Two days ago, as a preview of the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the return of Juan Sebastián Elkano and the remaining survivors of the first voyage around the globe, we wrote an article called “Who was the first to sail around the world, Magellan, Elkano, or a woman?.

The reaction it’s caused, both in terms of visitors who’ve read it and comments on our Facebook page, has shown us just how much interest there is in this topic.

That’s why we turned to a person who undoubtedly knows more about Elkano’s story and the trip he took round the world.  This person just published an essay about this extraordinary Basque, printed by Eusko Ikaskuntza, we asked him and he was kind enough to give us permission to share it with all our readers.  Moreover, he sent us the text of the introduction of the same, which helps understand the reasons why for some, anyone should be the protagonist of this story before Elkano.

La vuelta de Elkano. El molesto triunfo de la gente corriente
[Elkano’s return. The bothersome triumph of regular people]

Enrique Santamaría Urtiaga

History is written by the victors, that is very true, but it is even more true that history is written by the elite, who have not only have the necessary time, training, and resources, but also have the power to impose their tale.

This story, his story, which we have made ours, is not written with the goal of acting as a memorial of humanity we can learn from, which is how it should be, but rather as a means of indoctrination that justifies the existence of those elites.  That’s why they grant prominence to themselves, relegating the rest of the population, the vast majority, to a few lines, which are almost always negative: “the fevered masses,” “the revolutionary plebes.”

And many historians see history as an easy way to grow in the shadow of the powers of the day, who always wish to manipulate it, and thanks precisely to the support of the powers, their tale is the one that always prevails

But, despite the falsification of history that is so common, what happened in the first voyage around the world and with Elkano surpasses all bounds.

That’s why, if at the beginning of the embarrassing “celebration” of the fifth centenary, congresses, articles, and “studies” proliferated, and the media dove into the topic headfirst, since 2020, everything has stopped.  In fact, since that date, this is practically the only academic publication on the topic.  And that’s because since 2020, everyone know that the official story about Elkano and the circumnavigation of the globe is not only false, but rather a set of unsustainable nonsense which leaves the majority of our great gurus of history, and the illustrious Royal Academy, in the place that they’ve won handily: the most atrociously ridicule.

And that is why, in order to avoid not correction but rather ridicule, they have spread, with the help of their political patrons and the media, a chant, a slogan, which is as simple as it is effective: “Bad Elkano,” “poo-poo Elkano”, “Onwards, ladies and gentlemen, there’s nothing to see here.”

Hard to believe?  Read the essay.  This is a reviewed academic text published by Eusko Ikaskuntza, which means it’s public and therefore free.  No one makes a cent.

And, most of the information contained therein is not new; as I’ve already said, in this small world, everyone has known all of it since 2020.




Eduardo Santamaria Urtiaga


Enrique Santamaría Urtiaga

Born in Bilbao in July 1964, he has a degree in history, with a specialization in economic history.
With a calling to share history, he has published an interesting collection of publications in different areas of history.


Author of the blog blog: Summahistoria.
Collaborator on the blog: Tabula.

Author of historical novels:

  • Publio Vitelio Longo y la fábrica de dinero. Pamíes Publishing, Winner of the Hislibris award for best novel author, 2015.
  • Los misterios de Oriente. Evohé Publishers.
  • Elkano, winner of the Nostradamus prize 2021, Juventud Publisher.

Author of the essay La vuelta de Elkano. El molesto triunfo de la gente corriente, published by Eusko Ikaskuntza in 2022, which we share with you in this entry on the blog.


Last Updated on Dec 3, 2023 by About Basque Country

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