Book Review On Ferdinand Magellan "Over The Edge Of The World" By Laurence Bergreen

896 words - 4 pages

In Over the Edge of the World, Laurence Bergreen portrays Ferdinand Magellan as a determined explorer who made one of the most daring and important discoveries of his time. Bergreen traces the life of Magellan from his early Portuguese sailing days to his death at the Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521. His Portuguese sailing background gave him an important edge in his travels throughout the voyage. Magellan’s determination and ruthless leadership amongst his crew helped the armada overcome the hardships they faced. His important discovery of the strait that connected the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was a critical breakthrough for circumnavigation of the globe.Magellan’s Portuguese background was a critical factor in the success of his voyage. Born in Portugal, he grew up in Lisbon where he received the most advanced education in sailing and navigation. After his schooling, he served under King Manuel in the palace. Portuguese charts and maps were regarded as classified information and treated as state secrets. An unauthorized individual caught with a chart would be punished severely, even with death. After 3 times of facing rejection by King Manuel for a voyage to India to retrieve spices, he decided to look elsewhere. He went to ask the King Spain and was granted the expedition he had been waiting for. Magellan brought with him many of Portugal’s most precious secrets: information about secret expeditions and Portuguese navigational knowledge of the world beyond Europe. He had 24 charts in all, most of them top secret, all of them extremely valuable. While searching for the a passage to the Pacific Ocean while making their way down South America, Magellan had a stolen map from the Treasury of Portugal depicting or suggesting a strait cutting through South America . This map gave him an idea of the location of the strait. The information obtained from Portugal proved to be especially valuable to him. Had Magellan sailed on behalf of his homeland, his voyage around the world might have been lost to history.During the voyage, Magellan showed nothing but ruthless leadership and determination. Magellan required extreme discipline and respect from his crew.He did not put up with any nonsense. While at Port Saint Julian, there was a planned mutiny against Magellan. He ended up winning it and remained Captain. To punish the offenders, they would undergo Strappado. Strappado was an extreme torturing technique that usually resulted in the dislocation of shoulders and knees. This punishment conducted by Magellan frightened the rest of his crew and stopped more mutinies from emerging. Another incident in which Magellan showed his ruthless leadership was during the long stretch...

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