The First Voyage Round the World, by Magellan

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Author: Pigafetta, Antonio (1491-1534)

Year: 1874

Publisher: Hakluyt Society

Place: London

Description:

lx+257+xx pages with frontispiece, 2 maps, 4 illustrations, appendix and indices. Octavo (9" x 6") bound in original publisher's blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine and gilt pictorial representation of the ship Victoria on the cover and edge ruled decorative blind stamp to covers. Translated from the Accounts of Pigafetta, and other Contemporary Writers. Accompanied by Original Documents, with Notes and an Introduction, by Lord Stanley of Alderley. Works issued by the Hakluyt Society, First Series, Number 52. First edition.

Born into a Portuguese noble family in around 1480, Ferdinand Magellan became a skilled sailor and naval officer and was eventually selected by King Charles I of Spain to search for a westward route to the Maluku Islands (the "Spice Islands"). Commanding a fleet of five vessels, he headed south through the Atlantic Ocean to Patagonia, passing through the Strait of Magellan into a body of water he named the "peaceful sea" (the modern Pacific Ocean). Despite a series of storms and mutinies, the expedition reached the Spice Islands in 1521 and returned home via the Indian Ocean to complete the first circuit of the globe. Magellan did not complete the entire voyage, as he was killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines in 1521. Magellan had already reached the Malay Archipelago in Southeast Asia on previous voyages traveling east (from 1505 to 1511-1512). By visiting this area again but now travelling west, Magellan achieved a nearly complete personal circumnavigation of the globe for the first time in history. On 16 March Magellan reached the island of Homonhon in the Philippines, with 150 crew left. Members of his expedition became the first Europeans to reach the Philippine archipelago. Magellan relied on Enrique, his Malay servant and interpreter, to communicate with the native tribes. He had been indentured by Magellan in 1511 after the colonization of Malacca. Rajah Humabon of Cebu was friendly towards Magellan and the Spaniards. Rajah Humabon and his ally Datu Zula convinced Magellan to kill their enemy, Datu Lapu-Lapu, on Mactan. Magellan wanted to convert Lapu-Lapu to Christianity, as he had Humabon, but Lapu-Lapu rejected that. On the morning of 27 April 1521, Magellan sailed to Mactan with a small attack force. During the resulting battle against Lapu-Lapu's troops, Magellan was struck by a bamboo spear, and later surrounded and finished off with other weapons. Magellan provided in his will that Enrique, his interpreter, was to be freed upon his death. But after the battle, the remaining ships' masters refused to free the Malay. Enrique escaped his indenture on 1 May with the aid of Rajah Humabon, amid the deaths of almost 30 crewmen. The casualties suffered in the Philippines left the expedition with too few men to sail all three of the remaining ships. Consequently, on 2 May they abandoned and burned Concepción. Reduced to Trinidad and Victoria, the expedition fled westward to Palawan. They left that island on 21 June and were guided to Brunei, Borneo, by Moro pilots, who could navigate the shallow seas. When reaching the Maluku Islands (the Spice Islands) on 6 November, the total crew numbered 115. They traded with the Sultan of Tidore, a rival of the Sultan of Ternate, who was the ally of the Portuguese. The two remaining ships, laden with valuable spices, tried to return to Spain by sailing westwards. However, as they left the Spice Islands, the Trinidad began to take on water. The crew tried to discover and repair the leak, but failed. They concluded that Trinidad would need to spend considerable time being overhauled, but the small Victoria was not large enough to accommodate all the surviving crew. As a result, Victoria with some of the crew sailed west for Spain. They set sail via the Indian Ocean route home on 21 December, commanded by Juan Sebastián Elcano. By 6 May 1522 the Victoria rounded the Cape of Good Hope, with only rice for rations. Twenty crewmen died of starvation before Elcano put into Cape Verde, a Portuguese holding, where he abandoned 13 more crew on 9 July in fear of losing his cargo of 26 tons of spices (cloves and cinnamon). On 6 September 1522, Elcano and the remaining crew of Magellan's voyage arrived in Spain. Maximilianus Transylvanus interviewed some of the surviving members of the expedition when they presented themselves to the Spanish court at Valladolid in the autumn of 1522. He wrote the first account of the voyage, which was published in 1523. Pigafetta's account was not published until 1525, and was not published in its entirety until 1800. This was the Italian transcription by Carlo Amoretti of what is now called the "Ambrosiana codex." Antonio Pigafetta's journal is the main source for much of what is known about Magellan and Elcano's voyage. The other direct report of the voyage was that of Francisco Albo, the last Victoria's pilot, who kept a formal logbook.

Condition:

Spine age toned and gilt dulled, three inch tear at front head hinge, corners bumped, spine ends rubbed with some tears to head, some occasional foxing, book plate on front pastedown else good to very good.

SOLD 2018

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