10 Facts About Christopher Columbus - History Key

10 Facts About Christopher Columbus

1. In some Columbus biographies is written that Columbus might had information from a friend about the lands from far west before he discovered the New World

 Columbus reached The New World
Columbus reached The New World © Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Despite the fact that he didn’t know about discovering a new world his entire life, many authors write about Columbus expedition in a fictional way, rather than historical. Some authors tell us that Christopher Columbus had information and a secret map from an “Unknown Pilot”. The secret sailor dedicated his work to Columbus.

2.  Columbus was a pirate before he became admiral and governor of the New World

Christopher Columbus wasn’t his real name and among other facts his life remains in mystery. Some say that he was born in Genoa under the name of Cristoforo Colombo and his Spanish name was Cristobal Colon. Other theories suggest that he has been referred as Christoual Christovam, Christofferus de Colombo and Xpoual de Colon. Because of his numerous names, some historians suggested that he might have been a pirate.

3. One of Columbus wishes was a Christian crusade to Jerusalem. The voyage was about rescuing Jerusalem from the Muslims

A recent book named “Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem” released an argument that Columbus wasn’t a greedy mercenary. He was rather a Christian crusader. All his expeditions were made to find gold in order to finance a new crusade to recapture Jerusalem. He believed that Jerusalem must be in Christian’s hand before the Jesus’ second coming.

4. Columbus and his crew might have brought syphilis in Europe leading to a global disease

On May, 1493 Columbus disembarked in Spain and his return news was traveling fast across Europe. After a short period of time an unfamiliar disease started to plague Europe. The connection between these two events was quickly made. It says that one of Columbus’s crew contacted the disease in the Caribbean islands and returned to Europe infected.

5. Columbus was transporting African slaves to the New World because he destroyed native population from the Caribbean

He is the first man in history who sent slaves across the Atlantic. On his second voyage, Columbus brought an entire army to complete his mission: to conquer the West. After he returned, he slaughtered thousands of Arawak natives (Haiti). The gold and the silver Columbus extracted from the New World, provoked a 400% inflation in Europe. Because of this, African slave raid took place and shortly after, the first shipment was made.

6. Native Americans started using horses after Christopher Columbus introduced them.

When Columbus landed in America, he brought domestically horses. They used the horses to explore. In 1519, Coronado and De Soto brought large numbers of horses and later on, the natives started to use them as well. In short time, the usage of horses was vital to Native Americans.

7. The Europeans brought tobacco back in Europe, creating the first nicotine addicts.

After Columbus’ arrival, plants, animals and bacterial life from these two worlds life began mixing with each other. However the explorers from Europe took advantage of the new species of plants discovered and they created an exchange, known as the Columbian Exchange. The Columbian Exchange expanded and the explorers brought for the first time in Europe coffee, sugar and tobacco.

8. Native Jamaicans were tricked by Columbus into giving him food

On 29 February, 1504, Columbus was in Jamaica. The native Jamaicans had no intention by giving him any supplies. Using his knowledge, Columbus tricked the natives that his god is angry and he will show his real anger with a sign from the heavens. Later on, a lunar eclipse took place and frightened the natives. The consequences were simple, Columbus was full with supplies.

9. On his voyage to the New World, Columbus used maps created by the Muslims explorers

The first map of Americas made by Columbus is most likely lost. However, earlier and accurate maps of Americas existed, used by the Turkish navy. It is possible that Columbus used these maps to guide him and while he travelled he created his own map based on his discoveries and the old maps. If this will be proven to be true, it is more likely that the Muslims came first to the New World.

10. Columbus has never been in North America

Columbus completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. On every voyage he landed in Caribbean and some areas from South America. However, in his entire life he was convinced he discovered another part of Asia and not a new continent. Amerigo Vespucci was the first explorer that he was aware that the New World is a new continent.

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