The World’s Best English Epic Poetry – The Lay of the Cid (in English Translation)

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The world’s best English epic and narrative poetry includes The Lay of the Cid. Written in medieval Castilian, this fantastic epic celebrates the exploits of Rodrigo Diaz during the tumultuous centuries during which Moorish Spain was reconquered by Christian forces.

Exiled by King Alphnso VI of Castile, the Campeador seeks his fortune abroad in Moorish lands. Christian soldiers of fortune flock to the Cid’s banners: ready to risk life and limb in the ongoing, bloody religious wars and hoping for rich plunder. But Rodrigo’s mind is not bent wholly upon mere conquest:

  • Can El Cid – through a combination of military victories and political nous – be restored to the favour of his king?
  • Can El Cid’s honour – tarnished by the dastardly actions of two brothers of Carrion – be restored by appeal to the king’s court? Or must Diaz – once again – be prepared to utilise more direct and brutal methods?

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Rodrigo Diaz

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