Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas (1549 - March 28, 1626 or March 27, 1625) was a chronicler, historian, and writer of the Spanish Golden Age. He authored what is considered one of the best contemporaneous works written on the conquest of the Americas - despite never having lived or visited any part of them. As Chief Chronicler of Castile and the Americas during the reigns of Philip II and Philip III he would become one of the most prolific historians of his era. This is not to say that he was among the best. The Diccionario de historia de España, described him as an opportunistic, greedy, scheming plagiarist: not notably desirable qualities in a historian. For a courtier, these prove to be essential traits, and they served Herrera y Tordesillas well. His youthful connections would eventually bring him under the service of the Italian Prince Vespasiano I Gonzaga, to whom he became a most trusted aide. Herrera successfully leveraged this position to expand both his circle of friends and his personal wealth, and the relationship would lead to the introduction to King Philip II which made the rest of his career. His massive output ensured that he had constantly new opportunities to dedicate works to powerful potential patrons. Herrera y Tordesillas' cartographic contributions are largely contained in his 1601 Descripción de las Indias Occidentales, which is notable for containing some of the only maps produced during early colonization of the Americas that were derived from official Spanish sources, including the manuscript maps of Juan López de Velasco.