LEYENDA DE LOS SIETE INFANTES DE LARA

As all epic poems, this tale is an array of exaggerated facts taking place in one of the Spanish Kingdoms of that period, Castile. These facts have a clear background of truth and another one of imagination. It is probable the existence of the Seven Infants of Lara and his master, Muño Salido. They were sons of Gonzalo Gustioz, Lord of Salas, a lordship located in Northern Spain, Burgos, nowadays known as “Salas de los Infantes” after the epic poem.


The Seven Infants were trained in cavalry arts by Muño Sabido. Seven infants and their master reache eight, a magical number in occultism. All of them took active part in the Reconquest, that period of seven centuries during which Christians and Muslims were in continuous war. In the 10th century, when this story took place, Reconquest was at its height.


The aim of revenge is present throughout the story that starts up with an accident. During a wedding, one of infants killed a Doña Lambra’s relative. Ruy Velázquez, husband of Doña Lambra, is persuaded by her to revenge this offence. Gonzalo Gustioz and his sons would be victims of a double treachery. Gonzalo is sent by Ruy Velázquez to Cordoba, at that time capital of Independent Caliphate, carrying a letter written in Arabic addressed to Almanzor, one of the more important and powerful characters in the Caliphate.


Father and sons did not share the same fate. Almanzor, did not murder Gonzalo Gustioz, but he was imprisoned in Cordoba. Seven Infants and their master were beheaded. Their heads were taken to Cordoba in order to be displayed in public. Almanzor shows the heads to Gonzalo, who recognizes them, weeping with emotion. Almanzor pitied him and asks his sister to console the christian prisoner.


Almanzor’s sister and Gonzalo had a son, named Mudarra. Gonzalo is released and returns to Salas. Mudarra is brought up in Cordoba, but years later he met his father, in Salas. This bastard son ended up revenging the death of his brothers, killing Ruy Velazquez.


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