El Cid’s Daughters Marry the Princes of Aragon and Navarre

August 3, 2023

While this Persian was still in Valencia, news came that the Princes of Aragon and Navarre were coming to their marriage. The Prince of Navarre was called Don Ramiro; and he of Aragon was named Don Sancho, and was the son of the King Don Pedro, whom the Cid had once made a prisoner; and he, remembering the great courtesy of the Cid, and knowing his great courage and worth, had held it good that his son match with the Cid’s daughter, that the race of so good a man be preserved in Aragon.

El Cid

When the Cid knew the princes were coming, he and all his people went six leagues to meet them, all gallantly attired, and he ordered his tents to be pitched in a meadow where he waited until they came. When they were all met, they proceeded to Valencia, and there the bishop came out to meet them, and great rejoicings were held for eight days before the marriage.

After eight days were passed the bishop married the Prince Don Ramiro of Navarre to Doña Elvira, and the Prince Don Sancho of Aragon to Doña Sol. Wonderful were these weddings, and for eight days more there was feasting every day, where all ate out of silver. Many bulls were killed every day, and many of the wild beasts that the Sultan had sent. Many sports were devised, and many garments and saddles and noble trappings were given to those who took part. The Moors also exhibited their sports in so many ways that men knew not which to go to first.

Doña Jimena Díaz, wife of El Cid

The marriage having been concluded, the Cid took his sons-in-law by the hand and led them to Doña Ximena and showed them all the gifts of the Sultan, and they were astonished, and said they had not thought any man in Spain so rich as the Cid. While they were marvelling, the Cid said, “My sons, this all I have is for you and for your wives, and I will give you the noblest dowry that was ever given women; for you shall have half of all that is here, and the other half Doña Ximena and I will keep while we live, and after our death all shall be yours; and my days are now almost full.”

Ramón Berenguer III of Barcelona, husband of María Rodríguez o Ruiz.

The princes answered that they prayed God to grant him life for many years, and they thanked him greatly and held him as their father, and that they would ever honor him and hold themselves honored to be his sons. Three months these princes stayed with the Cid in Valencia. Then they made ready to depart, and the Cid gave them great treasures, as he had promised, and gave them some of the wild beasts the Sultan had sent. He rode with them twelve leagues, and when they took leave, the Cid gave something to every knight in all their company. Then he blessed his daughters and returned to Valencia, while they went to their own countries. . . .

The Cid now spent a year in settling the affairs of the castles of the Moors that were subject to him and in settling the Moors of Valencia well with the Christians. From this time he dwelt in peace and labored always to serve God and to make amends for his faults, for he knew he had not long to live.

Calvin Dill Wilson, The Story of the Cid: For Young People (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1901), 293–96.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 889




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