Cantar de Mio Cid (ca. 1200)

This is a pedagogical edition of a selection of el Cantar de Mio Cid (ca. 1200) with a short general introduction, notes, and brief bibliography. The edition and translation are by Matthew Bailey (2019).

The Cantar de Mio Cid is the only complete surviving epic poem in Castilian. It relates the quasi-historical exploits of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (d. 1099), a low-ranking Christian noble from outside Burgos who went on to become a powerful warlord and (temporary) ruler of Valencia. The poem traces the trajectory of Díaz’s disgrace at court, exile, and eventual triumph and restoration to the good graces of his king, Alfonso VI of Castile.

[Spanish version] [English version]

Have you used this unit in the classroom (or elsewhere)? Please share your experience in the comments!

One thought on “Cantar de Mio Cid (ca. 1200)

  1. I used this unit in the fourth-semester Spanish course that satisfies my university’s core language requirement. Each of my two sections had about 18 students. This course is an intro to Hispanic civilization and culture for students whose language skills are still developing. Several things about this unit made it ideal to use in this course:

    – The introduction situates the CMC among other epic poetry that students and my university know/have read. Because our core courses are designed to dialogue with each other in that way, this feature of the lesson was ideal.

    – Many of my students are still building their reading comprehension skills. The summaries before each section of the poem helped them know what they would be reading and enabled them to follow the storyline more successfully.

    – I wanted my students to see a transcription of the original Spanish, like the one provided in this unit, so they could compare it to the romance they had read with the jarchas and track the evolution of Castilian Spanish.

    – At the same time, my fourth-semester Spanish students were not ready to encounter thirteenth-century Spanish without the support of a modern Spanish translation. The unit pairs the modern Spanish alongside the older Spanish. Students could read only the familiar language if they wished; those who were curious about the older Spanish could do a side-by-side comparison.

    – The selection of poem fragments gave students access to different facets of the poem’s complexity and the character of the Cid.

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