The Bhallaṭa‧śataka [BS] was written by Bhallata, a 9th century Sanskrit poet from Kashmir. It may well be the oldest long poem of the oblique (anyāpadeśa) genre. Bhallaṭa was probably a member of the elite scholarly circle patronized by Avantivarman [reg. 855-883 CE] that included Anandavardhana, Sivasvami and Ratnakara.
Some scholars [e.g. V.Raghavan] interpret the sharp if oblique criticisms in the BS to be a directed at king Sankaravarman, who did not care for art and literature as much as his father Avantivarman. This may be the case. It is equally possible that Bhallaṭa was merely following the conventions of the anyāpadeśa genre.
The verses of the BS are classical in their idiom, and are understated and allusive (anyokti). They enjoyed great popularity and are quoted often by anthologists [Jalhana, Sarngadhara, Vallabhadeva] and poetologists [Abhinavagupta, Bhoja, Ksemendra, Kuntaka, Mammata, Mahimabhatta] – often with no attribution or incorrect attribution.