Christopher Columbus : An Italian Explorer Essay

2229 Words Nov 2nd, 2014 null Page
Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer born in Genova, Italy around 1451, although being born into a poor family his father was able to send him to the University of Pavia where he studied navigation, Latin, geometry, geography and astronomy. Columbus spent much of his life in Portugal and Spain, after seeking funds for an expedition to locate the Land he believed to be Asia, it was here he met with Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand who obliged him. He was highly revered because of his religiosity, ideals, commitment and achievements, which were all traits of a hero. To support this hero image that he was associated with Columbus made many significant discoveries throughout his life and is accredited for his “discovery” of the Americas. Although he is still celebrated to some extent today, there is also a stigma that surrounds his name. The atrocities that occurred after his discovery of the Americas strongly contradict the ideal of Columbus the hero. What ensued his discovery included; slavery, genocide, territorial conquest and exploitation of the native Indian people. The argument as to whether he is either hero or villain is undoubtedly a contentious one; he is described by C. Mann in his book 1493 as being “a cruel, deluded man”, who was “in every way a calamity for the America’s first inhabitants”. In contrast to this adds that we should also take notice of the admiral side of Columbus being that “he alone inaugurated a new era in the history of life”. (Mann, C.…

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