Although in my overview and translation of the Historia Roderici (the anonymous Latin biography of the Spanish knight and ruler of Valencia El Cid Campeador) I questioned the conception of El Cid as a 'Christian hero' or 'defender of the West,' it is nonetheless true that the later sections of the Historia Roderici- in relation to his conquest of Valencia- portray El Cid as driven with zeal for Christianity. It is also the case that the image of a Christian warrior is the one El Cid sought to convey in his own propaganda while he was ruling Valencia, as attested in this official document- dated to July-December 1098 CE- that is the main surviving contemporary evidence of his brief period of rule there.
The document, in short, details various grants El Cid made to the cathedral church of Valencia and its bishop Jerome, who originally came from France. The document underscores the image of El Cid as a Christian warrior though an extended preface to the grants providing a grand historical narrative of God's relation with mankind, in which God first elevated the Israelites as the chosen people, and then, following the advent of Jesus and the Jewish rejection of him ('the Jewish perfidy'), the message of Christianity spread all over the world, including to Spain, which initially gained correct understanding of the faith, but subsequently went astray and was thus punished with the Muslim conquest, whose dominion has been lasting for nearly 400 years (beginning with the original conquest in 711 CE), but then finally God showed mercy for the Christians and thus elevated El Cid Campeador as their avenger and the propagator of Christianity, conquering Valencia and converting its mosque into a cathedral.
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