An Italian explorer active during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. His 1492 AD voyage to the New World kicked off a wave of European exploration and settlement in the Americas.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

46
votes
6answers
33k views

Why is Christopher Columbus credited for “discovering” America?

Even if we ignore the millions of native Americans who lived in the continent before Columbus "discovered" it, even if we ignore other civilizations (eg: Polynesians, Phoenicians, Chinese, Arabs, etc.)...
20
votes
1answer
701 views

Did anyone predict the existence of the Americas?

According to the answer of this question, Columbus was pretty much unique in his belief that the world was small enough and Asia was big enough to make sailing west to Asia possible. Everyone else ...
10
votes
2answers
754 views

Why aren't the Americas named after Christopher Columbus

I was reading the question Why is Columbus Credited with Discovering America, and I wondered why aren't the Americas named after him? I was under the impression that although he is the one we credit ...
8
votes
2answers
298 views

Did Columbus really never knew he reached a new continent?

A widespread knowledge is that Columbus died without knowing he reached a new continent. But: In Columbus Journal of the Third Voyage (1498) it is written: "I have come to believe that this is ...
7
votes
5answers
8k views

Why did Christopher Columbus think he had arrived near Japan?

This question came to our mind as a long discussion in chat between some users over ELU including me and we thought to post the question here. Wikipedia states he thought he had arrived Japan. In ...
7
votes
5answers
973 views

Was Christopher Colombus Polish?

A Polish friend of mine stated that Colombus was of Polish heritage. Claims are made that he was a Polish immigrant to Italy, and that he came from a disgraced noble family in Poland. http://www....
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How did Columbus calculate the size of the Earth?

Eratosthenes' calculations of the size of the Earth were very precise and very accepted during Columbus' time. Still, Columbus was convinced that the world was significatively smaller and that getting ...
6
votes
3answers
245 views

How quickly did the knowledge of the existence of the new world spread into the old world?

After Columbus's voyage to the new world, how quickly did this knowledge spread into the other parts of the old world? For example, when did the existence of the new world was a "common knowledge" (in ...
5
votes
1answer
243 views

How did Diego Gutiérrez know the boundaries (shape of the Americas) when he drew the 1562 Map of America

The map drawn by Diego GutiƩrrez in 1562 shows both North and South American shapes (borders). How did he (or the 15th century Europeans) know the shapes of the American continents and their geography ...
3
votes
2answers
178 views

What does “the purpose of history is ideological” mean? [closed]

I have this question which states "How does the story of Columbus illustrate that the purpose of history is ideological?" Unfortunately, I am having trouble understanding what exactly the question is ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

What does 'half-decked' mean?

I'm reading Washington Irving's Life of Christopher Columbus, where he writes: Two of them were light, half-decked caravels; the Santa Maria, on which Columbus hoisted his flag, was completely ...
3
votes
0answers
111 views

Was a copy of Bobadilla's report on Christopher Columbus really found in a Spanish archive in 2006?

As claimed in The Guardian A transcription of the document is apparently available on JSTOR here, the section "Pesquisa Del Comendador Francisco de Bobadilla". I cannot read Spanish and otherwise ...
2
votes
1answer
242 views

Did Portuguese fisherman frequent New England prior to 1492?

This might blow your mind a little bit, but one thing I notice, living in New England as I do, that there are the remnants of a tiny Portuguese community here going way, way back. For example, there ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

What convinced the Europeans that they hadn't landed in Asia? [duplicate]

Famously, when Columbus (and several other European explorers) landed in the New World, they thought they'd reached Asia. Hence, for example, our use of the word "Indians" for the local peoples. ...
1
vote
1answer
284 views

In 1492, what was the shortest distance you could travel to discover the new world from the old world? [closed]

In 1492, when Christopher Columbus brought the new world to the attention of the old world. What was the extent of the known world, and what was the shortest distance someone could have travelled to ...