See also: Colomb
Christophe Colomb (born in 1451 with Genoa - deceased the May 20th 1506 with Valladolid, Spain), is the first European of the modern history to cross the Atlantic Ocean and to discover a road return ticket between the American continent and the Europe. It carries out on all four journeys as a navigator with the service of the catholic Kings Spanish Isabelle de Castille and Ferdinand d' Aragon, which names it before its first departure Admiral, viceroy of the Indies and general governor of the islands and dry land which it would discover. The discovery of the Caribbean space mark the beginning of the colonization of the America by Europeans. That made of him the initiator of the Great Discoveries of the 15th century and 16th century, considered as the major stage enters the Moyen-âge and the Modern times.
Although today universally known as the man who “discovered” the America, where it accosts for the first time in the night from October 11th to 12th 1492, it dies in relative disgrace, its prerogatives on the grounds discovered being disputed, always persuaded to have reached the the Indies, the original goal of its forwarding.
The historians draw up the portrait of a sailor except par, “one of the best navigators of all times” but “poor politician”. It seems “a man of great faith, deeply attached to its convictions, penetrated of religiosity, baited to defend and with exalter Christianity everywhere”.
History colombine: elements historiographicOwn hand of Colomb were identified and listed only few documents: letters, receipts, annotations in works of its library and signatures. All the other texts, whose newspaper of the first voyage, are only copies whose text is not sure. These various texts and documents all were translated into French.
The knowledge of Colomb man of knowing and cabinet is also pressed on four books which belonged to him and which were preserved. These books do not conceal less: 2000 annotations carried in margin.
The first contemporary historians of Colomb were not delayed in a precise way to describe it. Andrès Bernaldez evokes it in its Historia of los Reyes Catolicos , by giving “an interesting certainly, but brushed at the same time edifying and dramatic image (...) with very large features, without much of nuances”. Among those which lived at the sides of the Admiral one counts the books of Bartolomé de Las Put, Fernand Colomb and Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo there Valdés. It is on these publications of the 16th century that rested initially all posterior historical work and it is thanks to them which it is possible to today reconstitute what were the voyages and forwardings of Colomb.
Pierre Martyr of Anghiera, humanistic of Italy of North, delivered in its Orbo Novo , the first testimony of the discovery, since 1494.
Origin and youthThe birthplace of Colomb is dubious but he is regarded today as ligure origin, surroundings of Genoa. This origin génoise of the navigator is established within the community of the historians since the end of the 19th century, and more exactly in 1892 for the 400e birthday of its discovery of America.
Christophe Colomb would have been born in 1451 from Domenico Colomb and Suzana Fontanarossa, in the République of Genoa. A house known as native of Colomb is also with Calvi, in Haute-Corse, citadel génoise at the time. His/her brother is Bartolomeo Colomb.
He is very early influenced by the Livre of the wonders of the world , written by the English knight Jean de Mandeville between 1355 and 1357 (during the Guerre One hundred Year old, with his return of voyage in the Far East, starting from his own observations and of accounts of missionaries Franciscain S and Dominicain S. Jean de Mandeville went on a journey in Egypt, in Palestine, India, Central Asia and China, between 1322 and 1356 (either over one period of 34 years, which was considerable for the time). The Livre of the wonders of the world (not to be confused with the Devisement of the world dictated in prison by Marco Polo) was diffused in the company Occidental E with 250 specimens in many vernacular languages. Even if Jean de Mandeville were sometimes described as impostor or genious inveterate liar by certain continental commentators because of its plagiarisms, its book had certainly a great influence in Occident.
Beginnings in the navy (1476)In 1476, it embarks on a convoy in departure for Lisbon then the England. The convoy is attacked by the French and Christophe Colomb takes refuge in the Portuguese city of Lagos then share in his brother, Cartographe with Lisbon. He marries in 1479 Dona Felipa Perestrello Moniz of a family of Portuguese nobility, girl of Bartolomeu Perestrelo, one of the discoverers of the islands of Madeira and Oporto Santo, with which began colonization in 1419-1420. Felipa dies little of time after the birth of their only son, Diego Colomb, which was born in 1480 on the island Madeira. Christophe Colomb improves then in sciences of navigation, with the charts which his wife had brought in dowry: charts of the winds and the currents of the Portuguese possessions of the Atlantic which belonged to Bartolomeu Perestrelo while travelling in particular for the Portuguese king in Africa.
