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Ferdinand Magellan

Posted: September 3, 2013 in Uncategorized


FERDINAND MAGELLA Ferdinand Magellan (1480 – 27 April 1521) was a Portuguese explorer who became known for having organised the first circumnavigation of the Earth. He was born in a still disputed location in northern Portugal, and served King Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the “Spice Islands” (modern Maluku Islands in Indonesia). Magellan’s expedition of 1519–1522 became the first expedition to sail from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific Ocean (then named “peaceful sea” by Magellan; the passage being made via the Strait of Magellan), and the first to cross the Pacific. His expedition completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth, although Magellan himself did not complete the entire voyage, being killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines. (For background see Exploration of the Pacific.) Magellan also gives his name to the Magellanic Penguin, which he was the first European to note;[1] the Magellanic clouds, now known to be nearby dwarf galaxies; the twin lunar craters of Magelhaens and Magelhaens A; and the Martian crater of Magelhaens.

life of Ferdinand Magellan

 Ferdinand Magellan was born at Saborosa in Villa Real, Province of Traz os Montes in Portugal in1480 .He was from a wealthy and influential family and he spent his early years at the Portuguese court .One of his teachers was believed to be the cartographer and navigator, Martin Behaim and Magellan become interested in making great voyages of discovery . He joined the expedition of Francisco d’Almeida to India from 1505 .in 1512, He took part in the Portuguese expedition to Morocco and was badly wounded.He had a major disagreement with a commanding officer and left the service without prior permission .Then he asked King Manuel of Portugal for permission to sail to the Spice Islands in the Far East. His request was refused following the unfavourable reports from Morocco. He resumed his studies in Portugal for a couple more years but it was obvious he would not gain support from the Portuguese court. He therefore renounced his Portuguese nationality. In 1518 , He left Portugal and headed for Spain . He convinced King Charles I of Spain to support his voyage to the Spice Islands . King Charles promised Magellan one-fifth of the profits from the voyage to the Spice Islands . They provided 5 ships for the expedition. and he led the five Spanish ships and 251 men in what was to become the first voyage around the World. The fleet under Ferdinand Magellan sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to South America and Rio de Janeiro in 1519. Then he started to search for a passage to the Pacific Ocean.1520, March: Magellan’s fleet anchored for the winter at Puerto San Julian in Southern Argentina.1520 September : A storm destroys the Santiago and a mutiny breaks out. Magellan and his crew resumed their voyage on the remaining ships. he entered the straits which would be named the Magellan Straits – they were to be the first Europeans ever to sail across the Pacific.1521 13 February Magellan reached the Equator.1521 March 6: Magellan reached the Pacific island of Guam.1521 16 March Magellan discovers the Philippines.1521 April 27: Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives on the island of Mactan.Only 110 of the original crew members remained so they abandoned one of the ships – the Conception.The Trinidad tried to return back to Spain the same way they had came but was forced to return to the Spice Islands where they were imprisoned by the Portuguese.The Victoria was the last remaining ship.1522, September 6  the Victoria reached Sanlucar de Barrameda in Spain with only eighteen survivors.The momentous voyage of Ferdinand Magellan had taken nearly three years and many lives

Ferdinand Magellan’s Journey


Route of his Voyages

Voyages of Magellan

Voyages of Magellan


Sailors navigating in the Mediterranean made use of several techniques to determine their location, including staying in sight of land, understanding of the winds and their tendencies, knowledge of the sea’s currents, and observation of the positions of the sun and stars. Sailing by hugging the coast would have been ill advised in the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea due to the rocky and dangerous coastlines and because of the sudden storms that plague the area that could easily cause a ship to crash.


The Antikythera mechanism

The Minoans of Crete are an example of an early Western civilization that used celestial navigation. Their palaces and mountaintop sanctuaries exhibit architectural features that align with the rising sun on the equinoxes, as well as the rising and setting of particular stars.The Minoans made sea voyages to the island of Thera and to Egypt.Both of these trips would have taken more than a day’s sail for the Minoans and would have left them traveling by night across open water.Here the sailors would use the locations of particular stars, especially those of the constellation Ursa Major, to orient the ship in the correct direction.

Fra Mauro Map

The Fra Mauro map

The Fra Mauro map

The Fra Mauro map, “considered the greatest memorial of medieval cartography” according to Roberto Almagia ,is a map made around 1450 by the Italian monk Fra Mauro. It is a circular planisphere drawn on parchment and set in a wooden frame, about two meters in diameter.
A copy of the world map was made by Fra Mauro and his assistant Andrea Bianco, a sailor-cartographer, under a commission by king Afonso V of Portugal. This copy was completed on April 24, 1459, and sent to Portugal, but did not survive to the present day.
The map was discovered in the monastery of San Michele in Isola, Murano, where the Camaldolese cartographer had his studio, and is now located in the final room of the Sale Monumenti in Venice, in the Museo Correr.