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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

D?az then recognized Alfonso VI


Spain at Tarifa, when he is

said to have exclaimed: "This is the last land in Spain, and I have trod it." The principal event of the reign was the capture of Toledo in 1085. Alfonso had promised to restore the _taifa_ king of Toledo to his throne, from which he had been ousted by a rebellion, but changed his mind, and took the city for himself. From that time forward Toledo was of great military importance to the Christians, serving as the centre of the reconquest, and it was also the medium through which Moslem civilization began to produce an effect on Castile. The treaty of capitulation was not very faithfully carried out; for example, Alfonso had promised to allow the Mohammedans to retain their principal mosque for purposes of worship, but in his absence the monks of Cluny were able to persuade the queen to take over that edifice as a Christian church. The incident is illustrative of a new crusading spirit which had entered Spain with the monks of Cluny, although it had not yet become general. _Taifa_ after _taifa_ now humbled itself before Alfonso; Valencia was captured, and the former king of Toledo became its nominal ruler, but with a Castilian army; and Alfonso could with reason entitle himself "sovereign of the men of the two religions," a phrase which shows that Christian zeal was not altogether uncompromising. It was then that the Almoravide invasion checked the Castilian king, but although he lost Valencia he was able to maintain the principal part of his conquests.

justify;">[Sidenote: The Cid.]

It was in the reign of Alfonso VI that Rodrigo, or Ruy, D?az of Vivar (near Burgos), better known as "the Cid," performed the achievements which have made him a famous character in literature. Until recently he was represented as a fanatically ardent, Christian crusader, ever drawing his sword against the infidel or in defence of any just and noble cause, and performing superhuman prodigies of valor. The true Cid was very far from answering to that description, and was also so typical of his age that his real career has historic value apart from literature. In the civil wars following the death of Ferdinand I, D?az was a partisan of Sancho II of Castile, and contributed greatly to that monarch's success,--a victory which was spoiled by the assassination of his patron. D?az then recognized Alfonso VI, and was sent by the latter to collect the tribute due from the king of Seville. On his return he was accused of having appropriated for himself certain of the funds which he was bringing to the king, and was banished from Castile; possibly Alfonso VI may still have felt resentment over D?az's part in the victories of Sancho. Followed by only a few warriors D?az wandered over Spain, seeking wealth and honors in return for military aid. Finally he took service with the Moslem king of Saragossa, and won fame in all the peninsula as a result of his victories not only against Moslem enemies but more than once against Christian kings; in fine, religion seems not to have entered into his program to any appreciable extent; indeed, the name Cid was applied by his Moslem soldiers, meaning "lord," or "master." In 1086 the Moslem king of Valencia, the same one who had been placed on the throne by Alfonso VI, got into difficulties with his subjects, and sought the aid of Saragossa. The Cid was sent with an army of mingled Christians and Moslems to restore the authority of the Valencian monarch. This he did, but under a contract which ignored his Saragossan master and enabled the Cid to become the virtual ruler of Valencia. In 1092 on the death of the king of Valencia the Cid converted his _de facto_ into a _de jure_ rule, reigning until his death in 1099. As monarch of Valencia he was selfish and cruel, like others of his time, sustaining his power by virtue of his army of Christians and Moslems against foes of whatever faith, even against Castile. He espoused one of his daughters to Ram?n Berenguer III of Barcelona, and another to a prince of the royal family of Navarre. After his death his state fell before the advance of the Almoravides.


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