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September 24, 2015


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Back in the days of wooden ships and iron men, Ferdinand Magellan was just 10 years old when his parents died, after which he became a page to the Portuguese royal court. His early seafaring years were eventful and saw him participate in many battles. However, when the Portuguese authorities accused him of illegal dealings with the Moors, Magellan headed for Spain to offer his services to King Charles V. The King was anxious to capitalize on the lucrative spice trade, so the king sponsored Magellan in his bid to circumnavigate the world, and the explorer set sail in 1519. At the time, many people still thought the world to be flat. Although beset with problems ranging from mutiny to scurvy, Magellan was able to cross the Atlantic and entered what became known as the Strait of Magellan. The voyage also turned out to be the first to steer a course across the Pacific. In September of 1522, a solitary ship crept into port in Spain, completing the first circumnavigation of the globe and forever shattering the myth that the world was flat. Magellan however was not on board as he had been killed in a battle in the Philippines in 1521.