Wer an der Küste bleibt, kann keine neuen Ozeane entdecken.
Magellan (1480 – 1521), eigentlich Fernando de Magalhaes, portugiesischer Seefahrer und Namensgeber der Magellanstraße
Today you can discover a whole universe
– with a microscope –
in a single drop of water.
A Portuguese in Spanish service proves definitively that the earth is a bullet. Fernando Magellan wants to reach the Moluccas from the west – and sails from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The famous sea road is named after him.
At the beginning of the 16th century Portugal is the largest colonial power.
Vasco da Gama has used his expedition to make the sea route to the Indian shores and break the Arab trade monopoly.
As early as 1494, the areas of influence of the two rival powers Portugal and Spain by an arbitration award by Pope Alexander VI. in the Treaty of Tordesillas:
All newly discovered areas west of the demarcation line of 46 degrees west longitude should belong to Spain. The Portuguese can claim the land to the east of it.
The locals living in these countries were not asked.
Fernão de Magalhães has been in the service of the Portuguese Navy since 1504. Under the viceroys Francisco de Almeida and his successor Afonso de Albuquerque he travels with his friend Francisco Serrano to India.
The Portuguese beat Muslim uprisings in Goa and Calicut. They try – at first in vain – to conquer Malacca.
In 1512 Portugal occupied the Moluccas, which at that time are called Spice Islands. The trade monopoly on nutmeg, pepper and other fragrant treasures holds immense riches. Magalhães is probably back in Portugal at the time.
He is stationed in Morocco, injured in a battle against the Moors at the knee.
His life he will limp because of it. Returning home with the commandant of the garrison, he returns home.
He hopes to be sent to the Moluccas. He is in letter contact with Serrano, who is still there.
But he falls out of court for reasons not clarified. The request for an increase in the share price is also rejected.
Injured in his pride, Magalhães pulls the consequences. He leaves the Portuguese nationality, goes to Spain in 1517 and leads from now on the name Fernando Magellan.
No one knows for sure when Magellan developed his vision of circumnavigating the globe.
Only a year after his move, he carries it together with the astronomer Ruy Faleiro the Spanish King Charles I – as Charles V later German Emperor – before.
The renegade Portuguese still wants to go to the Spice Islands. He suspects that the archipelago lies west of the demarcation line of Tordesillas.
So Spain, not Portugal, would have a right to it.
Maybe the islands are even easier to reach from east to west. One would have to sail from the Atlantic into the big sea on the other side, which Vasco Nuñez de Balboa discovered as early as 1513.
That there is a connection between the two oceans, so far is mere speculation.
The Spanish sailors Solís and Pinzón suspect them on the Río de la Plata. King Charles I lure the expected revenue.
On March 22, 1518 he concludes with Magellan the Treaty of Valladolid.
The world circumnavigator receives five ships, equipped with provisions for two years – on the condition that he discovers at least six resource-rich islands.
As a reward, Magellan’s share of the proceeds from the future possessions is promised, as well as trade in the ship’s cargo, which he would hopefully bring home.
The German bank Fugger makes a financial contribution to the company.