Christopher Columbus: Christopher Columbus was an extraordinary navigator and explorer to whom we owe the exploration of Europe and America, plus the American colonization. Despite the fact that some vikings might have visited these places before, Columbus was the first to ‘discover’ these amazing lands. He is therefore most often called the ‘discoverer of the New World’.
Christopher Columbus was born between October 25-31, 1451 in Genoa to Domenico Colombo, a wool-weaver. His father also owned a cheese stand where Columbus often accompanied him. It is in one of his writings that Columbus went to the seas for the first time at the age of 10.
In 1473, he became a business apprentice for the Spinola and various other families of Genoa. In 1492, he he left Spain to sail towards the Americas. Once he crossed the Atlantic Ocean and disembarked at the New World, he gained everlasting recognition and fame.
His main aims were to open Spain to more trade and to spread the word of Jesus Christ. Columbus was a devout Christian and showed keen interest in the Bible. Most of his letters and journals have excerpts of the Bible quoted in them.
Columbus’ quest was sponsored by Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille, and he sailed with three ships – Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. He was named ‘Admiral of the Ocean Seas’ by his sponsors after he first discovered the Bahamas.
It is a pity that America is named after Amerigo Vespucci, another explorer who came years after Columbus and discovered what is now South America. Columbus made a total of four major voyages in his life.
Later in his life, Christopher grew even more religious. He also wrote two books titled Book of Privileges (1502) and Book of Prophecies (1505). In the latter he spoke about his achievements as an explorer in reference to passages of the bible.
On May 20, 1506, Christopher Columbus suffered a heart attack induced by reactive arthritis which took his life. He died at the age of 54.