Christopher Columbus, the Italian navigator who sailed from Spain and discovered America, may have actually been the son of an exiled Polish king, according to a Duke University academic.
An international team of distinguished professors have completed two decades of painstaking research into Columbus’ beginnings, with the evidence revealed in a new book by Duke’s Manuel Rosa.
Rosa says the voyager was not from a family of humble Italian craftsmen as previously thought, but the son of Vladislav III, an exiled King of Poland.
‘The sheer weight of the evidence presented makes the old tale of a Genoese wool-weaver so obviously unbelievable that only a fool would continue to insist on it,’ Rosa told the Daily Mail, adding that the only way Columbus persuaded King Ferdinand of Spain to fund his journey across the Atlantic Ocean was because he was royalty himself.
Historians first doubted Columbus’ Polish roots, but Rosa’s findings have been steadily gaining followers as the evidence comes to light, the Daily Mail reported.
Until now, it was believed that Columbus, who was born in the Italian city of Genoa in 1451, was the son of Domenico Columbo, a weaver who had a cheese stall in a market in the city.
At the age of 22 Columbus started working for Genoese merchants trading throughout the Mediterranean, and three years later took part in a special trading expedition to northern Europe, docking at the English city of Bristol before continuing to Ireland and Iceland.
Throughout the 1480s, when Columbus was in his 30s, he traded along the African coast.
When Columbus persuaded financiers to back his voyage west in 1492, he had completely miscalculated the distances and thought that Asia would be where America is: he arrived in the Bahamas, thinking he was somewhere off the coast of China.
Columbus undertook three more return journeys across the Atlantic Ocean, each time hoping that he had found another part of Asia.
(Hat tip: A Blog About History)
3 thoughts on “Duke academic claims Columbus was Polish”
Don’t make stamps like they used to, eh?
Not even close. Money, either.
I think there’s a metaphor regarding modern life in there somewhere.
Or the endlessly enduring nature of Polish jokes.