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El Cid was a famous military leader in eleventh century Spain He was originally named Rodrigo Daz de Vivar and was given his nickname El Cid The Lord by the Moors He was born about 1043 at Vivar near Burgos Spain He was the son of a minor Castilian nobleman and grew up in the court of Ferdinand I When Ferdinand I died his older son Sancho II of Castile became king El Cid became famous when he fought with a knight from Aragn for control of the city of Zaragoza In 1072 Sancho II was assassinated by his younger brother Alfonso VI of Leon El Cid continued to serve the new king Alfonso VI However Alfonso VI became jealous of El Cids growing fame among the people and in 1081 the king exiled El Cid from the Castilian kingdom El Cid left the northern or Christian part of Spain and traveled southeast where he served the Moorish king of Zaragoza Prince Motamid and other Muslim rulers His reputation as a knight continued to grow About 1087 he began assembling an army to drive out the Moors and gain control of the kingdom of Valencia In 1094 he captured Valencia and ruled until the attack by the highly trained Moorish army of Ben Yousef in 1099 During the battle he was shot with an arrow but the army regrouped in the castle King Alfonso VI arrived with his Castilian army to help El Cid He slowly died from the arrow and they tied him to his horse to lead the fight alongside King Alfonso VI The Moors were defeated and retreated back to northern Africa After El Cids death on July 10 1099 his fame continued to grow and he became a national hero in the fight against Muslim control of Spain The epic poem
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