Cid Campeador is the name given in histories, traditions and songs to the most celebrated of Spain's national heroes. His real name was Rodrigo or Ruy Diaz (i.e. "son of Diego"), a Castilian noble by birth. He was born at Burgos about the year 1040. There is so much of the mythical in the history of this personage that hypercritical writers, such as Masdeu, have doubted his existence; but recent researches have succeeded in separating the historical from the romantic. Under Sancho II, son of Ferdinand, he served as commander of the royal troops. In a war between the two brothers, Sancho II. and Alfonso VI. of Leon, due to some dishonorable stratagem on the part of Rodrigo, Sancho was victorious and his brother was forced to seek refuge with the Moorish King of Toledo. In 1072 Sancho was assassinated at the siege of Zamora, and as he left no heir the Castilians had to acknowledge Alfonso as King. Although Alfonso never forgave the Cid for having, as leader of the Castilians, compelled him to swear that he (the Cid) had no hand in the murder of his brother Sancho, as a conciliatory measure, he gave his cousin Ximena, daughter of the Count of Oviedo, to the Cid in marriage, but afterwards, in 1081, when he found himself firmly seated on the throne, yielding to his own feelings of resentment and incited by the Leonese nobles, he banished him from the kingdom.
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