“For every volume on Magellan published since the World War, five have appeared on Columbus,” a reviewer wrote a few years ago.1 He ended by lamenting the fact that bibliographies of Magellan are few. The comparative dearth of writings on Magellan is attributable to many factors, not the least of which is embodied in the lines of Os Lusíadas, the immortal Portuguese epic poem by Camões: “O Magalhães, no feito com verdade Portuguez, porém não na lealdade.”2 Portuguese historians viewed him as a traitor, and Spanish historiadores were not inclined to glorify one who was not of their own.

It is hoped that this article may begin to remedy the lack of Magellan bibliographies. The writer’s intention is to review the literature on the subject, emphasizing those works which have been written in the twentieth century and those which have been reprinted in this century and are currently available.

Fortunately for the scholar, there are several printed collections of documents. The Magellan historiographer must commence his research with Navarrete in whose Colección, especially the fourth volume, primary source material is contained in abundance.3 Hundreds of documents concerning discoveries by Spaniards in both the Atlantic and Pacific make this work absolutely indispensable, the very basis of modern historical writing on the discovery period.

The second most useful printed collection of source material, and that which will be most frequently cited in this article (but with an occasional caveat), is the Hakluyt Society publication by Lord Stanley.4 This volume contains six contemporary accounts of the voyage and is readily available today. In addition, there is a wealth of other material not easily available in English and a short “Life of Magellan” is included. However, it should be repeated that, useful though this volume is, it must be used with discrimination because it was compiled at a time when standards of scholarship were not as rigorous as they are today.

The eminent Chilean scholar, bibliographer, and archivist, José Toribio Medina made many contributions as a result of his indefatigable digging. His monumental Colección, begun in 1888, contains material to 1567 from the Archivo General de Indias.5 It includes a Spanish translation of Pigafetta’s Relation (based upon the 1801 French edition of Amoretti), as well as basic documents concerning ships, equipment, supplies, and crews. Much of the information on the background of the voyage was derived from evidence presented in a 1539 lawsuit instituted by the Fuggers. Surprising as it may seem, many biographers have written in complete ignorance of the existence of this treasure trove.

Llorens Asensio’s La primera vuelta al mundo is another source for documents. The author has compiled a list of those pertaining to the voyage which he found in the Archivo General de Indias and has reproduced about ninety pages of these documents.6 As Blair and Robertson have written: “The most important part of the book is the citation of documents in the Archivo . . . with indication of those already published (incomplete), and presentation of some of those never before published. . ..”7

The aforementioned Blair and Robertson also have made a contribution containing a collection of documents in the first volume of their monumental work on the Philippines.8 Pages 247 to 337 are entitled “Life and Voyage of Ferdinand Magellan.” However, this is misleading. It is, rather, a collection of documents and provides translations of the diplomatic negotiations between Spain and Portugal. There is also a translation of the account of the voyage by Maximilianus Transylvanus by Henry Stevens.

An article published by Stoyan Gavrilovic in 1965 dealt at some length with five documents written by Jacopo Bannisio (Jakov Baničevic) who was a private secretary to Charles V in 1519.9 In the course of the article the author cites another study which, he states, treats Bannisio’s dispatches “in less elaborate and less precise terms.”10 The Gavrilovic article is neither helpful nor interesting; the author has simply unearthed some rarities. This article, according to one of his countrymen, is part of a Yugoslavian “family squabble” in which the author betrays a woeful ignorance of the literature in English by citing Hildebrand and Benson, two of the least distinguished writers on Magellan.

There are approximately a dozen works which, depending on the definition of the term, can be classified as primary sources. Included in this category in this essay are those who knew Magellan or other members of the expedition, those who sailed with Magellan, and those who received first-hand reports from the principals. (It is, of course, axiomatic that collections such as those of Navarrete belong in this category.)

Francisco Albo, the pilot of the Victoria (the only ship to complete the first circumnavigation), kept a log of the voyage, the Diario ó derrotero. This was published by Navarrete in his Colección11 and translated by Lord Stanley from a manuscript in the British Museum.12 Albo, also known as Alvaro, was born on the island of Rhodes and was supposed to have been knowledgeable concerning Portuguese discoveries in the art of navigation. He began the voyage as a boatswain on the Trinidad. The first entry in the log was not made until November 29, 1519—two months after the voyage began—and Albo kept it only as far as the Cape Verde Islands on the return voyage. It is the only extant account containing navigational data—daily entries of the course of the Victoria, latitude readings, and islands encountered. Stanley maintains that this log-book is “especially valuable” because it helps to fix the position of the “Unfortunate Islands,” and because it establishes that the island of Amsterdam in the Indian Ocean was discovered by the Victoria’s crew and not by the Dutch navigator Vlaming in 1696.13

As might be expected, scholars (and others) have utilized the Albo log as a take-off point for their reconstructions of the route of the circumnavigation.14 The most valid serious criticism came from George E. Nunn who maintained that “there are several errors in the Alderley version of the log.”15 In addition, Nunn regards the latitude readings of the Albo log as “suspicious throughout,” being too accurate under the conditions of the time to have been made on the deck of a ship under sail.16 Nunn reached several conclusions. First, that the route which is usually marked on modern maps, a route which shows Magellan to have turned west south of the equator to cross the Pacific, is incorrect and should be farther north. Another was that the two uninhabited islands sighted before the landfall at Guam are not San Pablo and Tiburones, but rather present-day Clipperton and Clarion in latitudes of 10°17′ N. and 18° N. respectively. His conclusions totalled eighteen, so many that he left himself vulnerable to challenges.

A recent writer maintains that Nunn’s conclusions are based on gratuitous assumptions, and “that Magellan, in view of the extreme shortages of food at the time of leaving the Strait, would have sailed the theoretically shortest route available, taking advantage of the first favorable winds.” Nunn’s route, he points out, is 15 to 20 equatorial degrees longer than the route as normally plotted.17 Professor Arthur Davies, a University of Essex geographer, also criticizes Nunn’s as sumptions18 and denigrates the importance of Magellan’s voyage from the practical standpoint.19 Professor J. N. L. Baker terms one of Nunn’s conclusions of “doubtful validity,” namely, that had the conventional route been followed, birds would have given indications of land.20 Yet, I cannot help agreeing with Nunn. It does seem that if Magellan had pursued the more southerly course below the equator, he most certainly would have made some landfalls between the Strait and Guam besides the two uninhabited islands. Otherwise, one must reach the conclusion that Fate frowned upon him in a uniquely perverse fashion as even a casual glance at a map will confirm. It is more likely, as Nunn believes, that Magellan did sail west across the Pacific between o° N. and 10° N. where it is entirely possible—and even probable—to avoid all contact with land until Guam. What is overlooked is that, basically, Nunn was asking scholars to place more reliance on the accounts written by Barros and Castanheda. And the admonition to historians to utilize the accounts of Barros is a good one. These Décadas constitute another primary source because this Portuguese royal chronicler not only used a great deal of first-hand material, but also had access to the correspondence between Magellan and Francisco Serrão and may even have used the lost account of the voyage written by Magellan himself.21

The account of someone known as the “anonymous Portuguese” constitutes a primary source, albeit one which is not very useful. We owe our knowledge of the existence of this item to Ramusio’s Navigationi, the only source where it appears.22 It has been aptly described as “so short as to be of small value,” occupying only two folios.23 This participant in the voyage may have been Basco Gomes Gallego who sailed as a common seaman on the Trinidad; or more likely, Basco Gallego who sailed as pilot of the Victoria. (The former returned to Spain; the latter did not survive the voyage.) This account is included in Medina’s Colección, and Lord Stanley provides an English translation of the document.24

