Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. Spanish author. Born at Alcala de Henares in 1547. Cervantes belonged to an ancient Galician family, and was educated at the University of Salamanca, where he spent his time chiefly in writing verses. After following Cardinal Acquaviva as chamberlain into Italy, he enlisted under Marc Antonio Colonna, and distinguished himself at the Battle of Lepanto (1571), where he lost his left hand. In 1575 he was captured by a corsair, and spent five years in slavery at Algiers. In 1588 he settled at Seville, and for the next ten years devoted his time mainly to writing dramas. In 1605, the first part of "Don Quixote" appeared, and the second followed ten years later. Among Cervantes' other works of Cervantes are "Novelas Exemplares," "Viage al Parnaso," and "Galatea." Cervantes died in 1616.