Ferdinando Magellan 


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Ferdinando MagellanMagellan, FERDINANDO, navigator; born in Oporto, Portugal, in 1470; after serving long in the Portuguese navy, went to Spain and persuaded the authorities there that the Molucca or Spice Islands, which they coveted, might be reached by sailing westward, and so come within the pope's gift of lands westward of the Azores. Magellan was sent in that direction with five ships and 236 men. After touching at Brazil, he went down the coast and discovered and passed through the strait which bears his name, calling it the Strait of the Eleven Thousand Virgins. He passed into the South Sea, discovered by Nunez(see CABEZA DE VACA), and, on account of its general calmness, he named it the Pacific Ocean. Crossing it, he discovered the Philippine Islands, eastward of the China Sea, where he was killed by the natives, April 17, 1521. The expedition was reduced to one ship. In that the survivors sailed across the Indian Ocean and around the Cape of Good Hope, and reached Spain, September 6, 1521. That ship, the Victoria, was the first that ever circumnavigated the globe.




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