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Alonso de Ercilla

  • Alonso de Ercilla © CAGP/Iberfoto

    Alonso de Ercilla © CAGP/Iberfoto






Date of birth

Aug 7, 1533

Date of death


" Poet and soldier. He narrated the conquest of Chile in his famous epic poem 'La Araucana'."

Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga was born in 1533 in Madrid, where he died in 1594. He was educated at the court and served as a page to Philip II when he was still prince, accompanying him on his travels around Flanders and England. He left for Chile in 1555, to quell an uprising of the Araucanians. He began to write his epic poem in 37 cantos where he gave account of the events that took place on the expedition. After campaigns in Lima and Panama, he returned to Spain in 1563, and published the first part of this work, which he dedicated to King Philip II (1569). He was appointed a courtier and a Knight of Santiago, after which he took part in various diplomatic negotiations. Once established in Madrid, he is known to have lived a contented life free from material constraints, which enabled him to finish the second and third parts of his poem.

Essential works

  • Work of culture - Generic image

    The Araucaniad

    Epic poem by Alonso de Ercilla on the war between the Spanish Empire and the indigenous peoples of Chile.

    More info

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