Another contributor of a primary source who usually remains nameless—being known as the “Genoese pilot”, but who probably was Juan Bautista de Punzorol (or de Poncerva) or Leon Pancaldo (or Pancado)—is the author of the Roteiro, which is not a log-book, but rather an account of the voyage from Spain to the Moluccas where the author was captured by the Portuguese.25 Nothing very useful can be gained from a reading of this rather boring account.26 However, it formed the basis for the report made by António de Brito. This Portuguese governor captured the crew of the Trinidad when the ship, unable to follow the Victoria back to Spain because of delays due to repairs, was forced to give up its attempt to sail eastward across the Pacific to Panamá and returned to Temate in November, 1522, where the crew surrendered to the Portuguese.27 (The feasible Urdaneta passage to Panamá was not discovered until 1565.) The letter of de Brito constitutes the first written account of the voyage by someone other than Pigafetta who witnessed at least part of the accomplishment. Information elicited and documents captured from the Spaniards interned on Temate were utilized by Barros and Gaspar Corrêa.28

Corrêa’s narrative, taken from his Lendas da India, is an important complement to Pigafetta’s Relation because it contains details on the mutiny at San Julián Bay, the warning Magellan received at the Canaries from Diogo Barbosa, his father-in-law, about the intended mutiny, and the encounter of the Victoria with a Portuguese ship off the Cape of Good Hope.29 Pigafetta’s account of the mutiny is very sketchy and he omits the other two incidents.

The account of another crewman of the Trinidad, Ginés de Mafra, has survived and has been published. He was one of only five survivors of the fifty-three men left with Juan Carvalho at Tidore who, eventually in 1527, returned to the home peninsula.30 A caveat may be in order about this account: one authority maintained that it cannot be based on more than Mafra’s memory of what he might have read in a Tratado begun by Andrés de San Martín who sailed as pilot and astronomer and was one of those murdered three days after Magellan.31

A first-hand account by Martín López de Ayamonte (Martym Dayamõte), who shipped out as a common seaman on the Victoria and later deserted on Timor and was captured by the Portuguese, also has been published.32 It is not of much use in connection with the trans-Pacific voyage.

The Historia of Herrera is a work which should be consulted when primary sources are sought.33 Although not printed until 1601, it covers the discoveries from their beginnings to 1554. It is of singular value because Herrera was the official cronista-mayor de Indias (historiographer) from 1596 and thus had unsurpassed and sometimes exclusive access to sources including many which are now probably lost.

Juan Sebastián del Cano (Elcano) was the commander of the ship which actually made the circumnavigation. He wrote a letter to Charles V upon his return, appeared before the emperor at the court at Valladolid and subsequently before a court of inquiry.34 He did not fare too well in life, died on the ill-fated Loaisa expedition, and was buried at sea. One school of historians maintains that not too much credit should be given to him, that he couldn’t find the Strait when the attempt was made to repeat Magellan’s feat (although he did find Sanlúcar de Barrameda all the way from Tidore). The anti-del Cano feeling is traceable to the fact that he took part in the San Julián mutiny against Magellan. Some Spanish biographers, having abandoned objectivity in favor of advocacy, attempted to strip Magellan of his glory because of his death at Mactan and award all honors to del Cano.35 If scholars want to take credit from Magellan on a technicality, they should confer the honor of premier circumnavigator upon Henrique de Malaca, Magellan’s slave, who certainly was the first man to take a 360 degree trip. One can even make a case, as Boies Penrose does, that Magellan “had traveled farther east under Abreu in 1511-12, going beyond, though south of, the Philippines, so that it is perfectly true to say that he in person had been around the world.”36

Peter Martyr, “the first historian of America,”37 and the first to call it a “New World,” obtained his information first-hand from the leading participants in the voyages of discovery and embodied it in his work. He held singularly fortunate posts for an historian of the events of his time: an Italian resident at the court of Spain since 1487, Chaplain to Isabella, an apostolic protonotary, and Bishop of Jamaica (in absentia). He was thus in a position to serve Clio. His modus operandi, probably the forerunner of today’s “debriefings,” was partly responsible for the errors he made because he relied too heavily on the versions given by the discoverers themselves. Furthermore, he had a compulsion to rush into print and his major work, De Orbe Nouo Decades, is marred by haste. The first Decade appeared at Seville in 1511; the completed series of eight in 1530; the seventh chapter of the fifth Decade deals with Magellan.38 His work remains valuable as an example of the Zeitgeist which existed among the intellectually curious of Europe during the early sixteenth century. Even if “contemporary history” constitutes a non sequitur, this is some of the best of the genre.

Maximilianus Transylvanus (Maximilian of Transylvania), a secretary to Charles V, is the author of De Moluccis Insulis, the first printed account of the circumnavigation.39 It was written in the form of a letter to his father, Matthäus Lang, Cardinal of Salzburg, and was dated October 23, 1522 at Valladolid. Maximilian was a student of Peter Martyr and together they picked the brains of del Cano, Francisco Albo, and Hernando de Bustamente (the barber-surgeon), who appeared before Charles V to give their account of the voyage. Maximilian had married the niece of Cristóbal de Haro, the principal backer of Magellan’s adventure, and thus may have had even stronger reasons than scholarly curiosity for ascertaining the facts from the survivors. He also may have been too eager and is not the most reliable source.

The Relation of Antonio Pigafetta is considered to be the single most important source of our knowledge of the circumnavigation. Penrose wrote that “as the first-hand narration of one of history’s three greatest voyages, Pigafetta’s book rivals Columbus’s Journal and da Gama’s Roteiro.”40 It is as nearly definitive—and is almost universally accepted as such—as any historical document about the actual events of the voyage. Indeed, it is the only source of information for many of the details although it is very weak on navigational aspects of the voyage, on the mutiny which took place at San Julián Bay, and never even mentions del Cano toward whom Pigafetta obviously bore an animadversion.

If it were not for the notes which he made almost daily for his Relation the only role of any importance which Pigafetta may be said to have filled on the voyage was that of an occasional emissary to native kings and chieftains. He was a young gentleman of Vicenza who sailed with Magellan as a sobresaliente (supernumerary) and thus had plenty of time, a good ear (the native vocabularies contain words which are recognizable today), an inquisitive mind, and a larger than usual thirst for immortality which prompted him to write about everything he saw or heard of on the voyage for the benefit of posterity.

Four manuscripts of the Relation, none of which is the original, are extant. Two French versions are conserved at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. The older and longer of the two Paris manuscripts, Ms. No. 5,650, has 114 folio leaves, was roughly executed, and is replete with erasures. An edition, collating this manuscript with the other three, was published in 1923.41

The second Bibliothèque Nationale manuscript, No. 24,224, probably was copied from Ms. No. 5,650. It has 103 folio leaves, is illuminated on vellum, and is a considerably abridged and more chaste version. Lord Stanley occasionally utilized it, but it is useless to the serious scholar.

The third French version, the Nancy Ms., now more properly known as the Nancy-Libri-Philipps-Beinecke-Yale Ms., was originally found in the Convent of St. Leopold at Nancy about 1840. It is now conserved at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University whose Press published an English translation by R. A. Skelton together with a beautiful facsimile volume in 1969.42 The translation, the first in English from any of the French manuscripts, is excellent.43 This manuscript is divided into forty-eight chapters, each preceded by a summary, and is collated with Ms. 5,650, Ms. 24,224, and the Ambrosiana Ms. It contains some details which are not in the Ambrosiana Ms., although the latter contains material missing from the Nancy-Beinecke Ms.

