Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Spanish pronunciation: ; 29 September 1547 – 23 April 1616) was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus Don Quixote, often considered the first modern novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His work is often considered amongst the most important works in all of Western literature. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that Spanish is often called la lengua de Cervantes, Spanish for the language of Cervantes. He has been dubbed El Príncipe de los Ingenios – The Prince of Wits.
It is assumed that Miguel de Cervantes was born in Alcalá de Henares, in modern day Madrid, Spain. The exact date of his birth is not known, but it is probable that he was born on 29 September, 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, 1547, at the parish church of Santa Maria la Mayor. The baptismal act read:
— Bachiller Serrano