Le Cid Historical Context

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Eleventh-century Spain

From the eighth until the eleventh century, Muslims (or Moors as they were once called) controlled most of the Iberian Peninsula (which contains the present-day Spain, Portugal, and Andorra. The first Muslim leader, Abd-al-Rahman, settled his forces in Cordoba in southern Spain, and it was from this city that he and his descendents ruled for almost three hundred years. At the turn of the eleventh century, Cordoba had become one of the largest metropolitan areas in the Mediterranean. But as the eleventh century neared, the Iberian Peninsula was in no way united. Allegiance to the rulers in Cordoba deteriorated and then completely fell apart when the last leader in Cordoba died in 1036. At this time, small kingdoms (called taifas) declared their independence. Among the most significant of these taifas were Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Toledo, Lisbon, and Valencia.

In the meantime, Christian communities in northern Spain began...

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This section contains 1,163 words
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Le Cid from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.