The fourth manuscript is known as the Ambrosiana Ms. from its place of conservation in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana at Milan. This Italian version is probably the oldest of the surviving texts. It was published in what may charitably be termed garbled form by Carlo Amoretti at Milan in 1800 and in a French version soon after.44 Unfortunately, Lord Stanley utilized the Amoretti version for his English translation for the Hakluyt Society in 1874, and this is the edition which has been before the English-reading public for years.45

The Ambrosiana manuscript was given a respectable translation into modern Italian by Andrea da Mosto in 1894.46 It is to this edition by da Mosto that we are indebted for one of the triumphs of American scholarship, the translation by Robertson.47 The Robertson translation is collated with the two Paris manuscripts (he never saw the Nancy Ms.), and is very extensively annotated. All of the variant readings are incorporated in the notes (of which there are 650). It contains full and complete bibliographical discussions and descriptions of all manuscripts and editions known at that date and is replete with information and tables from other primary sources and collections such as Navarrete’s.

The Robertson translation, a paradigm of modern bibliographical and historical scholarship, appeared in a limited edition of only 350 copies with the English translation accompanied by the original Ambrosiana manuscript on facing pages. It is rarely available to researchers today; this writer fortuitously discovered a set on the shelves of a rare book dealer a few years ago. However, scholars are singularly fortunate in that Northwestern University Press decided to publish a reasonably priced, well-edited version of the Robertson translation by Charles E. Nowell.48 This volume contains the complete translation by Robertson, albeit without his 650 footnotes and without the eighty-two page index (which constitutes the third volume of the Robertson translation). Nowell has provided an excellent introduction of more than seventy pages, parenthetically corrects some of Pigafetta’s errors, and contributes an Afterword. A fine contribution by a distinguished scholar.

An English translation of the first printed edition of Pigafetta’s Relation, a French translation, was published in 1969.49 Originally entitled Le voyage et nauigation faict par les Espaignolz es Iles de Mollocques . . ., it was an extract made by Jacques Fabre from an Ralian copy of Pigafetta’s original manuscript. It is known as the “Colmes” edition after the name of the publisher. The original Paris edition was incomplete and inaccurate; the current translation is not very good. Nowell wrote that “as it does not bear the name of the author, we are safe in saying that Pigafetta had nothing to do with it.”50

Pigafetta also wrote a Treatise on the Art of Navigation. This is printed as a translation of the abridged Amoretti version in Lord Stanley’s volume.51 It may very well be of some importance, although this is doubtful judging from the knowledge of navigation evidenced by Pigafetta in the Relation. To the historian it is, for the most part, an incomprehensible piece of curiosa.52

Magellan, unlike Columbus, has not been very lucky with regard to biographers, and modern readers will find it difficult to obtain more than two or three biographies, at the most, from even the largest library. The best biographies are either out of print, in languages other than English, or unavailable.

The first “life” written in any language [according to Guillemard,53] was that by Barros Arana.54 This biography is accurate as far as it goes, but it does not go very far: it does not provide the details a serious reader usually seeks. For instance, Magellan’s early career in India under Almeida and Albuquerque is covered in the space of five pages.

Guillemard’s own Life, published in 1890, is almost universally regarded by scholars as the best “modern” account and one of the best works in English on the subject of Magellan and the circumnavigation.55 It is a pity that no publisher has reprinted this biography which was written by a scholar (he was Lecturer in Geography at Cambridge) who based his work on a study of all available sources. The volume contains a Magellan family genealogy, copies of wills, a roster of personnel, reprints of documents (including many from Navarrete), and is well-supplied with footnotes which serve the necessary purpose of providing credentials for facts. Unfortunately, the value of this otherwise fine study is somewhat lessened by Guillemard’s utilization of the 1800 Amoretti version of Pigafetta. Nevertheless, its value to historians, especially to those whose command of languages other than English is limited, will remain undiminished until one of our number sets himself the task of superseding Guillemard.

The most noteworthy attempt at a “definitive” biography in English which has been made in recent years is that by Charles McKew Parr whose study, So Noble A Captain (the title is from Pigafetta’s moving eulogy to Magellan), first appeared in 1953.56 It is perfectly true that Mr. Parr, because he does not conform to the standard practices of academically trained historians, has received a portion of undeserved criticism; undeserved, because his biography is based upon years of study of his subject, careful examination of primary sources in Portugal and Spain, and a command of the necessary languages. However, the historian is hard put to prevent himself from railing at Parr for not providing any documentation whatsoever after having had unparalleled access to archival material. And to compound his felony, when presented with an opportunity by his publisher to rectify the situation in a second edition, he merely changed the title and supplied a few more books in an “Addenda” section at the conclusion of the thirteen-page bibliography of the first edition, a bibliography restricted to books in his own possession and one which does not list any periodical literature.57

With regard to content, McKew Parr offers an “economic interpretation” which simply does not come off. The attempt to reach the Moluccas and hence, the circumnavigation, is somehow based upon a rivalry of European banking houses, the Fuggers and the Welsers. This thesis is not logically sustained and should have been discarded. Nevertheless, after all has been said in criticism, the biography by Parr is probably the best of the genre done in English since Guillemard. It is especially valuable to researchers for the fist of Magellan transcriptions from the Archivo General de Indias, photostats of which the author offered to furnish to interested scholars. However, he has since donated his collection to the Goldfarb Library of Brandeis University where inquiries should be directed. This material should be published.

Most of the other biographies which have been published in England and the United States during this century constitute a sorry lot. The most recent example of this sort of work was published in 1964 by a major house and was wrapped in a jacket which proclaimed it to be a “definitive biography based on material newly discovered . . . in the ancient archives of Portugal.”58 This “definitive” work contains no bibliography and few footnotes, some of which are to encyclopedia articles. Two predecessors of similar low quality were the biographies by Benson and Hildebrand. The former is not very well-written—the first half of the book is sheer drudgery to read—and contributes nothing to the subject.59 The book by Hildebrand, as well as three articles he wrote on Magellan also are stylistically deficient, are not contributions to the subject, and can be dismissed as worthless to serious students.60

In a class by itself, although certainly not a very enviable one except perhaps insofar as sales are concerned, is the biography which could be termed the one most available in second-hand book stores, namely that of Stefan Zweig.61 It has been termed a romanticized biography, and certainly Zweig had no one to blame but himself for this characterization of his life of Magellan (as well as those of Erasmus, Marie Antoinette, Balzac, and Mary, Queen of Scots, which he also wrote). As befitted a native of Freud’s Vienna, Zweig utilized “psychological vision” when conventional research was exhausted.62 This is not to deny the value of psychological methodology in the writing of biographies; it is a very valuable tool. However, this biography does not contribute anything of importance to historical knowledge, and the employment of Freud’s methodology in this instance violates a fundamental Freudian dictum regarding psychoanalysis of a subject the analyst has never met.63

Far better in quality is the French-language contribution of Denucé which ranks with the best work done on the subject.64 This volume is an example of what is needed. It contains an introduction that acquaints the reader with the literature on the subject and provides maps, both modern and contemporary. Geography, probably the most neglected academic discipline, is not the forte of most readers (or most historians), and too much should not be taken for granted in this area. Well-reasoned interpretations of Magellan’s geographical conceptions and of what he was seeking in addition to the obvious—the Spice Islands—are offered.

