This Replica El Cid Medieval Shield . . .
is constructed of painted steel with brass trim. Artwork consists of a blood red cross on a cream antique crackle background. There is a brass emblem in the center consisting of castles and rampant lions. The shield size is 18" x 25" and it has a curved shape. It is the classic "Heater" style battle shield. This is a great value shield!
SH926720 El Cid w/Cross Display Shield with Hanging Chain
El Cid Campeador - Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar
Rodrigo (Ruy) Diaz de Vivar
was born around the year 1040AD in Vivar, Spain. He was raised and educated as
minor nobility in the Castilian royal court, serving the prince and future king
Sancho II, son of King Ferdinand I (the Great).
Ferdinand had a dispute with the king of Aragon. They chose two warriors to fight and the king whose champion won was to have the city. Ferdinand chose Rodrigo. Even though Ruy’s opponent was called the bravest knight in Spain, the young warrior vanquished him. By this time Rodrigo was about 23 years old. He also fought other battles alongside Sancho II acquiring victory after victory. It is said that he never lost a battle in man-to-man combat. This resulted in his allies and subjects giving him the nickname El Cid Campeador, meaning chief champion.
Ferdinand I, at his death, divided his kingdom between his children. ancho being the eldest continued to enlarge his domain, conquering territories including those of his siblings. Sancho nominated El Cid as his commander of the Royal troops. Legend has it that the Cid was a reluctant supporter of Sancho’s aggression yet he played a prominent role in Sancho’s successful campaigns against his brother Alfonso VI.
In 1072 Sancho was killed while trying to besiege his sister’s land of Zamora leaving Alfonso as the heir and the Cid’s new boss. With his reputation of being a successful warrior and very well liked by the Castilians, Alfonso had no choice but to keep Rodrigo in the ranks. However, he lost his title of Royal Commander. Afraid that El Cid might attempt to take the throne, Alfonso made accusations against the Cid and he was exiled. This allowed El Cid to take and fight for himself. Rodrigo became a soldier of fortunes.
Needing the Cid’s help, Alfonso tried to recall him from exile. Ruy, instead, allowed Alfonso’s army to fight against its attackers without the Cid’s help in hopes that the armies would become weak as a result. This would make way for him to take on his own conquest in becoming ruler of Valencia.
El Cid’s army had an innovative approach to planning war strategy. They held brainstorming sessions before each engagement to discuss tactics. The Cid often ordered military theme books by Greek and Roman authors to be read aloud to him and his troops both for inspiration and entertainment during battle. He was also open to input from his soldiers. He used modern tactics that generals today would call psychological warfare.
Successfully over the next few years, the Cid gradually tightened his control over Valencia. His moment of destiny came in 1092 when the leader of Valencia was protested against and killed. Rodrigo immediately responded by attacking the rebel city which lasted for many months. In May of 1094 his opponents surrendered and El Cid finally entered Valencia as its conqueror.
Rodrigo "El Cid" Diaz ruled Valencia until he died of natural causes in 1099 but his legend still lives on today. His life and folklore have been portrayed in epic poems, songs, romances, plays and even a 1961 movie and a modern day video game both titled ‘El Cid’. Throughout the ages, El Cid has been and still is noted as the national hero of Spain.
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