Also known as El Cid Campeador (meaning my lord, the champion). His real name was Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar and he was a Spanish nobleman who was born in about 1040 and died in 1099. El Cid is a national hero in Spain because he is seen as a brave and accomplished warrior who fought to take control of Spain from the Muslims. Legends suggests that El Cid fought for both sides at different times.
St George was a soldier from the Roman empire who refused to take part in the Empire’s persecution of Christians. He was executed for treachery and became a Christian martyr. Later, King Edward III made him the patron Saint of England. St George is the hero of a legend in which he slays a man – eating dragon that was guarding a city’s water supply. The city’s inhabitants were so grateful that they converted from paganism to George’s Christianity.
Legend says that Arthur, King of the Britons, won the nthrone by pulling a sword – the famous Excalibur – from a stone. This was a feat that only the true king was able to achieve. Arthur ruled during a period of peace and prosperity in Britain. Some folks tales say that if Britain is in danger, Arthur will return with his kinghts to defend the nation.
According to Greek and Roman mythology, Hercules was born with superhuman strength. By the time he reached adulthood he killed a lion. Hercules had a jealous stepmother, who drove him to madness. While in this state, Hercules killed his wife and children. In order to regain his honor, Hercules had to perform difficult tasks.
The Robin Hood of folklore was an English nobleman whose land was seized while King Richard the Lion heart was away fighting in the Crusades (1188 – 92). He became an outlaw in Sherwood Forest and led a band of Merry Men (and Maid Marian, his true love). The robbed the nobility who traveled through the forest and passed on the valuables they stole to the poor and needy. Robin Hood was a master of disguise and many stories describe how he dressed as somebody else in order to trick his enemies or rescue his friends.