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Ferdinand Magellan
2013-11-08 Yunjie Li    (Click: )

Ferdinand Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan (1480–1521) was a Portuguese navigator. He was born in Sabrosa, in northern Portugal, but later obtained Spanish nationality in order to serve 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. It also completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth, although Magellan himself did not complete the entire voyage, as he was killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines. (Magellan had, however, traveled eastwards to the Malay Peninsula on an earlier voyage, so he became one of the first explorers to cross all of the meridians of the globe.) Of the 237 men who set out on five ships, only 18 completed the circumnavigation and managed to return to Spain in 1522, led by the Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano, who took over command of the expedition after Magellan’s death.

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