The Spanish levies had been unable to contribute much aid to the Allies; the French having subdued almost all Spain, and being now in possession of Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida.
As Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar he is first mentioned in a charter of Ferdinand I.
In addition to the decisive victory of Salamanca, Madrid had been occupied, the siege of Cadiz raised, Andalusia freed, and Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz stormed.
In the quarrel between Sancho and his brotherAlphonso, Rodrigo Diaz espoused the cause of the former, and it was he who suggested the perfidious stratagem by which Sancho eventually obtained the victory and possession of Leon.
The key to the remaining operations of t811 lies in the importance attached by both Allies and French to the possession of the fortresses which guarded the two great roads from Portugal into Spain - Almeida and Ciudad Rodrigo on the northern, and Badajoz and Elvas on the southern road; all these except Elvas were in French hands.
The fortresses of Almeida, Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz barred the roads.
Local antiquaries even identify the knight with Don Rodrigo de Pacheco, whose portrait adorns the parish church; and the same authorities hold that part of the romance was written while Cervantes was a prisoner in their town.
The Cid of romance, the Cid of a thousand battles, legends and dramas, the Cid as apotheosized in literature, the Cid invoked by good Spaniards in every national crisis, whose name is a perpetual and ever-present inspiration to Spanish patriotism, is a very different character from the historical Rodrigo Diaz - the freebooter, the rebel, the consorter with the infidels and the enemies of Spain.
For these reasons he marched by land; and as the roads north of the Tagus were deemed impassable for guns, while transport and supplies for a large force were also difficult to procure, he sent Sir John Hope, with the artillery, cavalry and reserve ammunition column, south of the river, through Badajoz to Almaraz, to move thence through Talavera, Madrid and the Escurial Pass, involving a considerable detour; while he himself with the infantry, marching by successive divisions, took the shorter roads north of the Tagus through Coimbra and Almeida, and also by Alcantara and Coria to Ciudad Rodrigo and Salamanca.
Luis de 1Vlenezes, conde de Ericeira, the ecclesiastical histories of Archbishop Rodrigo da Cunha, the Agiologio lusitano of Jorge Cardoso and the Chronica da Companhia de Jesus by, Padre Balthazar Telles.