Tag Archives: Earth

Magellan

Did Magellan Really Circumnavigate the Earth?

Portuguese captain Ferdinand Magellan was not the first man who managed to circumnavigate our planet. In fact, Magellan himself never circumnavigated the Earth.

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Ferdinand Magellan(Anonymous)

During his life, he went on two major voyages; during the first one(1505), he sailed through the Atlantic and Indian Ocean to India and then further to the east, reaching the Moluccas. During his second voyage(1519-22), he sailed to the west, across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Straits of Magellan and the Pacific Ocean, eventually reaching the Philippines, where he was killed during the battle with the natives of the island of Mactan.  After the death of Magellan, his deputy Juan Sebastian Elcano finished the circumnavigation, reaching Sanlúcar de Barrameda on 6 September 1522.

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Battle of Mactan(Anonymous)

After that, Elcano was given a coat of arms by Spanish King Charles I, including a globe with the motto ”You circumnavigated me first”.

First ”true” captain, who managed to circumnavigate the Earth, was Francis Drake, on 26 September 1580.

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Galileo

Did Galileo Really Say: “And Yet It Moves”?

According to available evidence, Galileo Galilei never said these notoriously famous words. They are not mentioned in judiciary files from the trial, neither in Galileo’s own letters and other writings.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d4/Justus_Sustermans_-_Portrait_of_Galileo_Galilei%2C_1636.jpg/472px-Justus_Sustermans_-_Portrait_of_Galileo_Galilei%2C_1636.jpg

Portrait of Galileo Galilei, 1636

First recorded mention of this famous quote being said by Galileo comes from more than 120 years later, from notoriously inaccurate work “The Italian Library”, written by Giuseppe Baretti. However, there is a very high probability that he either imagined this event himself, or took it from other dubious sources.

The moment Galileo was set free, he looked up to the sky and down to the ground, and, while stamping his foot, in a contemplative mood, he said, Eppur si muove, that is, and yet it moves, meaning the planet earth.“

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/Galileo_facing_the_Roman_Inquisition.jpg

Galileo Galilei facing the Roman Inquisition(Cristiano Banti, 1857)

If the Galileo really said these words, we can readily take for granted that it would ruin all his efforts to be proven innocent, and probably denounce him to life in prison. If he was sane, Galileo wouldn’t even consider uttering “And yet it moves” right in front of the inquisition.

We can probably attribute incredible popularity of the quote to widespread animosity against the Catholic Church, prevalent in 18.th century, bound with efforts to create martyr-like figures from the Church’s past adversaries and victims.

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