Saavedra Faxardo, Diego De
SAAVEDRA FAXARDO, DIEGO DE (1584-1648), diplomatist and man of letters, was born of a noble family at Algezares in the Spanish province of Murcia in 1584. Having been educated for the church at Salamanca, and admitted to the priesthood, he accompanied Cardinal Borgia, the Spanish ambassador, to Rome in the capacity of secretary. Ultimately he rose to high rank in the diplomatic service, and was Spanish plenipotentiary at Ratisbon in 1636 and at Minster in 1645. He was nominated to the supreme council of the Indies in 1646, but not long afterwards retired to a monastery, where he died in 1648.
In 1640 he published a treatise entitled Empresas politicos, 6 idea de un principe politico cristiano representado en den empresas, hundred short essays, in which he discusses the education of a prince, his relation and duties to those around him, and so forth, primarily intended for and dedicated to the son of Philip IV. It is sententious in style and characterized by the curious learning of the time, and is still read and admired in Spain. It passed through a number of editions and was translated into several languages, the English version being by Astry (2 vols., 8vo, Loudon, 1700). An unfinished historical work entitled Corona Gotica, Castellana, y Austriaca politicarnente ilustrada, appeared in 1646. Another work by Saavedra, only second in popularity to the Emprcsas, his Republica Literaria, was published posthumously in 1670 ; it discusses in a somewhat mocking tone some of the leading characters in the ancient and modern world of letters. Collected editions of his works appeared at Antwerp in 1677-78, and again at Madrid in 1789-90 ; see also vol. xxv. of the Bibl. de Aul. Esp. (1853).