Ten fun facts about Christopher Columbus
Fact 1Fact 4
Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy and his given name was Cristoforo Colombo.
Columbus began a career as a seafarer at the age of fourteen and later supported himself by selling maps and charts.
He "discovered” (for the Europeans) many of the Caribbean Islands, South America and Central America.
Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents. Those voyages, and his efforts to establish permanent settlements on the island of Hispaniola, initiated the Spanish colonization of the New World.Fact 5
People think Columbus discovered the New World, but the Vikings discovered the New World first.Fact 6
He was only fourteen when he went out to sea for his first time.Fact 7
Although Columbus was not the first European explorer to reach the Americas (having been preceded by the Norse expedition led by Leif Ericson in the 11th century), Columbus's voyages led to the first lasting European contact with the Americas, inaugurating a period of European exploration, conquest, and colonization that lasted for several centuries.Fact 8
Columbus never set foot on the mainland of North America.Fact 9
Although there are few records of Columbus' childhood, scholars speculate his family was moderately wealthy since Columbus was well-educated, spoke several languages, and studied Ptolemy.Fact 10
In February 1504, a desperate Columbus was stranded in Jamaica, abandoned by half his crew and denied food by the islanders. The heavens that he relied on for navigation, however, would guide him safely once again. Knowing from his almanac that a lunar eclipse was coming on February 29, 1504, Columbus warned the islanders that his god was upset with their refusal of food and that the moon would “rise inflamed with wrath” as an expression of divine displeasure. On the appointed night, the eclipse darkened the moon and turned it red, and the terrified islanders offered provisions and beseeched Columbus to ask his god for mercy. Go to more people facts ❯
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