This is an independent blog centering around the Village of Greenport, NY. It is, as of April 20, 2012, not affiliated with any entity or organization.
Monday, October 10, 2011
This is your day Chris. Actually tomorrow is but that really isn't right. There was an "old calendar and a new calendar" and dates are difficult but it was October 12 what ever that means. Consider it a birthday present I guess...it appears that we have several weeks to go in his case (October 31 is reported) but there are old calendars and new calendars and some city-states in Italy recorded births and deaths on the last day of the month for ease of record keeping. No one cared anyway. Ships logs are good for this as their should be a daily entry but they, like everything else, can get rewritten. Nevertheless he showed up and led to the traffic jams and taxes we now endure so thanks.
There is every reason to believe that Columbus had no idea what he found or where he found it. Supposedly he had a map..something of the forerunner of the Piri Reis map of 1513 but it is hard to say and he isn't talking. One thing fairly certain, South America - the Atlantic Coast anyway - is very well drawn by 1513 and considering the issues in navigation at the time (read a book called Longitudes and Latitudes sometime) it is pretty amazing stuff.
As this was still the era of the flat earth for the most part, sailing west was something of an act of faith as if you would, very unexpectedly sail right off a cliff if the superstitious and perhaps the catholic church were correct. Columbus on the other hand was interested in gold and power and his great tales of what he found made good reading back in Spain. However, and much to the bad fortune of the natives who were in absolutely the wrong place at the wrong time, the Spanish eventually came by the boatload and didn't do anyone much good...but this is your day Chris so we will re-write history a bit, gloss over your governorship which ended with your arrest, and just let you rest in peace.