Juan Elcano was a
Spanish explorer. He accompanied Magellan
when they became the first Europeans to reach the
Philippines. Elcano returned to Spain and thus
completed the first circumnavigation of the world.
Elcano was a
merchant ship captain. After violating Spanish laws by surrendering a ship to
Genoan bankers in repayment of a debt, he sought a pardon from the Spanish king
Charles I, by signing on as a subordinate officer for the Magellan expedition to
the East Indies.
He was spared by Ferdinand
Magellan after taking part in a failed mutiny in Patagonia, and after five
months of hard labour in chains, he was made captain of the galleon Concepcion.
reaching the Philippines and the death of Magellan.
The Victoria, commanded by Elcano along with 17 other European survivors of
the 240 man expeditioncontinued its westward
voyage to Spain crossing the Indian, and Atlantic Ocean. They eventually
reached Spain in September 1522.
In 1525, Elcano returned to
sea, as a member of the Loaisa Expedition to claim the East Indies for king
Charles I of Spain. Elcano and many other sailors died of malnutrition in
the Pacific Ocean.
to 4 August 1526
First Circumnavigation of the World, 480th Anniversary