The Legend of
Julian, a trusted Count of the Visigoths, held the fortress of Ceuta (the mountain opposite Gibraltar) in 711. His beautiful daughter, Florinda, or "La Cava", lived at court in Toledo. The legend is that Florinda was bathing in the rio Tajo near Toledo with her maidens, while King Roderick watched from a hiding place in dense ivy (or behind a trellis), where "love, with beating wings, inflamed him"*.
He "seduced" Florinda. In revenge, Count Julian secretly invited the Muslim Arabs to invade Spain.
Roderick led his army to meet the Moors in a royal state, wearing his gold crown and silken-embroidered robe, on a litter pulled by two white mules. When Count Julian defected the Muslims routed the Visigoths.
The King leapt onto his horse Orelia and fled the disastrous battlefield.
Alone, he laments:
His jewels and robes were found on the bank of a blood-filled river, along with Orelia, but his body was never found.