Roderic, "the last of the Goths," whose tragic death, coincident with the downfall of the Visigothic monarchy in Spain, has inspired poets and romancers, to throw round him a halo of glory. According to the common legend he was the son of a noble who was blinded by King Witiza. A conspiracy having been formed against Witiza, Roderic was elevated to the throne (710). The sons of Witiza bided their time. At length certain nobles were engaged in a plot to dethrone Roderic by Count Julian, the governor of Ceuta (in North Africa). Julian brought with him a Moorish chief named Tarik at the head of 12,000 men. Roderic met the invading army on the banks of the Guadelete, on July 26, 711. The battle raged six days; but the sons of Witiza deserted during the contest, and the rout of the Visigoths was complete. Roderic either died on the field or was drowned in the Guadelete.
Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia,