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Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga (August 7, 1533–November 29, 1594), was a Spanish nobleman, soldier and epic poet. While in Chile (1556–63) he fought against the Araucanian, and there he began the epic poem La Araucana, considered the greatest Spanish historical poem. This heroic work in 37 cantos is divided into three parts, published in 1569, 1578, and 1589. It tells of the courageous insurrection of the Araucanians and also relates the history of Chile and of contemporary Spain.