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Author Topic: MAGELLAN, a second account  (Read 1370 times)
SUNHELMET
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« on: May 15, 2004, 03:50:04 PM »

Fernando Oliveira, the other account of Magellan's voyages, from the writings of Karl Heinz Weiznor and Pedro Sastre.

In April 1911 the German historian Dr. Walther Vogel wrote about a certain Fernando Oliveira in the German nautical journal Marine- Rundschau.  Oliveira was a contemporary of Magellan, but Oliveira's account  had never been published whole in English. The manuscript is located in the University  Library of Leiden, Netherlands. It was further researched and translated respectively by Dr. Karl- Heinzs Wioznek and the Dutchman Pedro Sastre in English.

Oliveira's Magellan  account was ignored throughout the centuries because it was tucked within the contents of a larger  voluminous work based on his scholarly manuals on the Art of Naval Warfare and the Art of Shipbuilding in the 16th century.

Unlike  Magellan's official biographer Antonio Pigafetta, Oliveira was known more for his own accomplishments as a nautical encyclopedist, the first author who systematically wrote about all branches of the nautical and maritime sciences, and less about his time with Magellan. Oliveira was also a scholar of linguistics,  a Portugese historian, and an author of Civil Law. In addition he was also  an experienced seaman, soldier, diplomat, and fought against the English  as an employed soldier of the French army in 1545. The finding and publication of Oliveira's account is an important source in piecing together the puzzle and falsehoods propagated by the various edited Pigafetta interpretations of Magellan's life and death.

Account of the Battle of Mactan, April 27, 1521 by Fernando Oliveira:

"Magellan, undertook to do him (CiLapu Lapu) some damage or humble him, and decided to set out for that land with some armed men and make a strike in his lands, as in fact he did set out with sixty men armed with (h)arquebuses, and commenced to burn his huts and cut palm trees. At this the king took steps to defend his land with many people, and gave battle against him. However, as long as our gunpowder lasted, those of that land did not dare to close with them; but when it was used up, they surrounded us on all sides, and since they were incomparably more numerous, they prevailed, and our men were not able to defend themselves or escape, and fighting until they were exhausted, some died, and Magellan among them, who, when he was alive, did not want the king his friend to aid him with his men who were there at that time, saying that with divine favor, the Christians would be enough to conquer that whole rabble. But when he was dead the king (Humabon) rushed in and saved those many who were wounded and ordered them carried back to the ships, because he was afraid that all those other enemies of his would get together and seize them."
 
In summary, Oliveira's  account  supports
1.  The use of firearms as primary weapons to buy Magellan time
2.  The larger land force by Lapu Lapu
3.  That Magellan's men were aided by rival tribal  king Humabon's men in their escape which somewhat defers from Pigafetta's account that the Spaniards fought back by themselves to gain escape.
4. Had less poetic flourish than Pigafetta's account


Oliveira's  description appears to be more tactically sound, since Lapu Lapu's men would most likely not have gone after the retreating Spaniards by wading into hostile waters inhabited by an equally  large enemy force armed and awaiting in their boats. Pigafetta somewhat supports this by a slight mention of some of Humabon's men getting killed by Spanish cannon fire during the retreat.
 
--Rafael --
Sayoc Kali
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