 21, 2022


Now the news spread everywhere how the Cid had won the noble city of Valencia. When Ali Abenaxa, the chief of the Almoravids, knew this, he sent his son-in-law, the king of Seville, with thirty thousand men to besiege the Cid in his city; and the Cid made ready with all his people, and went out to fight him. The battle took place near Valencia, by the Cid’s garden. It was a hard fight, but in the end the Cid, who was called “He of Good Fortune,” conquered, and he pursued the enemy as far as Xativa, smiting and slaying. At the passage of river Xucar, the chroniclers say the Moors drank plenty of water without liking it. They say that fifteen thousand Moors were drowned there, and the king of Seville fled after having received three great blows.

Martin Pelaez fighting a Moor. Photo from a book by RocketShip.

On that day the knight Martin Pelaez, who had once been a coward, fought most bravely, so that there was no one who carried away such honor as he. When the pursuit was ended, the Cid returned to the field of battle, and ordered the spoils of the field and of the tents to be collected. There was such great spoil that every foot-soldier received a hundred marks of silver that day. And the Cid returned with great joy to Valencia. The Cid had now allowed his beard to grow until it was of great length, and he said of his chin, “For the love of King Don Alfonso, who has banished me from his land, no scissors shall come upon it, nor shall a hair be cut away, and Moors and Christians shall talk of it.”

Calvin Dill Wilson, The Story of the Cid: For Young People (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1901), 180–81.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 838

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