Portugal, as might be expected, has been a source of Magellan historiography some of which is of very high quality. Thus it is more the pity that it has not been translated into English. An important example is the work of the Visconde de Lagoa who has produced a two-volume work of scholarly erudition based upon all of the sources available at the time, including Medina.65 The first volume contains the Vida; the second, the Viagem, a very detailed account which devotes much space to the circumnavigators. Another valuable study in Portuguese by a scholar who utilized the results of years of study of his subject is that by Queiroz Velloso.66 It is not a biography in the conventional sense, but rather a summary of the known facts about Magellan and the circumnavigation. The Iberian schizophrenia regarding Magellan is manifested in the title of a Portuguese work which was published by Dornellas in 1930.67

From Spain itself, nothing of note in a biographical study has appeared. However, the prolific Chilean writer José Toribio Medina produced a scrupulously scholarly work which is one of the cornerstones of scholarship on Magellan (and Balboa).68 Medina was primarily a bibliographer, and this biography not only represents the harvest of the material contained in the many documents he published in his Colección, but also “scores of documents” which Medina had not known when he published the first two volumes of the Colección in 1888.69 Two of the four volumes of El Descubrimiento . . . are on Magellan. The first is a good biography which goes far toward filling the need; the second contains transcriptions of documents upon which the biography is based. This is a practice which should be made mandatory for all biographers. In addition, a supplementary volume was issued in 1920 containing additional documentary material.

The opening chapters of Medina’s biography treat the usual facets of Magellan’s earlier career. Medina then considered “What Magellan Could Have Known About the Strait.” All of this information can be found elsewhere. As Baker wrote, “there is documentary evidence in favor of such a knowledge in the shape of the globes of Schöner, dated 1515 and 1520. . ..”70 Guillemard also conjectured that Magellan may have had knowledge which made the journey something more than mere groping in the dark on unknown seas.71 Medina is very helpful, though, in Chapter XVI which consists of biographical data on Magellan’s compañeros of whom he numbers 268.72

Some better than average biographies have been written for what the book trade has categorized as “juveniles.” F. A. Ober’s contribution to a series entitled “Heroes of American History”73 was probably the first of the type in this century and the precursor of some excellent ones in recent years. I am referring to Katharine Wilkie’s work in the Piper Book series74 and especially to George Sanderlin’s volume.75 No apology need be made for including this book in an article reviewing contributions to historiography. If this be “kid stuff,” perhaps more historians should practice this method. I don’t relish quoting a book jacket encomium. However, Virginia Kirkus’ Service expressed my sentiments exactly when it advised: “If advanced students are to become at ease with the original materials that are the tools of scholarship, this is the sort of book that they, as future scholars, should be able to cut their teeth on.”76

Most of the periodical literature on Magellan may be dismissed, but some articles warrant mention here. An Australian journal contained a worthless article which relied on two sources, Stanley and Guillemard.77 This relieved the lethargic reader of the need to consult source material and of reading a good biography. The National Geographic published an article which leaned heavily on Guillemard and is notable only for its frequent employment of the exclamation point in one and two-sentence paragraphs, an example of a style of writing which relegates this magazine to a dentist’s waiting room.78 A short piece appeared in 1911 in a professional journal, but it did not contain any new thoughts and was bereft of footnotes.79 A collection of articles which was published in a commemorative volume at Manila in 1921 is mainly of value for the contribution by the eminent Philippine scholar Pardo de Tavera.80

It was in 1917 that an article which could be termed the predecessor of this historiographical survey appeared.81 It is almost equally divided into four sections which are entitled: I) Importancia de la labor geográfica de Magallanes; II) Sobre el descubrimiento del Estrecho; III) Muerte de Magallanes; and IV) Los restos de Magallanes. The last section was included because “algunos escritores más entusiastas de nuestros pretéritas glorias que bien enterados de la cuestión han iniciado recientemente una campaña cuyo objeto principal es traer à la Peninsula los restos de Magallanes.”82 As with Columbus, some pseudo-historians will not let a great man rest in peace and insist upon engaging in ghoulish speculations. The controversy was fueled anew in the 1950s when a newspaper story reported that R.I. Mantiri, an Indonesian Air Force officer, had completed work on a lifelong project to prove that Magellan died in 1540 after first establishing his own kingdom in northern Celebes.83 In view of the universal acceptance of the authenticity of Pigafetta’s Relation it would be a waste of time and space to pursue the matter any further.

A contribution by an officer, in this instance a member of the Portuguese navy, which does make some sense appeared in 1953. Magellan is said to have teamed up with the unstable Ruy Faleiro because the astrologer promised help in solving problems of longitude. However, his methods—as well as most of his ideas—turned out to be worthless.84 Two contributions on the techniques of shipbuilding during the period can be cited, but the fundamental problems remain; namely, the only evidence is that they were all decked sailing ships and all reproductions of the Victoria are suspect.85 Marcel Destombes has made a suggestion that Cape Frío was an error for Cape Santa María.86 However, a discussion of technical points such as this tends to be counterproductive unless an overwhelming mass of factual evidence can be mustered to convert a thesis into a fact.

There are some books that have not been cited, but which have been helpful in the preparation of this article in general or in specific ways and certainly should be listed. One such work, a five-volume opus, which Boies Penrose termed “a remarkable book,” is the Chronological History written by James Burney, the admiral who accompanied Cook on his second and third voyages, during the early years of the nineteenth century.87 It is a valuable work and it is a source of satisfaction to report that it has been reprinted. In a volume published in 1960 Andrew Sharp summarizes the achievements of Magellan in Pacific Ocean discovery. His study, in this respect, would have greater authority had he not utilized Lord Stanley’s volume. As a reference on the subject of the islands in the Pacific, it is authoritative and extremely useful.88 John Parry’s The Age of Reconnaissance, an excellent book, was helpful in many respects and has the additional virtue of being extremely readable.89 And for a fair treatment of Magellan by a Portuguese historiador, Galvão’s Tratada should be consulted. Nowell states that among sixteenth-century writers Galvão was the only one who was “temperate in dealing with the great discoverer’s desertion of Portugal for Spain.”90 Perhaps there is a lesson here; Galvão was not an “official” historian.


William F. E. Morley, HAHR, XLVII:3 (August 1967), 456. For a summary of comparatively recent writings on Columbus, see my “Columbus Historiography Since 1939,” HAHR, XLVI:4 (November 1966), 409-428.


Canto X, 140 [Magellan was truly a Portuguese in reality, but not in loyalty]. See also Canto II, 55 and Canto X, 138 for derogatory references to Magellan. For a modern verse translation, see The Lusiads of Luiz de Camões, translated with introduction and notes by Leonard Bacon (New York, 1950). A typical evaluation of Magellan by a contemporary Portuguese historian is that given by Damião de Goes, Crónica do felicissimo rei Dom Emanuel, edited by Texeira de Carvalho e Lopes (4 vols., Coimbra, 1926; originally published 1556), IV, 83-84, who considered Magellan “a disgruntled man who planned the voyage for Castile principally to spite the Portuguese sovereign Manuel.” As quoted in Charles E. Nowell (ed.), Magellan’s Voyage Around the World: Three Contemporary Accounts (Evanston, Ill., 1962), pp. 7-8, where the comments of Castanheda and Barros, two other contemporary historians, are also cited. The Nowell volume is the best single source on Magellan in English available today. Hereinafter it will be cited as Nowell, Magellan’s Voyage. For a review, see HAHR, XLIV:3 (August 1964), 412-413.


Martín Fernández de Navarrete, Colección de los viages y descubrimientos que hicieron por mar los Españoles desde fines del siglo XV (Buenos Aires, 1945-1946; originally published at Madrid, 1825-1837). The fourth volume is entitled Expediciones al Maluco. Viage de Magallanes y de Elcano (1837). This was reprinted at Buenos Aires in 1944 as Viaje de Magallanes y de Sebastián de Elcano alrededor del mundo. Although recent editions of Books in Print list the Colección as having been reprinted, this is incorrect (as of March 1970). Navarrete’s Biblioteca marítima Española (2 vols., Madrid, 1851), which is useful as an aid to finding unpublished manuscripts, has been reprinted (New York, 1968). Also useful is V. Vicente Vela and Julio F. Guillén y Tato, Índice de la colección de documentos de Fernández de Navarrete que posée el Museo Naval (Madrid, 1946).


Henry Edward John Stanley, Baron Stanley of Alderley (trans. & ed.), The First Voyage Round the World by Magellan. Translated from the accounts of Pigafetta, and other contemporary writers. Accompanied by original documents, with notes and an introduction, Hakluyt Society, Ser. I, Vol. LII (London, 1874; reprinted New York, 1964). Hereinafter this work will be cited as Stanley, First Voyage.


José Toribio Medina (ed.), “Magallanes y sus compañeros,” in Colección de documentos inéditos para la historia de Chile, desde el viaje de Magallanes hasta la batalla de Maipó, 1518-1818 (30 vols., Santiago de Chile, 1888-1902). The first two volumes, published in 1888, contain most of the material on the circumnavigation. An index to the 30 volume Colección was prepared by Víctor M. Chiappa, Catálogo Breve de la Biblioteca Americana que Obsequia a la Nacional de Santiago J. T. Medina. Tomo Preliminar. Índice General de la Colección de Documentos Inéditos para la Historia de Chile (Santiago de Chile, 1930). Medina’s Biblioteca hispano-americana (1493-1810) (7 vols., Santiago de Chile, 1898-1907; reprinted New York, 1961) and most of his other bibliographical works serve as useful guides to publications which contain biographical information on Magellan. They are available in Readex Microprint editions.


Vicente Llorens Asensio, La primera vuelta al mundo. Relación documentada del viaje de Hernando de Magallanes y Juan Sebastián del Cano, 1519-1522 (Sevilla, 1903), pp. 89-179.


Emma H. Blair & James A. Robertson (eds.), The Philippine Islands: 1493-1893 (55 vols., Cleveland, 1903-1909), LIII (1908), 62.


Ibid., I (1903). In addition to the works cited as containing documents, the following are useful for their references to unpublished manuscripts: Pascual de Gayangos y Arce, Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Spanish Language in the British Museum (4 vols., London, 1875-1893); and João Mascarenhas Judice, Visconde de Lagôa, Grandes e humildes na epopeia portuguesa do Oriente (séculos XV, XVI e XVII) (3 vols., Lisboa, 1942-1947). A work which is mostly a documentary collection dealing with explorations of the Strait is Pablo Pastells and Constantino Bayle, El descubrimiento del Estrecho de Magallanes en conmemoración del IV centenario (2 vols., Madrid, 1920). It should be used with caution because of inaccuracies.


Stoyan Gavrilovic, “Documents in the Archives of Ragusa on Magellan’s Voyage,” HAHR, XLV:4 (November 1965), 595-608.


Jorjo Tadic, “Dva pisma o Magelanovom putovanju” [Two letters on Magellan’s voyage], in Jadranska Straza [Adriatic Sentinel], IX (September 1931). As cited in ibid., 596-597.


Diario ó derrotero del viaje de Magallanes desde el cabo de San Agustín en el Brasil, hasta el regreso à España de la nao Victoria, escrito por Francisco Albo. Printed in Navarrete, Colección, IV, 209-247.


“Extracts from a derrotero or log-book of the voyage of Fernando de Magallanes in search of the strait, from the cape of St. Augustin,” in Stanley, First Voyage, pp. 211-236.


Stanley, First Voyage, p. Ivii.


Prof. E.G.R. Taylor has written a short article on the derrotero which could be descriptively subtitled “The Vicissitudes and Problems of Francisco Albo.” See “A Log-Book of Magellan’s Voyage, 1519-1522,” Journal of the Institute of Navigation (London), XVII:1 (January 1964), 83-87. See also Antonio Baião, “El viaje de Magallanes según un testigo presencial,” Revista chilena de historia y geografía, LXXIX:87 (enero-abril de 1936), 32-41.


George E. Nunn, “Magellan’s Route in the Pacific,” Geographical Review, XXIV:4 (October 1934), 622n. A Spanish-language version of this article appeared as “La ruta de Magallanes en el Pacífico,” Revista chilena de historia y geografía, LXXIX:87 (enero-abril de 1936), 5-31. Nowell agrees with Nunn’s conclusion about the route being north of the equator. See Magellan’s Voyage, pp. 124 and 292; and The Great Discoveries and the First Colonial Empires (5th prtg. with revisions, Ithaca, N.Y., 1965), p. 59. See also Nunn’s The Columbus and Magellan Concepts of South American Geography (Glenside, Penn., 1932) in which he analyzes maps of the 1492-1510 period showing regions unknown to Ptolemy. He sagely reminds the reader how unscholarly and incorrect it is to endeavor to prove the nonexistence of one belief by citing different beliefs (pp. 26-27). His major conclusion in this work is that both Columbus and Magellan adhered to the belief that South America was part of Asia. See further, the article by Edward Heawood (which complements Nunn’s “Magellan’s Route in the Pacific”), “The World Map Before and After Magellan’s Voyage,” Geographical Journal, LVII:6 (June 1921), 431-446; and Lawrence C. Wroth, “The Early Cartography of the Pacific,” in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, XXXVIII: 2 (1944), 87-268.


Nunn, “Magellan’s Route. . .,” 623.


Donald D. Brand, “Geographical Exploration by the Spaniards,” in Herman R. Friis (ed.), The Pacific Basin: A History of Its Geographical Exploration (New York, 1967), p. 115.


Arthur Davies, “A navegação de Fernão de Magalhães,” Revista de História (São Paulo), No. 45 (June 1961), 173-189. A reprint of the article and the English version typescript of the text, “The Navigation of Magellan,” supplied by the author to the Library of the American Geographical Society, has been examined. The reference to Prof. Davies’ criticism of Nunn’s reasoning is at page 15n. of the typescript.


Ibid., 2 and 3 (of the English-language typescript cited).


John N. L. Baker, A History of Geographical Discovery and Exploration (2nd ed., London, 1937; reprinted New York, 1967), p. 108n.


João de Barros, Décadas da Asia, edited by Hernani Cidade and Manuel Múrias (4 vols., Lisbon, 1945-1946). The first three Décadas were published at Lisbon in 1552, 1553, and 1563. The fourth, edited by João Baptista Lavanha, was published in 1615 at Madrid. For a perceptive evaluation see C. R. Boxer, “Three Historians of Portuguese Asia: Barros, Couto and Bocarro,” Boletim do Instituto Portugués de Hongkong (Macao), I (1948), 15-44. The História do descobrimento e conquista da India pelos portugueses by Fernão Lopes de Castanheda was originally published in the 1550s. A four-volume edition was published at Coimbra, 1924-1933.


See George B. Parks (comp.), The Contents and Sources of Ramusio’s Navigationi (New York, 1955), p. 21, who lists it as being included in the 1554 edition as “Narratione Di Vn Portoghese Compagno di Odoardo Barbosa, qual fu sopra la naue Vittoria del anno MDXIX.” No modern edition of the Navigationi is available.


Angela De Poli in Nuovo Archivio Veneto, v. 38, p. 137 (192o). As cited in ibid., p. 21.


Medina, Colección de documentos inéditos . . ., II, 395-398; “Narrative of a Portuguese companion of Odoardo Barbosa, in the ship Victoria, in the year 1519,” in Stanley, First Voyage, pp. 30-32.


Henry Harrisse seems to favor Juan Bautista. See The Discovery of North America (London-Paris, 1892; reprinted Amsterdam, 1961), p. 705. The mystery of Pancaldo, who eventually was repatriated to Spain, is discussed in a short study by Filippo Noberasco, Un compagno di Magellan, Leon Pancaldo savonese (Savona, 1929).


