18 November 2009

Nick the Greek

Nicholas from Nauplion was a sailor on Magellan's Victoria between 1519 and 1522. He was one of eighteen men who survived the first circumnavigation of the globe, sailing 14,460 leagues, or about 81,449 kilometers.

Magellan began with five ships --
Concepción, San Antonio, Santiago, Trinidad and Victoria, and a crew of about 250 men. He was killed on 27 April 1521 in what is now called the Philippines. After 21 December 1521, Victoria sailed alone, the eighteen sailors pumping water out of the hold all the way because they had managed to save out of all the storms, deaths, murders, and disasters, a ship-load of spices.

This blog is to honor Nicholas from Nauplion. I have no more information about him. I don't know if he ever got back to Nauplion.

I want to honor all those eighteen men for their courage and endurance.* And possibly, their sheer cussedness.

Juan Sebastián Elcano, captain-general.

  • Miguel de Rodas, boatswain (contramaestre) of Victoria.

  • Francisco Albo, of Axio, boatswain of Trinidad.

  • Juan de Acurio, of Bermeo, boatswain of the Concepcion.

  • Martino de Judicibus, of Genoa, superintendent of Concepcion.

  • Hernando de Bustamante, of Alcantara, barber of Concepcion.

  • Juan de Zuvileta, of Baracaldo, page of Victoria.

  • Miguel Sanchez, of Rodas, skilled seaman (marinero) of Victoria.

  • Nicholas the Greek, of Nafplion, marinero of Victoria.

  • Diego Gallego, of Bayonne, marinero of the Victoria.

  • Juan Rodriguez, of Seville, marinero of the Trinidad.

  • Antonio Rodriguez, of Huelva, marinero of Trinidad.

  • Francisco Rodriguez, of Seville (a Portuguese), marinero of Concepcion.

  • Juan de Arratia, of Bilbao, common sailor (grumete) of Victoria.

  • Vasco Gomez Gallego (a Portuguese), grumete of Trinidad.

  • Juan de Santandres, of Cueto, grumete of Trinidad.

  • Martin de Isaurraga, of Bermeo, grumete of Concepcion.

  • The Chevalier Antonio Pigafetta, of Vicenza, passenger.

  • Nauplion should put up a statue for Nicholas. In his time, there was a small church of Ag. Nicholaos at the port, just outside the city wall, where the present Ag. Nicholaos is located. That would be a good place for the statue.

    Wikipedia supplied the names.


    1. There was also another Greek on a famous exploration journey, that of Alvaro Nunez Cabeza de Vaca in what is today the south-western US States and northern Mexico (1528-35). I can't remember his name off the top of my head. He unfortunately never made it-the natives in Florida (or what is probably Louisiana) killed him.

    2. The name Blackbeard is asking for is Doroteo Teodoro.
      Nicholas was not the only Greek survivor of the Magellan expedition. Francisco Albo, the man who navigated the survivors back to Spain was also a Greek, from Rhodes (from Axio, I think the village is today called Ixia). He left a valuable navigational log. Miguel de Rodas and Miguel Sanchez, of Rodas, were probably also from Rhodes. So Michael of Rhodes was not the only Rhodian to have left us valuable documents from that time. Consider also that Teodoro Baxon and his relative Nicola Palopano were the Rhodian proti on whose designs the Venetians based their best galleys and you have the picture of a maritime mini-powerhouse in the eastern Aegean.
      Greeks of the era were well represented in the voyages of discovery. Let me mention Juan the Fuca, another man who wrote about his journey. And, since this is Diana Gilliland Wright's blog, Pedro De Candia, one of Pizarro's officers in Peru, was probably an ex-stradiot.

      Best regards

    3. Thanks so much for writing. That's the kind of information I have been wanting this blog to evoke, Pavlos. I have been told there are lots of stratioti documents in the archives in Barcelona.

    4. The first person to circumnavigate the world was Enrique do Malaca:


      who for obvious reasons didn't get on your crew list.


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