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Ferdinand Magellan
Explorers


Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521) was a Portuguese explorer who led the first expedition that sailed around the Earth (1519-1522).

Early in his career, Magellan sailed to India and the Far East many times Africa's Cape of Good Hope. He sailed for his native Portugal, but a dispute with the Portuguese King Manoel II turned him against the Portuguese. Thereafter, he sailed for Spain.

Magellan and his friend the astronomer Ruy de Falero proposed to King Charles V (of Spain) that a westward voyage around the tip of South America would take them to the Moluccas (spice-rich islands) and avoid the Portuguese (with whom they were competing fiercely). The voyage began September 8, 1519, and lasted until September 6, 1522 (almost 3 years). Magellan sailed from Seville, Spain, with five ships, the Trinidad, San Antonio, Concepcion, Victoria, and Santiago. Three years later, only one ship (the Victoria) made it back to Seville, carrying only 18 of the original 270 crew members. Magellan was killed towards the end of the voyage, in the Philippines, during a battle with the natives. The Basque navigator Juan Sebastián de Elcano (del Cano) completed the trip.

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