Here, he serves as steward of the Cardinal-elect Giulio Acquaviva.
Under General Don John of Austria, Cervantes fights in the naval battle of Lepanto. He is shot twice in the chest and once in his left hand. He is left crippled for life, but receives many honors.
Remained in North Africa for five years with fellow captors, waiting for his family to pay his ransom. Cervantes organized four separate escape attempts, each failing. Returns as a national hero, but jobless and with a family destitute after paying his large ransom.
Cervantes writes many unsuccessful plays and poems during this time.
Forced to get a job with a constant salary to support his family. Is charged many times for malfeasance and put in jail on three different occasions. Wrote some dramas and poems at this time, which remained, for the most part, unsuccessful. During his last jail term, he conceives Don Quixote.
A knockoff of Cervantes's Don Quixote is published under the pseudonym Alonso Fernandez de Avellaneda. Cervantes hurries to finish his own sequel, which denounces Fernandez's work as fake.