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Miguel de Cervantes was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His major work, Don Quixote, considered to be 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. He was dubbed El Príncipe de los Ingenios. In 1569 Cervantes moved to Rome where he worked as chamber assistant of a cardinal. He then 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 by his captors on payment of a ransom by his parents and the Trinitarians, a Catholic religious order, and he subsequently returned to his family in Madrid. In 1585 Cervantes published a pastoral novel named La Galatea....
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