Ferdinand Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan was born in Portugal, circa 1480. As a boy, he studied mapmaking and navigation. By his mid-20s, he was sailing in large fleets and was engaged in combat. In 1519, with the support of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Magellan set out to find a better route to the Spice Islands.

The Plan is in Motion

After handbags dispute with Portugal, Magellan looked to other sponsors for his plan. Ferdinand Magellan presented his plan to King Charles I of Spain (soon to become Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire), who gave his blessing. On September 20, 1519, he set out with a fleet of five fully supplied ships, but hardly adequate to sail the distances he proposed. The fleet sailed first to Brazil and then down the coast of South America to Patagonia. There an attempted mutiny took place and one of the ships was wrecked. Despite the setback, the crew continued on with the four remaining vessels.

By October 1520, Magellan and his men had entered what is now called the Strait of Magellan. It took them over a month to pass through the strait, during which time the master of one of the ships deserted and sailed back home. The remaining ships sailed across the Pacific Ocean. In March 1521, the fleet anchored in Guam.

Later in March, 1521, Magellan’ fleet reached Homonhom Island on the edge of the Philippines with less than 150 of the 270 men who started the expedition. Magellan traded with Rajah Humabon, the island king, and a bond was quickly formed.

Magellan’s Death

No sooner was Magellan settling in when he started to run with the wrong crowd! The Spanish crew became involved in a war between Humabon and another rival leader and Magellan was killed in battle on April 27, 1521.

The remaining crew escaped the Philippines and continued on towards the Spice Islands, arriving in November, 1521. The Spanish commander of the last ship, the Victoria, set sail December and reached Spain on September 8, 1522.

What has he thought us?

By sailing West to reach the East Magellan actually proved that the world was in fact round! The only problem with that was that he found it out the hard way and that the Spice Islands were in the Portuguese part of the world!!


When I saw this on Youtube I couldn’t resist adding it in! Animaniacs have it down!




For more information on the Battle of Mactan & Lapu Lapu, check this out: http://www.ancient-origins.net/history-famous-people/chief-lapu-lapu-warrior-and-hero-philippines-002800



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