Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish writer who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world's pre-eminent novelists. His masterpiece Don Quixote has been translated into more languages than any other book except the Bible.
His major work, Don Quixote, sometimes considered the first modern novel, is a classic of Western literature, regarded among the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes. He has also been dubbed El príncipe de los ingenios.
In 1569, in forced exile from Castile, Cervantes moved to Rome, where he worked as chamber assistant of a cardinal. Then he enlisted as a soldier in a Spanish Navy infantry regiment and continued his military life until 1575, when he was captured by Barbary pirates. After five years of captivity, he was released on payment of a ransom by his parents and the Trinitarians, a Catholic religious order, and he returned to his family in Madrid.
In 1585, Cervantes published a pastoral novel titled La Galatea.