Biography of Diego Hurtado de Mendoza (1503-1575)

Writer, soldier, diplomat, and Spanish historian, born in Granada in 1503, and died in Madrid in 1575. He was the son of Pedro Iñigo López de Mendoza and Francisca Pacheco, brother of María Pacheco, and uncle of the fourth count of Tendilla, Íñigo López de Mendoza. According to Marañón was the most illustrious family (after the first Marquis of Santillana, of course).


He first studied in Granada and later in Salamanca, at whose University was a disciple of the Italian humanist Pedro Mártir de Anglería. Passionate about knowledge, mastered several languages including latin, Arabic and Hebrew. It was celebrated by his ready and rudeness, and there who considered author of Lazarillo. As a diplomat he was in England, Venice and Rome, and came to represent the King at the Council of Trent. By an incident with Diego de Leyva, Felipe II banished it to the Castillo de la Mota, where did not start until the war of Granada (see the rebellion of the Alpujarras), in which participated under the command of his nephew, the Marquis of Mondéjar. This revolt of Abén Humeya in Las Alpujarras (1568) was reflected in his famous history of the Guerra de Granada. At the end of the war, he remained there banished until, in 1574, he was allowed to return to Madrid, where he died the following year.

To achieve real forgiveness, had donated his vast library to Felipe II when it was creating the of El Escorial, and there you can see his books. No confusion with the first Duke of Infantado (which was called equal).


Aside from its importance as a political figure, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza is the best example of assimilation in Spanish poetry of the Italian power introduced by Boscan and Garcilaso de la Vega. These two poets proposed a new way to do verses, according to the models that they had met in Italy. They were innovators, but the success of his proposal was due, mainly, to the followers of this trend. These include, for its quality, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza.

He excelled both in his work by his writings in prose and verse. Some literature of the Renaissance scholars believe that he was the author of Lazarillo de Tormes, novel which remains anonymous.

Yes he was the author, on the other hand, with total safety, of the history of the war of Granada, published in 1627 by Luis Tribaldos de Toledo, in which closely followed to Sallust and Tacitus; his independence of judgement was, perhaps, which earned him the character of unusual work. In this work showed their real condition of humanist: on the one hand, showed his interest in the political events of his around; on the other hand, had episodes of this historic event (the rebellion of the moriscos of Granada the Alpujarras region) imitating the great historians of the Roman antique models.

He was one of the most prominent poets of his time. He met the petrarquista poetry of Garcilaso and Boscan, and decided to write verses following that trend, which gave a definitive boost.

He learned to use these models of Italian poetry to write poetry, burlesque or humorous, as if he were laughing obsession having the Spanish poets by such Italian models. Currently, his light-hearted poetry is so valued as his serious poems.

In addition to the burlesque themes, in his poetry, love has great importance. Other issues highlighted in its verses are morality, friendship, and the comment from the anecdotes of his time.

Apart from the Italian poetry, Hurtado de Mendoza also cultivated Spanish traditional poetry, style which made the court poets of the previous century. Their redondillas were praised even by Lope de Vega.