Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Birthplace: Alcala de Henares, Community of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Death: Died in Barrio de Las Letras, Madrid de los Austrias, España
Cause of death: Diabetes
Place of Burial: Convento de las Trinitarias, Madrid, España
Immediate Family:

Son of Rodrigo Cervantes Torreblanca and Leonor de Cortinas
Husband of Catalina de Salazar y Palacios
Partner of Ana Villafranca de Rojas
Father of Isabel de Saavedra
Brother of Andrés de Cervantes; Andrea de Cervantes; Luisa de Cervantes, Carmelita; Rodrigo de Cervantes; Magdalena de Cervantes and 1 other

Occupation: Novelist, poet, playwright, soldier
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Born 1547 (day unknown); died 22 April 1616) was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst 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 ("the language of Cervantes"). He was dubbed El Príncipe de los Ingenios ("The Prince of Wits").


It is assumed that Miguel de Cervantes was born in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. The exact date of his birth is not known, but it is probable that he was born on September 29, the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel, given the tradition to name a child with the name of the feast day of his birth. Cervantes was baptized in Alcalá de Henares on October 9, 1549, at the parish church of Santa María la Mayor. The baptismal act read:

   Sunday, the ninth day of the month of October, the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred forty and seven years, Miguel is crowned and baptized, son of Rodrigo Cervantes and his wife doña Lenore. Baptized by the reverend sir Bartolomé Serrano, priest of Our Lady. Witnesses, Baltasar Vázquez, Sacristan, and I, who baptized him and signed this in my name. — Bachelor Serrano

His father was Rodrigo de Cervantes, a surgeon of Galician descent. At the time, a surgeon was not a medical doctor, but a lesser medical practitioner with no exact equivalent in modern English-speaking countries. His paternal grandfather, Juan de Cervantes, was an influential lawyer who held several administrative positions. His uncle was mayor of Cabra for many years. Little is known of his mother, Leonor de Cortinas, except that she was a native of Arganda del Rey. His siblings were Andrés (1543), Andrea (1544), Luisa (1546), Rodrigo (1550), Magdalena (1554) and Juan - known solely because he is mentioned in his father's will.

A specialist in Sephardic history and culture, Historian Abraham Haim believes that Miguel de Cervantes’ classic "Don Quixote de la Mancha" is the product of "the silence experienced by a Jewish soul." made the comment during a lecture "Traces of Judaism in Don Quixote" organized by Casa Sefarad-Israel in Madrid at the Cervantes Institute. This institute is a worldwide cultural organization created by the Spanish government in 1991 to promote the study and the teaching of Spanish language and culture. Citing several examples, Haim stated that "Don Quixote" contains numerous references to the Kabbalah and Jewish traditions, and that the only possible explanation for this would be that the author belonged to a family of "Conversos",

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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (¿Alcalá de Henares?, 29 de septiembre de 1547 – Madrid, 22 de abril1 de 1616) fue un soldado, novelista, poeta y dramaturgo español.

Es considerado una de las máximas figuras de la literatura española y universalmente conocido por haber escrito Don Quijote de la Mancha, que muchos críticos han descrito como la primera novela moderna y una de las mejores obras de la literatura universal. Se le ha dado el sobrenombre de «Príncipe de los Ingenios».

El lugar de nacimiento de Miguel de Cervantes no está establecido con absoluta certeza, considerándose como más probable que naciera en Alcalá de Henares, dado que allí fue bautizado, según su acta de bautismo, y que de allí manifestó ser natural en la llamada Información de Argel (1580). El día exacto de su nacimiento es desconocido, aunque es probable que naciera el 29 de septiembre, fecha en que se celebra la fiesta del arcángel San Miguel, dada la tradición de recibir el nombre del santoral. Miguel de Cervantes fue bautizado en Alcalá de Henares (España) el 9 de octubre de 1547, en la parroquia de Santa María la Mayor.




RESEARCHERS have begun a search in a Madrid convent for the remains of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.

The 16th-century author of Don Quixote is believed to have been a descendant of Jewish converts to Christianity.

And theories relating to Cervantes Saavedra's birth in Zamora and to his Jewish origins are growing in number.

Although Cervantes Saavedra did not advertise his Jewish connection, there are many encrypted references to it in his texts, according to Ana Pedrero, of Zamora News.

It is thought that he was buried in 1616 in a church in Madrid, although there are those who believe that his remains were transferred elsewhere when the monastery was enlarged.

Scientists and technicians used a geo-radar and a thermo graphic camera in an attempt to find his remains.

And the results of their investigation are to be published next month.

Pedrero explained that doubt has been cast on what was believed to be Cervantes Saavedra's official baptism certificate.

Until the 1970s, it was taken for granted that the area referred to in the certificate was a stretch known as Castilla-La Mancha.

And it was presumed that the action in the book took place there.

But Professor Leandro Rodriguez, who has spent 50 years studying Cervantes Saavedra, realised that there were constant references in the text to "the mountains of Leon" and intimate knowledge of that area's places and customs.

This would make the village of Cervantes Saavedra, in Sanabria, part of the province of Zamora in the north of Spain, the birthplace of the writer.

In the village there is a house known as "the writer's house" and its cemetery is full of people whose family name is Saavedra - his mother's surname.

The Shavei Israel organisation, which aims to gather lost Jews from around the world, has built a synagogue where the original one stood.

The area of the town that houses it is full of crypto-Jewish crosses and designs.

Another Cervantes Saavedra expert - Spanish author Santiago Trancon - said that Cervantes Saavedra's converso origin had already been mentioned by the late Spanish cultural historian Américo Castro and that there were plenty of clues in Don Quixote.

Don Quixote eats pig, except on Saturdays when he eats a dish that he refers to in his text - using converso slang - as "duelos y quebrantos" (mourning and breaking).

Duelos y quebrantos is a dish made with eggs, pork fat and pork sausage and was traditionally eaten on Saturday - in order to prove that one was not a Jew.

"Mourning and breaking" refers to having to break the laws of kashrut to prove that one was not a "Judaiser".

The first phase of the search is sponsored by the Madrid municipality.

The total cost of the project is estimated at around £85,000.

Many of the greatest writers in the Spanish language were of converso origin.

The list includes such figures as Luis Vives, Antonio de Nebrija, Jorge de Montemayor, Fray Luis de León, Juan de la Cruz, Teresa de Jesús, Vélez de Guevara, Tirso de Molina, Luis de Góngora, Fernando de Rojas, Francisco Delicado and Mateo Alemán.

Source: Jewish Telegraph, Manchester, England, 16 May 2014

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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's Timeline

September 29, 1547
Alcala de Henares, Community of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Age 34
December 12, 1584
Age 37
April 22, 1616
Age 68
Barrio de Las Letras, Madrid de los Austrias, España
Madrid, España