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The Quest for El Cid
ISBN 0394574478 / 9780394574479 / 0-394-57447-8
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Nicknamed El Cid, or "the leader", Rodrigo Diaz was an 11th-century Castilian nobleman whose exploits as a soldier of fortune led to his becoming ruler of Valencia. Fiercely independent, he served both Christian and Moorish masters, securing his fame with his defeat of the Almoravides, an Islamic fundamentalist sect who had invaded Spain from Morocco. In this biography, Richard Fletcher delves beneath the legend of the epic "Poema de Mio Cid" to present Spain's greatest warrior in his historical context. [via]