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The Four Voyages of Columbus

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Laurence Bergreen gives an account of Christopher Columbus, whose 1492 voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in and his unexpected landfall in the Americas is a watershed event in world history. In Columbus: The Four Voyages, he looks at the three later voyages Columbus made searching for a route to China.

Guests:

Laurence Bergreen
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Comments [2]

lennief from Rochester, NY

As I understand it, he believed a Greek miscalculation of the Earth's circumference as 13,000 miles. The correct figure which Erastothenes computed is, of course, 25,000 miles. As the Portugese knew (via Marco Polo and their own voyages around Cape of Good Hope that the larger figure was right, to them what Columbus proposed for his trip to "India" (as opposed to stumbling on North AMerica) would have required a 13,000 mile uninterupted sea voyage - a technical impossibility. The Portugese were correct and had rounded the Cape a year or so later and quickly established a lucrative trade with India. We are now taught to revere Columbus and to laugh at the short-sided Portugese. As ever, it is better to be lucky than good.

Dec. 27 2011 12:54 PM
Ana from Mexico-NJ

The many cultures already in Mesoamerica when Columbus came had the profecy of their God (Quetzalcoatl) returning from the East because He had self-exhiled and departed from the East. What is known now the area of the Yucatan peninsula. (this in very broad words)

Dec. 27 2011 12:53 PM

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