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Chris Irwin Commentary on Poem of the Cid Poetry played a vital role in the dissemination of information during the Crusade period It provided a compact easily memorized way of spreading news in a time bereft of the benefit of mass printing According to Michael Routledge who penned a chapter on Crusade songs and poetry in The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades poetry was not only a way of recording and spreading news of current events but also served to record and extoll the virtues and values of the ruling Medieval aristocracy These values included commitment to ones lord and an acceptance of the feudal duties of auxilium armed help in time of attack by enemies and consilium counsel and rendering of justice Routledge 97 A fine example of poetrys use in the above context can be found in Paul Blackburns translation of the medieval Spanish epic Poem of the Cid The poem is a fictional account of the life of the eleventh-century adventurer and military commander Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar The poems title derives from Rodrigo Diaz de Vivars Arabic title Sayyidi the Cid or My Lord The poems content describes a series of events transpiring after the main character the Cid is exiled from his homeland Within the body of the poem situations extolling the medieval virtues of commitment to ones lord auxilium and consilium are revealed The theme of commitment to ones lord is prevalent throughout the Poem of the Cid Initially the Cid is exiled because his enemies have turned his lord King Alfonso against him Despite being banished from his home and family the Cid uses every opportunity that comes his way to show his valor and loyalty to Alfonso In reality being exiled should have turned a man like the Cid into a freebooter who had the right to earn a living however possible for himself and his followers As a free agent so
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