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

March 30, 2022

How Not to Draw Borders: Treaty of Westphalia via Fry and Laurie

Over the centuries, European monarchs and officials developed the unpleasant tradition of casually redrawing maps based on their own interests at the time—too often contrary to the interests of the peoples whose national images they were reimagining.

The practice was the norm after winning a war. The Peace of Westphalia (1648) came at the close of several wars: the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648), and basically a hundred and fifty years of nonstop war in Europe that started when a German priest named Martin Luther woke up one Sunday morning annoyed and started a suggestion box on a church door.

Most of these wars were fought in the name of religion ("Priests can't marry." "They can too!"), but most were in fact fought for politics and power, regardless of Protestant or Catholic leanings.

The Peace of Westphalia left what we now call "Germany" as a mess of three hundred-plus odd political entities ranging from kingdoms to electorates to something called a landgraviate, a nightmare that lasted well into the nineteenth century. Napoleon came along a hundred and fifty years later, shook his head, and redrew that number to thirty-plus. And that was just Germany.

Above we have a video that uses humor to teach history by laughing at it, and more importantly, laughing at the national myths built over time about the monarchs and officials who drew some pretty disastrous maps.

This sketch is from BBC One's The Nearly Complete and Utter History of Everything. This episode, "Treaty of Westphalia," stars Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, both actors in the earlier BBC One series Blackadder, which brought Rowen Atkinson's Mr. Bean to several historical eras.

• Stephen Fry – Ambassador

• Hugh Laurie – French Ambassador

• Patrick Barlow – Advisor

• Robert Bathurst – English Ambassador

• James Dreyfus – Swedish Ambassador

(C) 2022 by Enrique's Voyage. All rights reserved.

See Also:

On March 28, 1521, Enrique of Malacca became the first person to complete a
linguistic circumnavigation of the globe—he traveled so far in one direction that he reached a point where his language was spoken. Enrique’s journey began a decade earlier following the sack of Malacca, when he became a slave of Ferdinand Magellan. A teenager, he accompanied Magellan back to Portugal, then to Spain, and finally on the Armada de Molucca to locate a westward route to the Spice Islands.  Read more: