Tag Archives: St James

El Cid and King Alfonso VI

Alfonso VI, known as the Brave or the Valiant, was King of León from 1065, king of King of Castile and de facto King of Galicia from 1072, and the self-proclaimed ‘Emperor of all Spain’.  This was rather an exaggeration because he only effectively had power over about a third of the peninsular which meant that he had a lot of work to do to turn this aspiration into reality and under the leadership of Alfonso an earnest program of crusading reconquest began.

Read the full story…

El Cid and Saint James

If El Cid represents the secular aspects of heroism and military conquest during the Reconquista the spiritual hero representing the religious justification and the Christian ethos of the crusade against the Muslims was Santiago, St James the Apostle, and the patron Saint of Spain.

In ‘Don Quixote’ Cervantes wrote ‘St. James the Moorslayer, one of the most valiant saints and knights the world ever had … has been given by God to Spain for its patron and protection.’  Since the reconquest ‘Santiago y cierra España’, which means St James and strike for Spain has been the traditional battle cry of Spanish armies.

Read the full story…