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Portrait of Carlos Coloma by Anthony van Dyck.

Don Carlos Coloma de Saa, 1st Marquess of Espinar (Alicante, 9 February 1566 – 23 November 1637, Madrid) was a Spanish military commander, diplomat and author. He is also known as a translator of Tacitus.


Carlos Coloma was born in a noble family with strong connections to the military. He was the fourth son out of 14 children from the third marriage of Juan Coloma y Cardona, 3rd Sieur and 1 Count of Elda. His father was also a soldier and an writer. He joined the army as an ensign in 1581 and campaigned in Portugal, Sicily, the Netherlands and Germany, eventually making his way up to the rank of maestro de campo general. He played an important part in the Siege of Doullens (1595).

After serving as governor of the Roussillon (1600-1611) and viceroy of Mallorca (1611-1617), he became governor of Cambrai in 1617. In 1621 he took over from Spinola as commander-in-chief of the Spanish invasion of the Electorate of the Palatinate. The following year he succeeded the Count of Gondomar as Spanish ambassador to England. Recalled when war broke out between England and Spain in 1624, he participated in Spinola's Siege of Breda (August 1624-June 1625) and is supposedly portrayed on Velázquez' Las Lanzas. After a term as commander in Milan, Coloma returned to London in 1630 to restore peace between the two crowns. From 1631 until his return to Spain in 1634, he acted as commander-in-chief of the Army of Flanders. During his final years he served King Philip IV as mayordomo mayor and member of the Council of State.

Carlos Coloma received the habito of the Order of Santiago in 1591 and was given the Commandry of Montiel y La Ossa in 1621. On 16 September 1627, Philip IV created him Marquess of Espinar. He married a Flemish noblewoman, Marguerite de Liedekerke, daughter of Antoon I van Liederkerke Louise de la Barre. They had 4 sons and 6 daughters.


  • Carlos Coloma, De las guerras de los Estados Baxos, desde el año de M.D.LXXXVIII. hasta el de M.D.XC.IX (Cambrai, Jean de la Rivière, 1622). Further editions: Antwerp 1624 and 1635 and Barcelona 1627. Recently, April 2010, Antonio CORTIJO OCAÑA, has coordinated a new edition and study, based in the 1625 edition made at Anwerp, now Belgium, for the Spanish Ministry of Defense, ISBN, 978-84-9781-551-3, 766 pages.
  • Tacitus, Obras de Cajo Cornelio Tacito, Carlos Coloma transl. (Douai, Wyon, 1629).[1]


  1. Burke, Peter (1966). "A Survey of the Popularity of Ancient Historians, 1450-1700". Blackwell Publishing. pp. 140. Digital object identifier:10.2307/2504511. JSTOR 2504511. 

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