Alamos, Balthazer

, a Spanish writer, born at Medina del Campo, in Castile, about the end of the sixteenth century. After having studied the law at Salamanca, he entered into the service of Anthony Perez, secretary of state under Philip II. He was in high esteem and confidence with his master, upon which account he was imprisoned after the disgrace of this minister, and kept in confinement eleven years, when Philip III. coming to the throne, set him at liberty, according to the orders given by his father in his will. Alamos continued in a private capacity, till the duke of Olivarez, the favourite of Philip IV. called him to public employments. He was appointed advocate-general in the court of criminal causes, and in the council of war. He was afterwards chosen member of the council of the Indies, and then of the council of the king’s patrimony, and a knight of the order of St. James. He was a man of wit as well as judgment, but his writings were superior to his conversation. He died in the 88th year of his age. His Spanish translation of Tacitus, and the aphorisms which he added in the margin, gained him great reputation: the aphorisms, however, have been censured by some authors, particularly by Mr. Amelot, who says, “that instead of being more concise and sententious than the text, the words of the text are always more so than the aphorism.” This work was published at Madrid in 1614, and was to have been followed, as mentioned in the king’s privilege, with a commentary, which, however, has never yet appeared. The author composed the whole during his imprisonment. He left several other works which have never yet been printed. 2


Gen. Dict.—Moreri.