“Navigation and voyage which Fernando de Magalhães made from Seville to Maluco in the year 1519,” in Stanley, First Voyage, pp. 1-29. Yet another anonymous relation, the Ms. of which is in the University of Leiden Library, has been published. It is cited by Brand (see note 17) as M. de Jong, Um Roteiro inédito da circumnavegação de Fernão de Magalhães (Coimbra, 1937). It has not been examined by Brand or by this writer.


The letter to João III was written on May 6, 1523. It will be found in José Ramos-Coelho, Alguns documentos do Archivo Nacional da Tôrre do Tombo, ácerca das navegações e conquistas portuguezas (Lisboa, 1892). See also “Carta de Antonio Brito al Rey de Portugal sobre algunos sucesos en la India y los del viaje de Magallanes,” in Navarrete, Colección . . ., IV, 305-311; Medina, Colección de documentos inéditos, I, 323-330; and Emile Eude, “La lettre d’Antonio de Brito, capitaine de la fortresse de Ternate, au roi de Portugal Dom João III° (6 mai 1523),” La Géographie, XLIX:1-2 (Janvier-Février 1928), 1-17. Brito’s information is, at times, faulty.


For an “Account of what happened to the ship ‘Trinity’ and her crew after she parted company with the ‘Victoria’,” translated from Navarrete, see Stanley, First Voyage, pp. 237-242.


Lendas da India, for various reasons, was not published until the second half of the nineteenth century. It has not been translated into English except for the sections on da Gama and Magellan. The portion on the latter is taken from tome II, cap. XIV and is available in Stanley, First Voyage, pp. 244-256; and also, in carefully edited form, in Nowell, Magellan’s Voyage, pp. 312-328. For an appreciation of Correa’s Lendas, see John Dos Passos, New York Times Book Review, February 9, 1969, 2 and 37. See also the study by Aubrey Fitz Gerald Bell, Gaspar Corrêa (Oxford, 1924).


“Descubrimiento del Estrecho de Magallanes,” in Antonio Blázquez y Delgado Aguilera, Tres Relaciones (Madrid, 1920). See also Navarrete, Colección . . ., IV, 378 and 387; and Navarrete, Biblioteca marítima Española, I, 584 and II, 526.


Brand, “Geographical Exploration by the Spaniards” p. 366.


“A Viágem de Fernão Magalhães por una Testemunha Presencial,” in Antonio Baião, Arquivo Histórico de Portugal (Lisboa, 1933). Nunn undoubtedly was referring to this account when he wrote of “an account of Magellan’s voyage derived from two of his sailors found by the Portuguese on the island of Timor,” in “Magellan’s Route in the Pacific,” 615n.


Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, Historia general de los hechos de los Castellanos en las islas y tierra firme del Mar Océano (4 vols., Madrid, 1601-1615; reprinted in 17 vols., Madrid, 1934-1957). See also George Ticknor, History of Spanish Literature (5th American ed., 3 vols., Boston, 1882), III, 217-218.


Most of the important documents are reproduced in the biography by Mairin Mitchell, Elcano: The First Circumnavigator (London, 1958). The report to the emperor of September 6, 1522 was first published by Eugen Gelčič in Zwei Briefe über die Maghellanische Weltumseglung (Wien, 1889) and is in Mitchell, Elcano, pp. 87-89. The oral testimony of Elcano on the events of the voyage is in Mitchell, pp. 178-182. Another readily available source, containing “Copia di lettera che scrive il Capitano Gioan Sebastian del Cagno da San Lucher presso a Sibilia a XV leghe de di 6. di Settembre 1522 alio Imperatore,” is Harrisse, Discovery of North America, pp. 713-714.


See, for example, Enrique Ruiz-Guiñazu, Proas de España en el mar magallánico (Buenos Aires, 1945). Primarily a parochial study concerned with Argentine aspects of the voyage and with the discovery of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), it could be subtitled “in which Elcano receives his due.” Also typical of the pro-Elcano nationalistic school of biographers is Amando Melón y Ruiz de Gordejuela, Los primeros tiempos de la colonización. Cuba y las Antillas. Magallanes y la primera vuelta al mundo, Tomo 6 of Historia de América y de los pueblos americanos (Barcelona, 1952). See also José de Arteche, Elcano (Madrid, 1942) where nationalism vitiates an otherwise sound and thorough study; and Abelardo Merino, “The First Cruise Around the Globe,” a paper read to the Royal Geographical Society of Madrid on March 6, 1922, in which he adopts an extremely narrow anti-Portuguese position and denies Magellan the credit for the first circumnavigation because “he needed to cruise from Malaca to the Philippines.” Naturally, he follows with: “It is therefore unquestionable that the first one to sail around the Globe, guiding the ‘Victoria,’ was Juan Sebastián del Cano. Charles V was justified in giving our distinguished countryman the motto: Primus circumdedisti me, which the Royal Geographical Society has adopted as its own.”


Boies Penrose, Travel and Discovery in the Renaissance: 1420-1620 (2nd ed., Cambridge, 1955; reprinted New York, 1962), p. 198. This is an immensely valuable book, absolutely indispensable, and a singularly superior study of the age of discovery. Segundo de Ispizúa wrote a series of eight short articles concerning the question of who were the first of the discoverers to have knowledge of the Pacific in its true geographical significance: Cultura Hispanoamericana, X (1921). See also Nowell, “The Discovery of the Pacific: A Suggested Change of Approach,” Pacific Historical Review, XVI: 1 (February 1947), 6-7, in which he suggests Abreu’s 1512 voyage which entered the western Pacific antedated Balboa’s 1513 sighting and thus entitles the former to be credited as the first European discoverer of that ocean.


Margaret B. Stillwell, Incunabula and Americana, 1450-1800: A Key to Bibliographical Study (New York, 1930; reprinted New York, 1961), p. 73. Another valuable and indispensable book.


Pietro Martire d’Anghiera (Peter Martyr), De Orbe Novo: The eight Decades of Peter Martyr d’Anghera, translated from the Latin with Notes and Introduction by Francis Augustus MacNutt (2 vols., New York and London, 1912), 5th decade, book 7, vol. 2, 151-171. Books in Print lists the MacNutt translation as having been reprinted in New York, 1968. This entry is erroneous. See also Décadas del nuevo mundo: Vertidas del latín á la lengua castellana por el Dr. D. Joaquín Torres Asensio . . . (Buenos Aires, 1944). A facsimile reprint of an abridged version of the translation made by Richard Eden in 1555 of “Magellan’s Voyage around the World” is available in University Microfilm’s March of America series as The Decades of the Newe Worlde or West India (Ann Arbor, Mich., 1966). Since this is a facsimile of the original typography it is rather difficult to read—and comprehend. See Henry R. Wagner, “Peter Martyr and his Works,” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, LVI:Pt.2 (October 1946), 2.39-288.


In Stanley, First Voyage, pp. 179-210; also in Nowell, Magellan’s Voyage, pp. 269-309; the translation in both being that by James Baynes. See also Blair and Robertson, The Philippine Islands, I, 305-337 for a translation by Henry Stevens from his Johann Schöner (London, 1888). On pp. 343 and 344 Blair and Robertson maintain that the first edition was printed in January, 1523, at Cologne because Johann Schöner cites the work in a letter written in that year. See Harrisse, Bibliotheca Americana Vetustissima (New York, 1866; reprinted New York, 1966 [Readex Microprint ed.]), nos. 122 and 123 for an authoritative discussion of this work which is listed as having been first published at Rome in 1523. The Church Catalogue, no. 52, lists another 1523 edition unknown to Harrisse.


Penrose, Travel and Discovery . . ., p. 375.


