The Curious Case of Christopher Columbus

Did he actually discover America? Did he prove that Earth wasn’t flat? Was he really a hero?

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Christopher Columbus is depicted landing in the West Indies, on an island that the natives called Guanahani and he named San Salvador, on October 12, 1492. (Artist: John Vanderlyn, Source: Wikipedia)

Moreover, when one looks at all this concocted story in the context of Columbus’ legacy in the United States, it makes me even more surprised that an individual — responsible for the death of millions — not only ended up being hailed as a hero and also secured a permanent place in American mythology.

So, I’ve been thinking about it — trying to solve this riddle — and I have found some intriguing things to share with you guys. Because I’m aware that I’m alone in this regard as most of you also have the same questions vis-a-vis Christopher Columbus.

Did Christopher Columbus actually discover America?

No, he didn’t. I know that we all have been told in schools that on the 12th of October 1492, an Italian sailor/explorer with the name of Christopher Columbus set foot on the shores of a ‘new world’ — which was later came to be known as America — but only a part of this is true.

Did Columbus prove that Earth wasn’t flat?

No, he didn’t. Yes, he argued that the Earth wasn’t flat but he wasn't the first one who came up with this idea because 2000 years before him — in the 6th Century B.C. — Pythagoras had already written about Earth as a sphere and the very likes of Aristotle and Euclid were also of the same view that Earth wasn’t flat.

Was Columbus really a hero?

No, he wasn’t. During his first voyage, when Christopher reached the new world, he ended up establishing a settlement in Quisqueya, which he renamed as Hispaniola(Little Spain). The island was inhabited by Taíno people and had a population of around a million.

To summarize my thoughts, Christopher Columbus's story — both as an explorer and as a human — is arguably one of the most polarizing tales vis-a-vis American history. Some believed him to be the hero and even celebrated days in his name whereas, for native Americans, he was a brutal usurper, who confiscated their lands and gold — leading to the death of thousands, if not millions, of their brothers and sisters.

24 years old child, trying to exist amid this chaos by penning down his thoughts on sports, showbiz & an eclectic mix of topics.

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