Oliva, Fernan Perez De
OLIVA, FERNAN PEREZ DE, Spanish man of letters, one of .the earliest writers of didactic prose in that language, was born at Cordova about 1492, and, after studying at Salamanca, Alcala, Paris, and Rome, was appointed to the chair of moral philosophy at Salamanca, where he died in 1530. His principal work, a Dialogue on the Dignity of Man, which he did not live to complete, was finished by Francisco Cervantes de Salazar, and published in 1546. His metrical translations from Euripides and Plautus are un important.
(1587-1645), Spanish statesman, was born at Rome on 6th January 1587, where his father, Count Enrique, who afterwards became viceroy successively of Sicily and Naples, was at the time ambassador to Pope Sixtus V. His grandfather, Count Pedro (1502-1562), had been a prominent figure at the courts both of Charles V. and of Philip II. After studying at Salamanca Olivares received, through the influence of his uncle the duke of Uceda, the appointment of gentleman of the bedchamber to the prince of Asturias. By his winning manners and valued, if not always very creditable, services he so ingratiated himself with the heir-apparent that the latter, on his accession as Philip IV. in 1621, forthwith made him his prime minister, conferring on him the title of Duque de San Lucar de Barrameda. It was the ambition of Olivares to reimin for his country by arms and intrigue the influence ij'had formerly possessed in Europe, but his abilities, great as they were, were very unequally matched with those of Richelieu, his rival in policy, and twenty-two years of almost autocratic power accordingly had no other result than deep national humiliation as well as personal disgrace (see SPAIN). The expedients to which he was compelled to resort in order to raise money for his long and unsuccessful war with the Dutch and for the support of his armies in Germany and Italy raised throughout the Spanish peninsula a spirit of discontent, which came to a crisis in 1640, when Catalonia rebelled, calling in the aid of the French, and Portugal declared its independence, electing the duke of Braganza as king. All his attempts at pacification having failed, the enemies of Olivares succeeded in supplanting him in the king's favour in 1643. He was banished to Toro (Zamora) where he died in 1645.
See De la Rocca, Hist. du minisMre du Conte-due d' Olivares (Cologne, 1673).