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PIGAFETTA, Francesco Antonio (pe-gah-fet'-tah), Italian navigator, born in Vicenza in 1491; died there in 1535. After receiving a good education, he was about to enter diplomacy, when he read of the expeditions to the New World that had been made by the Spanish and Portuguese, and determined to become their historian. In 1518 he went to Madrid and obtained leave to serve as volunteer under Magellan (q. v.). While awaiting the arrival of the navigator in Seville, Pigafetta occupied his time in studying the exact sciences and the theory of navigation. He embarked on the admiral"s ship, and kept a diary of events and of his personal observations. He named the Pehnelche Indians, Patagonians, and is responsible for the story that they were a race of giants. On the return of the expedition in 1522 Pigafetta went immediately to Valladolid, presented Charles V. with a copy of his journal, and received tokens of the monarch's satisfaction. He passed afterward to Rome, where Pope Clement VII. appointed him an honorary officer in his guard, and through the pontiff's intercession the grand master of Rhodes received Pigafetta into the order on 30 October, 1524. At requests of Clement VII, and the grand master, Pigafetta wrote a circumstantial relation of Magellan's expedition, of which only three copies were made, one for the grand master, one for the Lateran library, and one for Louisa of Savoy, but this last found its way into the Milan library, while the princes received only an abridged copy. Pigafetta's narrative is the only account of Magellan's expedition, as the history that was written by D'Anghiera by order of Charles V. was destroyed during the storming of Rome by the army of the Constable de Bourbon in 1527. Until the beginning of the 19th century Pigafetta's relation was only known by the abridged copy of Louisa of Savoy, which was published by Antoine Fabre under the title "Le voyage et navigation faiets par les Espagnols es iles Moluques, des iles qu'ils ont trouve audict voyage, des roys d'icelles, de leur gouvernement et maniere de vivre, avec plusieurs autres choses " (Paris, about 1540). Ran-uesio translated it into Italian, and published it in his "Voyages " (1563). For nearly three centuries the opinion prevailed that the original manuscript was written in French, when, in 1798, Amaretti discovered in Milan one of the three original copies written in a mixture of French, Italian, and Spanish, which he translated into French as "Relation du premier voyage autour du monde, fair par le Chevalier Pigafetta sur l'escadre de Magellan pendant les anndes 1519-1520, 1521, 1522" (Paris, 1801). The work ends with a dictionary of the dialects of the nations that were visited by Pigafetta, and in particular of the inhabitants of Philippine and Molucca islands. The remainder of Pigafetta's life is unknown, but the date of his death is recorded in the archives of Vicenza. He left also a treatise on navigation.
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