Magellan, Ferdinand. Portuguese navigator. Born about 1470. Served his country first in the East Indies and Morocco but, dissatisfied with King Manuel's treatment of him, offered himself to Spain. Under Charles V's patronage, he and Ruy Flaero set out to reach the Moluccas by the west in 1519. He reached the Philippines, and died in the battle in Mactan. On this voyage, he discovered the Magellan Strait, 375 miles long and fifteen miles wide, between the South American mainland and Tierra del Fuego. Magellan gave name to the Pacific from the exceptional calm he experienced on entering it. Died 1521.