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

April 29, 2022

Video Find: The History of the Malacca Sultanate


YouTube Introduction:

The historical journey of the Sultanate of Malacca every year (1402-1528). From its foundation as a small Hindu settlement in southern Malay Peninsula, its golden age as a powerful Islamic sultanate in late 15th century, until its decline and fall by the Portuguese in early 16th century. 

---- Music: - 'Zapin Ghalit' ~ Kedahan Malay Music by litmibimi (https://youtu.be/QJIcXkGE7rE)


Malacca was a unique city-state that sprang up out of nowhere in the early 1400s and for a century dominated trade between the Indian Ocean to the northwest, China and East Asia to the northeast, and Southeast Asia, where the most sought-after spices were produced.

Malacca quickly became the most cosmopolitan city in the region. A Portuguese source in the early sixteenth century reported merchants from sixty different countries, while an earlier Chinese source reported a hundred different languages were spoken in Malacca. 

The success was short-lived. Malacca fell to the Portuguese in 1511, just as trade hubs did along the Malabar Coast in India and the east coast of Africa. The Portuguese shut down a prosperous period of international trade on the Indian Ocean that for some places had lasted centuries.

Learn more about Enrique of Malacca:

Frequently Uttered Questions
• Who was Enrique of Malacca? (History/Biography)
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• Where was Enrique of Malacca from?
• Was Enrique of Malacca Filipino?

What Was Enrique of Malacca's Nationality?
Enrique of Malacca's origin is a subject of debate. Three places are considered possible: Malacca, then a major trade hub on the Malay Peninsula; Sumatra, the large island adjacent to Malacca (modern-day Indonesia); and the Visayan Islands in the (modern-day) Philippines. The following article examines the three possibilities and the evidence available. Read more.

Enrique's Voyage Profiles

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. Read more.

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