April 08, 2022

Video Find: Duarte Barbosa, Travelogue Writer, Magellan Explorer


Interesting video looking into the life of Duarte Barbosa, Ferdinand Magellan's brother-in-law. 

Like Magellan, Barbosa spent time in India and East Africa before departing on the Magellan-Elcano expedition that completed the first circumnavigation.

Back in Europe, Barbosa wrote a travelogue of sorts, in which he introduced the geography and conditions of towns along the East African coast, the Malabar Coast, and upward along the Red Sea.

No doubt parts of Barbosa's manuscript were borrowed. It included substantial information on the kingdom of Prester John, a mythical wealthy Christian king in the East who Europeans by this point had believed in for several centuries.

Barbosa's callousness as he describes Portuguese atrocities and piracy in the region are a record of the Portuguese mind-set of the time. They regarded any non-Christians as inferior, to be treated as needed. And Portuguese fleets traveled with standing orders to wage war on Muslims wherever possible, plundering and  murdering them.

With the Magellan-Elcano expedition for Spain, Duarte Barbosa made it as far as Cebu, in the Philippines. He fought beside Magellan at the Battle of Mactan up to Magellan's death, as did Enrique of Malacca, Magellan's slave-interpreter, and Antonio Pigafetta, the expedition's chronicler.

Barbosa was killed in the massacre at Cebu days later. 

Other links on Duarte Barbosa:

Duarte Barbosa Preface to "Description of the Coasts of East Africa and Malabar"





(C) 2022 by John Sailors. 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:



Learn more about Enrique at EnriqueOfMalacca.com.

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Learn more about Enrique at EnriqueOfMalacca.com.