Christopher Columbus

img Cristoforo Colombo

Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa in 1451 to Domenico Colombo, a middle class woolweaver, and Susanna Fontanarossa. Though little is known about his childhood, it is apparent that he was well-educated since he was able to speak several languages as an adult and had considerable knowledge of classical literature. In addition, he studied the works of geographers Ptolemy and Marinus, to name a few. Columbus first went to sea when he was 14 years old and continued sailing throughout his younger life. During the 1470s, he went on numerous trading trips that took him to the Aegean Sea, Northern Europe, and possibly Iceland. In 1479, he met his brother Bartolomeo, a mapmaker, in Lisbon. He later married Filipa Moniz Perestrello and in 1480, his son Diego was born. The family stayed in Lisbon until 1485, when Filipa died. Afterwards, Columbus, with Diego, moved to Spain where he began trying to obtain a grant to explore western trade routes. He believed that because the earth was a sphere, a ship could reach the Far East and set up trading routes in Asia by sailing west. This to offset loss of trade access to the eastern Mediterranean after the final battle between the Ottoman Turks and the Byzantine Greeks in 1453 which had resulted in the destruction of Constantinople and collapse of the Byzantine Greek empire. …(continue reading)…

Supported by Queen Isabella of Spain
ASSOCIATIONS: Voyages to the New World
Lived 15th

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