Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, named El Cid Campeador, is desdendent from Diego Porcelos, who founded Burgos, and the famous judge Laín Calvo.
He was born around the year 1043 in Vivar del Cid, a village located 8 km from Burgos.
His father was a noble who was in charged of retain the Navarros in their kingdom whose border was only around 20 km in the north of Burgos, in this way, he learnt to figth in his very??childhood. and he took class whith the infantes Sancho and Alfonso, so he could learnt to read and write, it was unusual for most of people in the middle ages.
When the King Fernando I died, he distributed the kingdom among his sons, so Sancho inherited Castilla, Alfonso inherited León and García inherited Galicia; but Sancho, the first- born was not agreed with this and he fought for the whole kingdom against his brothers and he won.
In 1072 Sancho died in Zamora and El Cid went to Toledo, where Alfonso was exiled and Rodrigo delivered him the whole Kindom, as Sancho had asked to him.
In this way, Rodrigo didn´t take the oath to the King that he hadn´t ordered his brother murdered, by the contrary Alfonso esteemed El Cid and he married him whith his niece Jimena in 1074.
Then, why Alfonso exiled him? Because the nobility had jealous of him due to his good relationship whith the King and they accused him of keeping some of the tax money he was in charged to collect from the moros kingdoms and he was exiled first time in 1081.
The moor King of Zaragoza called him for his help in the fights against his brother, the emir of Lérida as far as he got Alfonso forgiveness and he came back to Castilla, but the King didn´t count with him for anything so he left Castilla in his own, but in 1089 Alfonso asked him for help in Aledos battle but he didn´t get in time and the King got furious and exiled him again and deprived him of his propertis.
He came back whit Almuntamin and when he got the army and enough money he left with his army and thanks to his talent in the battles, he was the one invincible against the moors, he conquered Valencia in 1094 and reigned the city until his death in 1099. Jimena managed to support Valencia until 1103, when she came to Castilla whith Rodrigo´s body.
Jimena and Rodrigo were buried in San Pedro Cardeña Monastery until 1921 when they were moved under the catedral´s central dome.
People is often confused about some things about El Campeador life.
1-As i´ve said before he didn´t take the famous oath to Alfonso.
2- he didn´t kill Jimena´s father,
3- he got 2 daugthers called María and Cristina, and he got a son called Diego who died in 1098 in Consuegra.
4- his daugther didn´t got married whis Los infantes de Carrion.
He became a legend because he did not loose a battle , even when his army was much less numerous than his adversary´s.
El Cantar de Mío Cid, ( writen in 1207 by Per Abat) that reports exploits inspired freely in the last years of El Campeador´s life , has contributed a lot in the memory of Rodrigo and his legend.