Magellan, Ferdinand

Magellan, Ferdinand

biographical name

(born c. 1480, Sabrosa, or Porto?, Port.—died April 27, 1521, Mactan, Phil.) Portuguese navigator and explorer. Magellan was born to the nobility. From 1505 he served in expeditions to the East Indies and Africa. Having twice asked King Manuel I for higher pay and been refused, he went to Spain in 1517 and offered his services to King Charles I (later Emperor Charles V), proposing to sail west to the Moluccas (Spice Islands) to prove that they lay in Spanish rather than Portuguese territory. In 1519 he left Sevilla with five ships and about 270 men. He sailed around South America, quelling a mutiny on the way and discovering the Strait of Magellan. With three ships left, Magellan crossed the “Sea of the South,” later called the Pacific Ocean because of their calm crossing. He was killed by inhabitants of Mactan Island in the Philippines, but two of his ships reached the Moluccas, and one, the Victoria, commanded by Juan Sebastián del Cano (1476?–1526), continued west to Spain, accomplishing the first circumnavigation of the world in 1522.


Magellan, Ferdinand Portuguese Fernão de Magalhães Spanish Fernando de Magallanes

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