Balthazar Ayala

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Balthazar Ayala
Portret van Balthasar Ayala Balthasar Ayala I.C. et senator (titel op object) Portretten van beroemde Nederlandse en Vlaamse geleerden (serietitel) Illustrium Galliae Belgicae scriptorum icones et elogi (serietitel), RP-P-1906-660.jpg
Died1584(1584-00-00) (aged 35–36)
Nationality Spain
OccupationMilitary judge

Balthazar Ayala (1548–1584) was a military judge in the Habsburg Netherlands during the opening decades of the Eighty Years' War who wrote an influential treatise on the law of war.[1]


Ayala was born in Antwerp in 1548, the son of a Spanish cloth merchant, Gregorio Ayala, and his wife Agnes Rainalmia, a native of Cambrai.[2] He studied at Leuven University, graduating licentiate of laws. On 27 May 1580 the Prince of Parma appointed him auditor general of the Army of Flanders.[2]

On 20 January 1583, he was appointed master of requests in the Great Council of Mechelen, then sitting in Namur as a result of the unfolding Dutch Revolt. In 1584 he was royal commissioner for the renewal of the magistracy in Breda, Herentals and Lier. He died in Aalst on 1 September 1584, probably while acting in the same capacity there.[2]

Of his five brothers, Grégoire was also military auditor and later a member of the Council of Brabant, and Philippe was entrusted with an embassy to Henri IV of France.[2]


  • De jure et officiis bellicis et disciplina militari (Douai, Jan Bogard, 1582). Second edition, Antwerp, 1597.[3]


  1. ^ The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance, edited by Gordon Campbell (Oxford University Press, 2003), s.v. "Ayala, Balthazar".
  2. ^ a b c d Jules Delecourt, "Ayala (Balthazar)", Biographie Nationale de Belgique, vol. 1 (Brussels, 1866), 571-573.
  3. ^ Balthazar de Ayala, De iure et officijs bellicis, et disciplina militari (Antwerp, Martinus Nutius, 1597). On Google Books.
  4. ^ Balthazar Ayala, Three Books on the Law of War and on the Duties Connected with War and on Military Discipline, translated by John Pawley Bate, (Washington DC, 1912). On Google Books