Jean Denucé (ed.), Antonio Pigafetta: Relation du premier voyage autour du monde par Magellan, 1519-1522. Édition du texto français d’après les manuscrits de Paris et de Cheltenham (Anvers et Paris, 1923). Another edition was edited by Léonce Peillard and published at Paris in 1956.


Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan’s Voyage: A Narrative Account of the First Circumnavigation, translated and edited by R. A. Skelton (2 vols., New Haven, 1969).


The translated title of the codex is Navigation and discovery of Upper India, and the Isles of Molucca where the cloves grow. Made by Antonio Pigafetta of Vicenza, Knight of Rhodes. Beginning in the year MDIX. For reviews of this important publication see John Parry, New York Times Book Review, November 16, 1969, pp. 7, 46, 48, and 50; and Martin Torodash, HAHR, L:4 (November 1970), 770-772.


See Skelton (trans.), Magellan’s Voyage, pp. 1-28 and pp. 183-184 for a good discussion and listing of early editions. A Spanish version published by Espasa-Calpe, Primer viaje en torno del Globo, Versión Castellana de Federico Ruiz Morcuende (Madrid, 1927), has also been examined.


Stanley, First Voyage, pp. 35-163. The material from page 35 until the end of the first sentence on page 94 is from Ms. 5650; what follows is from the Amoretti edition. Stanley also utilized Ms. 24,224 when his Victorian sensibilities were offended by the less chaste versions in the other Mss.


Il primo viaggio, intorno al globo di Antonio Pigafetta in Pt. V, Vol. III of Raccolta di documenti e studi pubblicati dalla R. Commissione Colombiana pel quarto centenario dalla scoperta dell’America (Roma, 1894). A modern edition is Il primo viaggio intorno al mondo di Antonio Pigafetta e il “roteiro” d’un Pilota genovese., A cura di Camillo Manfroni, con introduzione, note e incisioni (Milano, 1956).


James Alexander Robertson (ed. & trans.), Magellan’s Voyage Around the World by Antonio Pigafetta: The original text of the Ambrosian MS., with English translation, notes, bibliography, and index (3 vols., Cleveland, 1906). For a contemporary review see American Historical Review, XII:1 (October 1906), 125-126.


Nowell, Magellan’s Voyage.


The Voyage of Magellan: The Journal of Antonio Pigafetta, translated by Paula Spurlin Paige, with an Introduction by Howard H. Peckham (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1969). For the original date of publication of this edition, usually given as 1525, see the discussions by: Harrisse, Bibliotheca Americana Vetustissima, no. 134; Skelton (trans.), Magellan’s Voyage, p. 18; and Robertson, Magellan’s Voyage, II, 273-279. As to the language in which Pigafetta wrote, Harrisse, The Discovery of North America, stated that “it is unquestionable that Pigafetta’s account was originally written in the French language,” p. 438n. As can be imagined, others differ. The argument may be said to have begun with Raymond Thomassy, “La relation du premier voyage autour du monde a-t-elle été composée en français par Antoine Pigaphète, compagnon de la navigation de Magellan?” Bulletin de la Société de géographie (Paris), 2e série, XX:117 (Septembre 1843), 165-183. It continues, unprofitably, to the present day.


Nowell, Magellan’s Voyage, p. 84. For my unfavorable comments, see HAHR, L:4 (November 1970), 772. Even Lord Stanley did not think highly of the Fabre edition. See First Voyage, p. lii.


Stanley, First Voyage, pp. 164-174.


For discussions of some fine points of the Pigafetta Relation see, in addition to the introductory essays in the editions cited, the following articles: R. Fulin (ed.), “Antonio Pigafetta chiede alla Signoria di Venezia il privilegio di stampa della sua opera sul viaggio intorno al mondo (Aug. 5, 1524),” Archivio veneto, XXIII (1930), 201-202; J. Gonda, “Pigafetta’s vocabularium van het ‘Molukken-Maleisch’,” Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde van Nederlandsch-Indië, XCVII (1938), 101-124; W. Kern, “Waar verzamelde Pigafetta zjin Maleise woorden?” Tijdschrift voor Indische taal-, land- en volkenkunde, LXXVIII (1938), 271-273; and C.C.F.M. Le Roux, “Nogmaals kunde, LXXIX (1939), 446-451, a summary of scholarship on the subject. All of the articles in this note are as cited in Donald F. Lach, Asia in the Making of Europe, Vol. I, The Century of Discovery (2 books, Chicago, 1965), 895-896. This is a great work of impressive erudition with invaluable bibliographies. See also Alberto Magnaghi, “Di una nuova interpretazione della frase ‘a la catena ho a popa’ nella relazione di Antonio Pigafetta,” Bolletino della Beale Società Geografica Italiana, ser. 6, IV (1927), 458-475. Cited by Nowell, Magellan’s Voyage, p. 124n


Francis Henry Hill Guillemard, The Life of Ferdinand Magellan and the First Circumnavigation of the Globe: 1480-1521 (London and New York, 1890), p. vii.


Diego de Barros Arana, Vida i viajes de Hernando de Magallanes (Santiago de Chile, 1864; reprinted as Vida y viajes de Magallanes, with a prólogo by Ernesto Morales [Buenos Aires, 1945]).


Guillemard, The Life of Ferdinand Magellan.


Charles McKew Parr, So Noble A Captain: The Life and Times of Ferdinand Magellan (New York, 1953). For a review by Nowell, see HAHR, XXXIV: 1 (February 1954), 72-73.


Ferdinand Magellan, Circumnavigator (New York, 1964). This “second edition” differs from the first only in the inclusion of the preface and an introduction by Captain Edward L. Beach of the U.S.S. Triton, the nuclear submarine which re-created Magellan’s voyage in 1960—underwater. This edition was noticed in the HAHR, XLVI:2 (May 1966), 218-219. For what Parr describes as “a comparison of the scientific and maritime aspects of the two parallel but contrasting voyages,” see Bern Dibner, The Victoria and the Triton (Norwalk, Conn., 1962; 2nd ed., New York, 1964), a thin book, literally and figuratively.


Hawthorne Daniel, Ferdinand Magellan (Garden City, N.Y., 1964).


Edward F. Benson, Ferdinand Magellan (London, 1929; New York, 1930).


Arthur Sturges Hildebrand, Magellan: A General Account of the Life and Times and Remarkable Adventures, by Land and Sea, of the Most Eminent and Renowned Navigator, Ferdinand, Magellan (Fernão de Magalhães) (New York, 1924); and “Magellan, the romance of a great adventurer,” Harper’s, CXLIX: 892, 893, 894 (September, October, and November 1924), 466-479, 576-589, and 781-794.


Stefan Zweig, Conqueror of the Seas: The Story of Magellan, translated by Eden and Cedar Paul (New York, 1938). This was also published as Magellan: Pioneer of the Pacific (London, 1938); Fernão de Magalhães (Rio de Janeiro, 1938); and originally in German as Magellán: Der Mann und seine Tat (Wien, 1938).


For Zweig’s views on biographical writing see his quoted comments in John A. Garraty, The Nature of Biography (Vintage ed., New York, 1964), p. 131; and his autobiography, The World of Yesterday (New York, 1943) in which he gives an account of his method that, according to Garraty (p. 288), “stresses intuition. . ..”


