Enrique of Malacca Enrique of Malacca was the first person to circumnavigate the globe linguistically—he traveled so far in one direction (west) that he came to a place where his own language was spoken. Enrique may have also circumnavigated the globe completely, a full circle of the earth beginning and ending in Malacca or somewhere in the Philippines. 

Enrique departed Malacca on the Malay Peninsula in 1512 or 1513, taken as a slave by Ferdinand Magellan after the 1511 Portuguese invasion of the area trade hub. They went first to Lisbon and later to Spain before departing on the Magellan-Elcano expedition that first circled the globe. Enrique was last seen by Magellan's fleet at Cebu (Philippines), some 2,600 kilometers from Malacca.

1558 Carrack Pieter Bruegel the Elder

January 08, 2022

Video: Indonesia's Spice Kingdom | Majapahit

Detailed video on the Majapahit Empire, which made Java a center of maritime trade for two centuries before Europeans arrived.

"The Majapahit Empire was the largest empire in Southeast Asia & the centre of the world-famous Spice Trade that stretched from China to Europe. Host Peter Lee starts off on the island of Java to see why it was so suited to cultivating rice, used to make exchanges with merchants from the Spice Islands. As demand for spices took off around the world, geography and timing of seasonal sailing winds saw Java grow into the centre for the global spice trade, which enriched Majapahit with luxury trade goods from all over the world. 

"With increased riches, the empire is said to have unified Indonesia’s islands into one nation. Peter travels to Sulawesi to see why the relationship between Majapahit Java and its outer islands was more nuanced than conqueror and subject. Today, the legacy of a united Indonesia under the Majapahit still looms large, where different groups hark back to the era in the face of increasing intolerance and conflict within the island state."