El Cid and the Christians in The Poem of the Cid display crusader-like qualities, which band them together against their enemies as they pursue honor, glory, and faith.
When El Cid first sets out on his journey he states, “May the power of the Blessed Virgin protect me. Now I must leave Castile, for I have incurred the King’s wrath.” which is done in an effort to invoke both faith and honor to aid him in his journey (The Poem of the Cid 33). Clearly, before he has begun to fight Moors he is already thinking about his Christian faith and how his beliefs will grant him strength, while at the same time he will pursue honor by killing other humans. For instance, when Cid delivers his speech: “Hear me, my brave men, do not let what I say discourage you. […] The worthy Abbot will ring for matins in San Pedro and will say the Mass of the Holy Trinity for us.” he suggests that he and his men will be revered for their efforts and seen as soldiers of God in the eyes of the Christians (The Poem of the Cid 39). Moreover, Cid proclaims that “I pray to St Peter to help me to intercede for the Cid Campeador that God may keep him from harm,” thereby expressing how he and his companions will be seen as holy warriors who are potentially protected by God in battle (The Poem of the Cid 41). Since Cid believes that his current mission is both noble and holy as he marches to war, his men are inclined to believe these statements as well, which is similar to the way crusaders justify going to war for their faith whether it be Christian or Muslim.
Additionally, like the crusaders of 1095, Cid and his men pillage loot their way through the land, thus bestowing glory upon themselves. For example, when Cid and his entourage arrive in Castej...
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...he Cid 75). Ultimately, Cid is a crusader at heart plundering through lands as he sees fit.
The Christian identity in The Poem of the Cid is one of complexity and war. As demonstrated by Cid’s military campaigns God can be on both the side of Muslims and Christians, “The Moors called on Muhammad and the Christians on St. James” which leads one to believe that the monetary value of raiding and plundering villages was what led these men to band together against a common foe (The Poem of the Cid 63). Moreover, as Cid continues his adventures he clearly gains the respect of the Moors who join him against the Count Ramon of Barcelona, so perhaps one could assume it was all for monetary gain. Regardless, Cid’s story is one of conquest, glory, and honor that parallels the stories of the crusaders and parades the idea of gaining wealth through war to the populace of Iberia.
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