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Magellan, Ferdinand (1480–1521)

  • By: Santa Arias
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Ferdinand Magellan, or in Portuguese, Fernão de Magalhães, is well known as the first navigator whose ships circumnavigated the globe (Figure 1). Magellan was responsible for planning the journey, seeking financing, and surviving the subarctic winter of the straits in South America that bear his name; he was one of the first Europeans to set foot in the Marianas Islands and the Philippines. With Rui Falero, a scholar on celestial navigation, he convinced the Spanish king Charles I (later Emperor Charles V) and his Flemish advisors that the Spice Islands, also known as the Western Islands, the Moluccas, or la especiería, lay west of the line of demarcation of the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) and thus were a Spanish, not Portuguese, possession. Albuquerque had conquered ...

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