Facts About Ferdinand Magellan

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Magellan will be remembered as the first man to have circumnavigated the earth. He was Portuguese national and his three years long journey around the world is full of fascinating adventures. He started his journey in 1519 and during the three years of his voyage, he experienced so much which an ordinary man does not even experience in his entire lifetime.

Listed below are ten amazing facts about Magellan’s expedition :

 1) Magellan’s Multinational Crew:

Magellan’s famous journey was originally Spanish in principle. His fleet, however, consisted of people from different nationalities. Spaniards and Portuguese  bagged the highest percentage of crew members in Magellan’s crew. Howbeit, his crew consisted of people which came from lands as distant as Sicily, France, Greece, Germany and North Africa.

2) Treaty of Tordesillas:

This treaty played a somewhat important role in determining the path of Magellan’s voyage. It was issued in 1494 and according to this treaty, Spanish and Portuguese were separated into different lands, as a decree issued by Pope Alexander VI. Magellan initiated his voyage to find an alternate western path to Moluccas which is a archipelago in Indonesia.

3) Magellan – A Traitor for Some:

Albeit being a Portugal native, Magellan’s voyage was sponsored by King Charles I of Spain. This earned him the status of a traitor amongst and infuriated Portugal and King Manuel I of Portugal. The angry king made sure that Magellan was put through enough trouble before he set foot on waters on his enemy’s money, He sabotaged Magellan’s family properties and at one point he even tried to have him assassinated.

4) Sabotage at the Hands of His Crew:

In continuation of the mutual hatred amongst Portugal nationals and Spain nationals, quite a large no. of Magellan’s Spanish crew mutinied against Magellan because they didn’t appreciate the idea of taking orders from a Portuguese captain. Magellan had to face two mutinies at the hands of his fleet before his ship even reached the Pacific. The plan for the first mutiny was leaked and countermeasures were taken effectively. The second mutiny however was of more serious nature and resulted in the loss of lives.

5) Magellan’s Encounter With Giants:

Magellan claims to have encountered what can only be described as giants during his voyage. He claims that he meet men who ranged over 8ft near today’s Argentina. Magellan says that he successfully befriended the giants and even took one of them as captives who died during the voyage.

6)  Pacific Ocean Owes its Name to Magellan:

Magellan named the great ocean as Mr. Pacifico for its calm and peaceful waters in comparison to other wild and rough seas to which Magellan lost one of his ships. Pacifico means calm and peaceful seas in Portuguese. That’s how Pacific ocean earned its name.

7) Magellan – A Religious Fanatic:

Magellan was a staunch Christian and wherever he stopped during his voyage, he tried to convert everyone to Christianity. His ambition to serve religion crossed lines of sanity and he used to threaten those who refused to convert to Christianity.

8) The Next Circumnavigation After Magellan’s:

Magellan’s circumnavigation around the globe had such an intimidating effect that, the next circumnavigation was made after 58 years of Magellan’s.  It was made by Sir Francis Drake, who was an English navigator.

9) Magellan’s Death:

He died on April 27, 1521 whilst fighting in battle of Philippines. His voyage proved fatal for him.

10) Governorship for Magellan and his Men

Magellan and the men accompanying him on the voyage were given permission to attain governorship of any land they found during their voyage.


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