The first globalization and the fall of the Ancient World

This October 15, the documentary will be released in cinemas throughout Spain. Spain, the first globalization, made by Jose Luis Lopez-Linares and his team, and dedicated to the action of Spain in the world. And, in particular, to the nautical company that made the first trip around the world, started by Magallanes in 1519 and successfully completed by Elcano in 1522.

Regarding this first company to circumnavigate the globe, I said that the ancient conception of the world (tricontinental, Plinian-Ptolemaic) collapsed with this company, leaving behind, aft, the ruins of that ancient and medieval world.

Of course, and with greater or lesser success, the company’s contemporaries will not cease to be aware of it. And, above all, they will assume it as the most decisive “modern” milestone compared to the ancient conception of the world.

A) Yes, Juan Bautista Ramusio, in the speech that precedes the letter-relation of the trip made by Maximiliano Transilvano, will affirm, taking stock of the significance of the Magellan expedition, that “the trip made by the Spaniards in the space of three years around the world is one of the greatest and most wonderful things that have been carried out in our time, and even the companies that we know of the ancients, because this greatly exceeds all those that we know so far. We publish this trip as one of the largest and most admirable ever heard of, and of whose success and events, if those great philosophers of antiquity were to hear reasoning now, they would be astonished and astonished ”.

Fernandez de Oviedo he will say, paraphrasing again Maximiliano Transilvano, that this feat leaves Jason and the Argonauts in a very secondary place, going to Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece. Solomon’s fleet, Jason’s ship of Argos, Ulysses’ voyages, “were nothing,” he says. López de Gómara, compared to the nao Victoria.

Argensola He will say that Elcano “has the respect and admiration with which everyone looked at him as the first one who surrounded this Globe from the room of mortals. And in truth, of what estimation would the fabulous Argonauts Tiphis, Jason and the other sailors be worthy, that the elegance or the daring of Greece celebrates, compared to our Cano [Juan Sebastián Elcano]?”.

Any previous voyage will become, retrospectively, regional in front of this first really globalThe modern ones undoubtedly surpassing the ancients in this. In such a way that, the sixteenth century mathematician proudly says Juan Perez de MoyaAny ignorant pilot who directs a ship to the Indies knows more than the wisest of ancient sages. “And for this reason, when it comes to navigation, I have more the opinion of a modern man than that of Aristotle.”

In barely a third of a century, between 1492 and 1522, the world will expand extraordinarily thanks to the exploration of the oceans, knocking down, through the conduction of those “fragile logs”, in expression of Camoens, the walls to which the ancient world was girded. An oceanic exploration that had as a guide and reference points, exclusively, the movement of the stars and their relationship of variable altitude with the horizon line. The art of navigating the Atlantic, with the use of the compass, the handling of marine charts and astronomical observation, will develop until reaching this fundamental milestone of circling the terrestrial sphere (unthinkable just a century before, when rounding Cape Bojador in 1434, a few miles from the Pindáricas Columns of Hercules, it was quite a challenge for navigation just out of the Mediterranean area).

Pedro de Medina (whose Art of dizziness, with him Brief compendium of the sphere from Martin Cortes, were the manuals with which they learned to navigate throughout Europe), speaking of the “greatness and memorable things of Spain” and the Spaniards (in his book with the same name), it will be more expensive, above any other, precisely this action of surrounding the earth. An achievement of “our time”, says Medina, which seems impossible in another and only comparable “to the creation of the World.” An achievement that is due not only to the effort and spirit of the Spaniards, but, above all, to the development of those navigation techniques that, challenging and subduing nature, are capable, having the sky as their guide, of tracing “paths in water”.

Well, on October 15, driven by the great Elvira Roca Barea, they will be able to attend in cinemas the extraordinary work that López-Linares has carried out regarding this “first globalization”.

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