CID-07 Andalusian Mercenary Knight
The age in which El Cid lived has since been termed the “Reconquista”, or Christian reconquest of Spain from the Moors, and was one of the most colourful periods in military history. The armies are spectacular and varied, ranging from the noble Christian Knights to the Muslim Andalusians, through to the religious zeal of the African invaders, the Almoravids and Almohads.
Although the period is often portrayed as a simple war of religion, it was in fact a great deal more complex, with Muslim commonly fighting Muslim, and Christian fighting Christians, with both sides using allies and mercenaries whenever it suited them.
This period, during the lifetime of El Cid 1040-1100AD saw the rise of heavy cavalry charges and other northern European influences, especially in the kingdoms of Aragon and Catalonia, which had the strongest links to France.
Al-Andalus was the Muslim-ruled area of the Iberian Peninsula. The name more specifically describes the different Arab or Berber states that controlled these territories at various times between 711 and 1492, though the boundaries changed constantly as the Christian Reconquista progressed.
Nearly all of the warring factions in Spain used local Andalusian troops as allies in their armies. Christian kingdoms often called upon their neighbouring states to assist in campaigns against Moorish troops, or they were also found joining the jihads in the armies of the invading Almoravids and Almohads.