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El Cid: The Making of a Legend

By M. J. Trow

How did Rodrigo Diaz, a.k.a. El Cid, become so famous? And why was he so revered?

In life, Diaz was one of countless eleventh-century warlords. But somehow, his legend, over others, has persisted. He is a national hero in Spain, the subject of a blockbuster film, and has a statue in New York.

In El Cid: The Making of a Legend, M.J. Trow strips away layers of legend to reveal the true figure of the Cid. A ‘traitor’ who fought for Muslims and Christians, outraging Castile and the whole of Christendom. A hero who was named ‘king’s champion’. And a man who died, not in battle, but peacefully in his bed.

Trow investigates the many legends that have sprung up since his death, examines how Spain’s politicians and ruling elite have used his myth for their own ends, and explores the fascination he has held for authors and poets worldwide.

Set against its historical context, this is a riveting and dramatic investigation into how man becomes myth and history becomes legend. It is essential reading for anyone with an interest in El Cid or his era.

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