Journal of Magellan's Voyage


This manuscript volume, dating from around 1525, details Ferdinand Magellan's voyage around the world in 1519-22. The work is attributed to Antonio Pigafetta, a Venetian scholar who was born in Vincenza, Italy, around 1490 and who accompanied Magellan on the voyage. Pigafetta kept a detailed journal, the original of which is lost. However, an account of the voyage, written by Pigafetta between 1522 and 1525, survives in four manuscript versions: one in Italian and three in French. This version, in French, is from the library of Yale University, and is the most complete and handsomely produced of the four surviving manuscripts. It includes 23 beautifully drawn and illuminated maps. Pigafetta’s work is important not only as a source of information about the voyage itself, but also includes an early Western description of the people and languages of the Philippines. Of the approximately 240 men who set out with Magellan, Pigafetta was one of only 18 who returned to Spain. Magellan himself was killed, on April 27, 1521, in a battle on Mactan Island, the Philippines, which Pigafetta witnessed and recounts in this work.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information



Type of Item

Physical Description

Parchment (fine), folios i (paper) + ii (parchment) + i (original parchmentflyleaf) + 98 (foliated 2-99) + ii (parchment) + i (paper); hand-colored; 276 x 184 (195 x 122) millimeters (28 centimeters)

Last updated: October 17, 2017