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Poema del Cid. See Cid, Cantar de mio

Fishburn and Hughes: An anonymous epic poem, regarded as the greatest literary masterpiece of Castile. Written c.1140, it is the earliest surviving poem of the Iberian peninsula. It narrates the exploits of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, the partly historical and partly legendary knight known as El Cid, meaning 'lord', and his love for his wife Ximena. El Cid fought for the Castilian king Alfonso VI, but on being wrongly accused and banished he became a soldier of fortune, fighting sometimes for the Christians and sometimes for the Moors. Though idealised, El Cid is basically an ordinary man, with greater spirit and courage but without the missionary zeal or crusader's ideology of his French counterpart in the Chanson de Roland. El Cid fights for averes, land and money, which were to be won, within an accepted code of honour, by fighting. The firm characterisation and the dramatic narrative, probably intended for oral performance, recaptures the life of a man who has inspired generations of Spaniards and remained Spain's favourite hero. The term 'rustic' probably refers to the subject matter of the poem: a frontier society, sober and dry like its habitat, the Castilian plateau, reflected in a terse style which conveys excitement without undue recourse to poetic ornament or dramatic intensity. The Inmortal