- Mini Bio
- Name: Christopher Columbus
- Born: 31st October 1451, Genoa, Republic of Genoa
- Died: 20th May 1506, Valladolid, Crown of Castile
- Resting place: Seville Cathedral, Seville, Spain
- Occupation: Explorer, navigator and colonist
- Marriage resume: Filipa Moniz Perestrelo 1479 - 1484 (her death)
- Parents: Domenico Colombo and Susanna Fontanarossa
- Influenced by: Alfraganus, Esdras, Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli and Pierre d'Ailly
- Inspired: Amerigo Vespucci, Francisco Pizarro, Hernan Cortes, Hernando de Soto, Jacques Cartier, Juan Ponce de Leon, Pedro Alvarez Cabral and Vasco Núñez de Balboa
- The Columbus egg: Some were dismissive and called his new world discovery inevitible so he set a challenge to his critics to make an egg stand on its tip on a flat surface. When they failed he simply tapped the egg on a table to flatten the domed tip of the shell and promptly stood it upright. The lesson was everyone says things are easy with the hindsight of knowledge
- Trivia: In total he sailed on four occasions to the New World in 1492, 1493, 1498, and 1502
"Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World"Christopher Columbus
"I gave to some of them red caps, and glass beads to put round their necks, and many other things of little value, which gave them great pleasure, and made them so much our friends that it was a marvel to see"Christopher Columbus
"They should be good servants and intelligent, for I observed that they quickly took in what was said to them, and I believe that they would easily be made Christians, as it appeared to me that they had no religion"Christopher Columbus
"They neither carry nor know anything of arms, for I showed them swords, and they took them by the blade and cut themselves through ignorance"Christopher Columbus
"They believe very firmly that I, with these ships and people, came from the sky, and in this belief they everywhere received me, after they had overcome their fear"Christopher Columbus
"Your Highnesses have another world here, by which our holy faith can be so greatly advanced and from which such great wealth can be drawn"Christopher Columbus
"They know neither sect nor idolatry, with the exception that all believe that the source of all power and goodness is in the sky"Christopher Columbus
"I should be judged as a captain who went from Spain to the Indies to conquer a people numerous and warlike"Christopher Columbus
"They love their neighbours as themselves, and have a speech that is sweetest in the world, and mild and always laughing"Christopher Columbus
"Weep for me, whoever has charity, truth and justice! I did not come on this voyage for gain, honour or wealth"Christopher Columbus
"When there are such lands there should be profitable things without number"Christopher Columbus
"Riches don't make a man rich, they only make him busier"Christopher Columbus
"Life has more imagination than We carry in our dreams"Christopher Columbus
"The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it"Christopher Columbus
"By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination"Christopher Columbus
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Christopher Columbus Biography
Christopher Columbus was the Italian adventurer who dared to discover a new route to Asia by heading west across the Atlantic instead of south and around the African Cape of Good Hope. He lobbied the great courts of Portugal, England and France who all refused to finance his proposed venture so he turned to Spain where he convinced King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to sponsor his expedition west to find the east coast of Asia.
Columbus was given a fleet of three ships: the Santa Maria, the Pinta and the Niña and so he set sail on 3rd August 1492 on an epic voyage that would have more impact on the world than any other voyage in history. He was not the first European to cross the Atlantic and set foot on the lands 2,000 miles west of The Azores as the Vikings had done this 500 years earlier with Leif Eriksson landing in Newfoundland.
The big difference with Columbus was he was there for fame and fortune and that meant colonisation for his sponsors in Spain who were looking for a big return on their investment in the form of trading profits at the expense of the indigenous peoples. After sighting land on 12th October he set foot on what is believed to be one of the Bahamian Islands. He sailed on to discover more islands in what is now known as the Caribbean until his triumphant return back to Spain where he was rewarded with the post of "Admiral of the Seven Seas" and the "Governor and Viceroy of the Indies".
Further expeditions followed widening the sphere of influence the Spanish were gaining but there was still no site of the east Asian coast. Nonetheless he set up colonies where he enslaved the indigenous populations and set up mines where they were forced to work. The Spanish brought weapons to ensure their superiority and quelled any insurrections with the steel of the spear and sword.
They had the might of cannons, guns and their Christian god backing their new regime but it was brutally mismanaged and together with the European diseases the natives had no natural immunity to, they completed a near genocide in the ill-fated Hispaniola (present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
The Columbus blueprint paved the way for the conquistadors to ravage and rape the Americas with Hernán Cortés conquering the Aztec Empire and Francisco Pizarro laying waste to the Empire of the Inca's all in the name of fortune and riches at the expense of the local peoples lives. His legacy is a blood stained gold and silver monument to the greed and ruthless ambitions of the human mind believing success and happiness can only be measured in material wealth.
In between his lust for colonisation he did speak some memorable words, so this is my compilation of 15 of the best Christopher Columbus quotes
Quotes About Christopher Columbus
The academic Edmund Arthur Helps described him thus:
"Columbus had all the spirit of a crusader, and, at the same time, the investigating nature of a modern man of science"
The historian Martin Dugard summed up his accomplishments with this description:
"Columbus's claim to fame isn't that he got there first, it's that he stayed"
Historian James W. Loewen speculated that:
"Columbus not only sent the first slaves across the Atlantic, he probably sent more slaves than any other individual"
Harvard historian Samuel Eliot Morison reflected painfully on his legacy:
"The cruel policy initiated by Columbus and pursued by his successors resulted in complete genocide"
British prime minister Winston Churchill dryly attributed another "first" to his accomplishments:
"Christopher Columbus was the first socialist: he didn't know where he was going, he didn't know where he was and he did it all at taxpayers expense"