Transferring this dictum to historiography, there follows, in chronological order, other German-language studies, none of which have been read by this writer (but none of which was regarded by contemporary reviewers as particularly noteworthy): Oscar Koellsker, Die erste Umseglung der Erde durch Fernando de Magallanes und Juan Sebastian del Cano, 1519-1522 (München und Leipzig, 1908); Eugen Oberhummer, Ferdinand Magellan und die Bedeutung der cersten Erdumseglung (Wien, 1921); Hans Plischke, Fernão de Magalhães: Die erste Weltumseglung (Leipzig, 1922); Franz Herwig, Fernando de Magellan (Munich, 1942); and Rudolf Baumgart, Fernando Magellan: Die Geschichte der ersten Weltumseglung (Mainz, 1949). Paul Herrmann’s The Great Age of Discovery (New York, 1958) was originally published in Germany in 1956 as Zeigt mir Adams Testament. It was translated into English by Arnold J. Pomerans, but this version does not contain any documentation and is not helpful.


Jean Denucé, Magellan: La Question des Moluques et la première circumnavigation du globe (Brussels, 1911).


João A. de Mascarenhas Judice, Visconde de Lagôa, Fernão de Magalhãis (a sua vida e a sua viagem) (2 vols., Lisboa, 1938).


José Maria de Queiroz Velloso, Fernão de Magalhães, a vida e a viagem (Lisboa, 1941). This appeared first in French as “Fernão de Magalhães: sa vie et son voyage,” Revue d’histoire moderne, XIV, n.s. 8 (Aug.-Sept. 1939), 417-515. In an earlier study, A Naturalidade de Fernão de Magalhães (Rio de Janeiro, 1936), he exposed the forgery of the so-called “First Will” and thus eliminated Sabrosa as Magellan’s birthplace, according to Parr who prefers Ponte da Barca. See Parr, Ferdinand Magellan, Circumnavigator, p. 379. See also a much earlier work by José Manoel de Noronha, Algumas observações sobre a naturalidade e a familia de Fernão de Magalhães (Coimbra, 1921). Noronha, after examining the documentary material, also rejected Sabrosa, but reached the conclusion that Magellan was born at Oporto. An additonal Portuguese-language contribution is Pedro Calmon, “Fernão de Magalhães e o Brasil,” IV Congresso de História Nacional, 21-28 Abril de 1949 (Rio de Janeiro), Anais, Vol. 13, No. 67 (1952), 33-42.


Alfonso de Domellas, Fernão Magalhães: Navegador Portuguez ao serviço da Espanha (Lisboa, 1930).


José Toribio Medina, El Descubrimiento del Océano Pacifico. Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Hernando de Magallanes y sus Compañeros (4 vols., Santiago de Chile, 1913-1920). See also, Medina, “Colón y Magallanes. Discurso Pronunciado en la Sesión Solemne Celebrada por la Universidad de Chile en Conmemoración del Cuarto Centenario del Descubrimiento de América,” Revista Chilena, XL:38 (Diciembre 1920), 285-291, an address in which he compared certain aspects of the lives of Columbus and Magellan.


See Medina, Colección de documentos and Irene A. Wright, “Medina, Biographer of New World Discoverers,” in Maury A. Bromsen (ed.), José Toribio Medina, Humanist of the Americas (Washington, 1960), pp. 97-114.


Baker, Geographical Discovery and Exploration, p. 105.


Life of Ferdinand Magellan, p. 197.


In addition to Medina and the aforementioned Navarrete Colección, data on the crew will be found in Constantino Bayle, “Los españoles y Magallanes en la expedición del Estrecho,” Razón y fe, LIX:233 (Enero 1921), 53-67; and Alfred Gumma y Marti, “La Participation Belge au premier voyage de circumnavigation,” Bulletin de la Société royale belge de géographie, XLIV (1920), 233-241. He wrote a similar article, “Les Français dans le premier voyage autour du monde, 1519-1522,” which was published in pamphlet form at Marseilles in 1922. A list of survivors of the circumnavigation is given in Sir Clements Robert Markham (ed.), Early Spanish Voyages to the Strait of Magellan, Hakluyt Society, Ser. II, Vol. XXVIII (London, 1911).


Frederick A. Ober, Ferdinand Magellan (New York, 1907).


Katharine E. Wilkie, Ferdinand Magellan: Noble Captain (Boston, 1963).


George E. Sanderlin, First Voyage Around the World: A Journal of Magellan’s Voyage (New York, 1964).


For an appreciative review in a scholarly journal see HAHR, XLVII:3 (August 1967), 456.


J. K. Davis, “Magellan (1480-1521) and the First Voyage Round The World by the ‘Victoria’,” Victorian Historical Magazine (Australia), XXIV:2 (September, 1951), 52-71.


J. R. Hildebrand, “Greatest Voyage in the Annals of the Sea,” National Geographic Magazine, LXII:6 (December 1932), 699-739.


John Denison Champlin, “The Discoverer of the Philippines,” Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, XLIII:8 (August 1911), 587-597.


T. H. Pardo de Tavera, “El Viaje de Magallanes,” in Celebración del Cuarto Centenario del descubrimiento de Filipinas por Fernando de Magallanes, 1521-1921 (Manila, 1921), pp. 83-103.


Abelardo Merino, “Estudios histórico-críticos sobre Magallanes,” Boletín de la Real Sociedad Geográfica de Madrid, LIX¡4 (1917), 500-536.


Ibid., 531.


New York Times, November 30, 1953. Another Times story (October 2, 1969) refers to the Indonesian as R.I. Mitri. Reference works do not list a book by either Mantiri or Mitri, nor does the card catalogue of the New York Public Library contain anything under these names. According to the 1953 article, the work is “studded with photographs of ninety-six tombs of Portuguese and Spanish origin in the vicinity of Menado, present capital of northern Celebes.” For more on the site of Magellan’s death, see Gustaf Ailing, “Mactan—ön där Magellan mötte sitt olycksöde,” Jorden Runt (Sweden), Årgång XXIV:4 (1952), 155-169. Those who read Swedish will also profit from a perusal of Arnold Norlind, “Femão de Magalhãcs och den första varldsomseglingen, 1519-1522,” Ymet, XLI:1 (1921), 1-24.


Avelina Teixeira da Mota, “O Regimento da Altura de Leste-Oeste” de Rui Faleiro (Lisboa, 1953).


See Björn Landström, The Ship (Garden City, N.Y., 1961); and Gervasio de Antíñano y de Galdacano, La arquitectura naval española (en madera), bosquejo de sus condiciones y rasgos de su evolución (Madrid, 1920).


Marcel Destombes, “The Chart of Magellan,” Imago Mundi, XII (1955), 65-88.


James Burney, A Chronological History of Voyages and Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean (5 vols., London, 1803-1817; reprinted New York, 1967). Indicative of the extrinsic value of the original edition was the recent listing at £600 in Francis Edwards’ Catalogue 925.


Andrew Sharp, The Discovery of the Pacific Islands (London, 1960).


John H. Parry, The Age of Reconnaissance (Cleveland, 1963; reprinted New York, 1964).


Antonio de Galvão, Tratada dos descobrimentos (Lisboa, 1563; reprinted Oporto, 1944). For an English translation, see The Discoveries of the World: From Their First Original Unto the Year of Our Lord 1555, edited by Charles R. Drinkwater Bethune, Hakluyt Society, Ser. I, Vol. XXX (London, 1862; reprinted New York, 196[4?]). For Nowell’s comments, see Magellan’s Voyage, p. 7 (I have corrected a transposition error in the quotation). I have not seen Maurice Edstrom, Stillehavets beseirer; Ferdinand Magellans liv og oppdagelser, Overs, av. Olaf Rynning-Tønnesen (Stavanger, 1950); Michele Vocino, Marinai italiani e iberici sulle vie delle Indie; il primo giro del mondo (Roma, 1955); nor a work by IAkov Mikhailovich Svet published in Moscow in 1956.

Author notes


The author is an Associate Professor of History at Fairleigh Dickinson University (Teaneck, N. J.).