Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), was a Portuguese sea captain who led the first voyage that sailed around the world. Ferdinand Magellan journey provided the first constructive evidence that the earth is round. Ferdinand Magellan did not live to complete the voyage, but his creative scheduling and daring control made the whole trip possible. Many scholars consider it the supreme navigational accomplishment in history.
Ferdinand Magellan Early Life
- Ferdinand Magellan was born in about 1480 in northern Portugal. His name in Portuguese was Fernao de Magalhaes. His parents, who were associates of the decency, died when Ferdinand Magellan was about 10 years old. At the age of 12, Ferdinand Magellan became a page to Queen Leonor at the regal court. Such a place usually served as a means of teaching for sons of the Portuguese nobility.
- At the court, Ferdinand Magellan learned about the journey of such explorers as Christopher Columbus of Italy and Vasco da Gama of Portugal. Ferdinand Magellan also learned the basics of navigation. In 1496, Ferdinand Magellan was advanced to the grade of squire and became a clerk in the nautical subdivision. There, Ferdinand Magellan helped fit out ships for trade along the west shore of Africa.
- Ferdinand Magellan first went to sea in 1505, when Ferdinand Magellan sailed to India with the armada of Francisco de Almeida, Portugal's first viceroy to that country. In 1506, Ferdinand Magellan went on a trip sent by Almeida to the east seashore of Africa to reinforce Portuguese bases there. The next year, Ferdinand Magellan returned to India, where Ferdinand Magellan contributed in trade and in several naval battles against Turkish fleets.
- In 1509, Ferdinand Magellan sailed with a Portuguese fleet to Melaka, a business centre what is now Malaysia. The Malays assaulted the Portuguese who went ashore, and Ferdinand Magellan helped save his friends. In 1511, Ferdinand Magellan took part in a journey that occupied Melaka. After this triumph, a Portuguese fleet cruised farther east to the Spice Islands. Portugal asserted the islands at this time. Ferdinand Magellan's close special friend Francisco Serrao went along on the journey and wrote to Ferdinand Magellan, unfolding the route and the island of Ternate. Serrao's correspondence helped establish in Ferdinand Magellan's mind the site of the Spice Islands, which later became the purpose of his greatvoyage.
- Ferdinand Magellan arrived to Portugal in 1513. Ferdinand Magellan then joined a military expedition to Morocco. On this tour, Ferdinand Magellan suffered a wound that made him limp for the rest of his life.
Voyage Around the World
- After returning to Portugal from Morocco, Ferdinand Magellan required the support of King Manuel I for a voyage to the Spice Islands. The top maps available had persuaded Magellan that Ferdinand Magellan could reach the Spice Islands by sailing south of South America. Ferdinand Magellan supposed such a route would be shorter than the eastward voyage around the southern tip of Africa and across the Indian Ocean. However, Manuel not liked Ferdinand Magellan and declined to support the anticipated voyage.
- In 1517, Magellan went to Spain. There, Ferdinand Magellan presented his offer for visiting the Spice Islands as part of a westward circum navigation of the earth. The subsequent year, Magellan persuaded Charles I of Spain to support such a voyage. The king assured Magellan a fifth of the profits from thevoyage to the Spice Islands, plus wages.
- On Sept. 20, 1519, Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Sanlucar de Barrameda in southern Spain. Magellandirected a total of about 240 men and a fleet of five ships, the Concepcion, San Antonio, Santiago, Trinidad, and Victoria. Discontent among the troops plagued the voyage from the beginning, and antagonism among the Spaniards toward Magellan grew quickly. About a month after the voyage began, the Spanish captain of the San Antonio challenged Magellan's power, and Ferdinand Magellan had the captain under arrest.
- The fleet sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the shore of Brazil. The ships then followed the South American coast to the bay where Rio de Janeiro now stands. They stayed there for two weeks and then sailed south in search of a way to the Pacific Ocean. However, the ships could not find a passage earlier than the end of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Ferdinand Magellan's fleet anchored in late March 1520, for the winter at Puerto San Julian in what is now southern Argentina.
- On Oct.18, 1520, Ferdinand Magellan and his crew resumed their voyage. Three days shortly, they exposed the passage to the Pacific--a passage known ever since as the Strait of Ferdinand Magellan. As the fleet navigated through the strait, the crew of the San Antonio mutinied and returned to Spain. The three remaining ships sailed out of the strait and into the ocean, on November 28.
Ferdinand Magellan Death
Ferdinand Magellan and his team went to the Philippines and stayed for quite a few weeks, and close associations developed between them and the islanders. Ferdinand Magellan took individual pride in switching many of the people to Christianity. Regrettably, however, Ferdinand Magellan mixed up himself in enmity among the people. On April 27, 1521, Magellan was slaughtered when Ferdinand Magellanparticipated in a combat between enemy Filipino groups on the island of Mactan.
Results of the Voyage
- The Portuguese deemed Ferdinand Magellan as a conspirator, and the Spanish destined Ferdinand Magellanafter they received reports of his harshness and of his errors in navigation.
- Ferdinand Magellan failed to discover a short route to the Spice Islands, but his voyage donated greatly to facts about the earth. In addition, the discovery of the Strait of Ferdinand Magellan led to future European voyages to find out about the vast Pacific.