Don Roderigo Ponce de Leon, Marquess of Cadiz, a mirror of chivalry

June 27, 2011

Among the many valiant cavaliers who rallied round the throne of Ferdinand and Isabella, one of the most eminent in rank and renowned in arms was Don Roderigo Ponce de Leon, Marquess of Cadiz. As he was the distinguished champion of this holy war, and commanded in most of its enterprises and battles, it is meet that some particular account should be given of him. He was born in 1443, of the valiant lineage of the Ponces, and from his earliest youth had rendered himself illustrious in the field. He was of the middle stature, with a muscular and powerful frame, capable of great exertion and fatigue. His hair and beard were red and curled, his countenance was open and magnanimous, of a ruddy complexion, and slightly marked with the smallpox. He was temperate, chaste, valiant, vigilant; a just and generous master to his vassals; frank and noble in his deportment towards his equals; loving and faithful to his friends; fierce and terrible, yet magnanimous, to his enemies. He was considered the mirror of chivalry of his times, and compared by contemporary historians to the immortal Cid.

 

Washington Irving, The Conquest of Granada (Agapida edition), (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1893), pp. 32-33.

 

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 87

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