Paradoxplace Portraits

Ferdinand Magellan

1480 - 1521





Ferdinand Magellan, Artist Unknown,

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


The account of the 1519 - 1522 circumnavigation by the Italian Antonio Pigafetta, one of the 18 men who returned out of the 270 who had set out.


Magellan was a Portuguese courtier turned navigator who transferred his services to Spain.  In 1519 he set sail from Seville across the Atlantic with five ships and over 270 men in search of the Spice Islands.  They sailed past the interestingly named "Cape of the Eleven Thousand Virgins" and through what was to become known as the Magellan Strait at the southerly tip of South America,  crossed an ocean he named "the Pacific" because it was, and landed in the Philippines, where our man was killed in a scuffle with the natives.  One ship and 18 men made it back to Spain in 1522.  


Magellan is credited with circumnavigating the world because he had earlier (1501-12) made it to the Spice Islands via the Cape of Good Hope.





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