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The report by Antonio Pigafetta
F. Magellan and A. Pigafetta Knight of the seas
Magellan in the Pacific
The Island of thieves
The death of Magellan
The Coveted Moulouche
On the isle of Timor
The Report by A. Pigafetta
This is the story of events that actually happened and that you will read later on. Pietro Pigafetta, a descendant of Antonio Pigafetta, tells this story.Thanks to documents and memoirs, passed down from generation to generation, I could put together many details of that era and the great journey of Magellan and Pigafetta.A good part of the story was written in the book, “Primo viaggio intorno al globo terracqueo” (First trip around the globe) by Antonio Pigafetta.A very important detail, which can be defined as a mystery, is the death of this great navigator.There are many assumptions told by several writers and historians.It is presumed that he died far from his home in Vicenza, since no grave or tomb was never found.We know for sure that by the end of August 1525 no trace of Antonio Pigafetta was ever found.An old family tradition, handed down from father to son, from the Pigafetta family of Agugliaro, states that Antonio died in the Aegean Sea during a naval battle between the Venetians and the Turks.The author thanks Dr. Antonio Boraso for his kind collaboration
Often we speak of adventure, history, men of valor. This story tries to tell of the courage and enterprise of bold navigators who knew how to make great discoveries and to leave to posterity the memory of their courage. It is 1519, Charles V, Emperor of Spain, not satisfied with his already enormous achievements, resulting from the discoveries of Columbus, decided to organize a new shipping expedition, convinced that the project could go to the East, the East Indies, and the famous mysterious lands of spices, sailing towards the West. The company, among enormous difficulties and constant danger, was successful and the Spaniards, even with the help of local fishermen, arrived at the much sought after islands, then already known by the Portuguese, who had reached them by sailing eastward, passing to the south of Africa. In those islands the Spaniards remained for a few months, since several island leaders became friends with both Pigafetta, because he could communicate with them, and with the other sailors, for the trade in spices and other goods available.In December of 1521, they set sail once again and with the symbol of a large cross on each of them, from the island of Timor they sailed across the Indian Ocean. Since one of the ships, the Trinidad, kept taking in water they decided not to make her sail: thus only the Vittoria sailed the great seas. It was February 11, 1522.After about three months they succeeded in passing the Cape of Good Hope, exhausted by hunger and with some crew members sick. The few survivors continued to sail until they came to the island of Cape Verde.Here they barely managed to obtain supplies and escaped just in time to avoid being taken by the Portuguese, who at that time ruled the islands. Finally, exhausted and suffering, on September 8, 1522, they arrived at the dock in Seville with the Vittoria, which by now was taking in water from all sides.The next day eighteen men dressed in only shirts, barefoot and with a candle in their hands went to church, praying and giving thanks to the Virgin Mary.The few brave survivors, at the end of the journey, realized that, having been around the world, had gained one day with respect to the departure date.Among them was our Antonio Pigafetta, with his diligent, interesting and rich diary, full of information, records, and data on the long journey and the lands that these European navigators saw for the first time
Pigafetta, who diligently described the long and difficult journey, introduced himself to Emperor Charles V and handed over the precious manuscripts. Then he went to King John of Portugal, and gave him a few items brought over from the East and some writings on the navigation system. He did the same things with the king of France, Francis I. Between 1524 and 1525, Pigafetta composed the Report of the first voyage around the world in Italian with the Treaty of the Sphere, his memoirs about the journey, starting with meticulous diaries that he kept during the three-year journey. The real diary of the first voyage around the world, given as a gift to Charles V, disappeared into thin air, since the Spanish court was very determined to erase the merits of the Portuguese sailor, Magellan, for the first sailing around the world.As a result, Antonio Pigafetta, inconvenient witness of what happened during the trip, was hastily dismissed by the Emperor.Back in Italy, Pigafetta was called to the court of the Marquis of Mantua, then by the Doge Andrea Gritti and finally also by Pope Clement VII, who wanted to know something of this wonderful journey along unfamiliar routes.Pigafetta, perhaps because of his virtues, having known the great master of Rhodes, Philippe Villiers de Lisle-Adam, was received into the Order of the Knights of Malta. He then devoted himself to writing all the things seen on his long journey and the navigation system. In August of 1525, while he was waiting for his book to be printed, he sailed under the command of one of the six galleys which clashed with the Turks in the Aegean Sea. Everybody died on this trip. Antonio Pigafetta’s body was never found.
For several months, in 1519, there was talk of a strange journey. At that time Spain was adamant and real busy with geographical discoveries. The great continents donated by Columbus, Vespucci, Cortez and Pizarro were not enough for them, they did not accept the achievements of the Portuguese, who searched for new routes to the East, especially towards the two Indies and southern Africa, discovering fascinating lands, full of valuable goods, especially spices.At that time bishop Francis Chiericati, papal nuncio to Henry VIII, King of England, returned to Rome after having completed his mission.After a few days the bishop was appointed a new assignment by Pope Leo X, which was to go to Charles V as a spokesman of the pope in order to invite him to participate in a crusade against the Sultan Selim, who was threatening Christendom.