Common figures

What do Captain John Smith (of Jamestown fame, to most Americans) and Miguel de Cervantes (author of Don Quixote) have in common?

       

They were both military bad-asses (Smith- fighting as a mercenary against the Turks, won 3 individual combats leaving his opponent’s head’s on pikes, look at his coat of arms; Cervantes fought with notable bravery at Lepanto). They were both doing important things in the first decade of the 1600’s. They were both white guys (English and Spanish, respectively). They both had amazing lives worth reading a biography about. And they were both Christians who were held as Muslim slaves, Smith by the Ottomans in what’s now Turkey, Cervantes by the Barbary pirates looking for galley-slaves out of Algiers. Smith killed his owner and escaped across a considerable distance to friendly Christian territory, Cervantes had four unsuccessful escape attempts and was finally ransomed after fives years a slave.

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