The project of voyage to the Indies “on the other side of the Atlantic”It is in the neighborhoods of 1484 that Colomb forms the idea to pass by the Atlantique to go to the India S (“to join Raising it by the West”). It is indeed known since the old Greeks that the Earth is round, and Eratosthène had given an about exact estimate of its circumference. But the Greek texts are badly known at the time, and it is to the measures of Pierre d' Ailly that Colomb is based. Pierre d' Ailly takes again itself older work of Al-Farghani, and considers the degree terrestrial at 56 miles 2/3 (either an equator of approximately: 30000 kilometers). However Arabic used one thousand of: 1973 meters and not thousand Roman of: 1482 meters. According to the words of Michel Balard “luminous error which makes it possible to the navigator to reduce the distances between the Canaries and the Eastern end of the continent of Asia! ”. Most of the scientific community of the time considers realizable such a voyage and Jacques Heers precise: “(...) the ideas of Colomb are not registered with counter-current. Quite to the contrary, they appear to us exactly the normal expression of the geographical thought of its time. ”. What distinguishes the project from the navigator of the assumptions of the scholars of time - geographers and humanistic - who further consider all very probable the existence of many islands and even of vaster grounds in the west in the sea océane it is his goal: to reach the shores of China and before that Japan, is the kingdom of the Cathay and Cipangu as described by Marco Polo.
An group of expert chosen by the king Jean II rejects his project without call however. Colomb then will try its chance in Castille in the middle of 1485. It is received by Isabelle de Castille in January 1486, but a negative answer to him is again returned in 1490. In 1491, its request is on the way to be accepted but its too great ambition ruins its search, he wants in particular to be viceroy of all the grounds discovered and to obtain a title of nobility. It is thanks to the insistence of the adviser of the king Ferdinand that the project is approved by the queen in particular with the sights of the possible economic consequences: the discovery of a new road towards the Indies would make it possible to be freed from the Eastern intermediaries.
Ier travels (1492-1493)The inaugural voyage of Colomb is that which is best known historians. Like Jacques Heers writes it: “For us to hold some at the time of Colomb, of all the maritime voyages from time (...) none can be known (...) with such an amount of meticulousness and serious. ” Two written documents make it possible to follow the ships of the explorer: the Newspaper , in the version given by Bartolomé de Las Put, and the letter in Santangel , written on February 14th, 1493 on the road of the return, left assessment of its forwarding addressed in Spain. In addition, as from 1938, the American admiral Samuel Eliot Morison undertook to remake the tour of Génois and could, with regard to the first voyage, “to point on the chart the position of the ships each evening”
The August 3rd 1492, Colomb is at the beginning with Palos of Frontera (Huelva) with 3 ships - 2 caravel S, the Pinta and Niña , and a nave, the Santa Maria - and not more than 90 team members. Alicia Gould Quincy succeeded in the years 1920 drawing up a list of 87 names.
A first stopover takes place with the the Canaries, with Las Palmas of Gran Canaria from August 9th to September 6th, (the road of the south was selected to avoid Portuguese cruisings with broad of the the Azores). The October 12th, after a long crossing, the ground is in sight, and Colomb baptizes it name of the Christ: San Salvador (Guanahani). First meeting with the Indigène S that Colomb names “Indiens” according to the design of the continent which it believed to approach; those indicate to him that Or is on a large island in South-east.
Following a strong gale Colomb loses the Santa Maria in the night from December 25th to 26th 1492. It must be solved to on the spot leave 39 men in a small fort built in bay of Navidad .
IIe travels (1493-1496)It quickly prepares a new forwarding much more ambitious with a fleet of 17 ships and approximately 1 500 men including 700 colonists and 12 missionaries as well as horses, beasts of burden and cattle. Its objective is to base a colony on Hispaniola and to find the 39 men of the Santa Maria which it had to leave.
The first ground which he sees, 21 days after having left the the Canaries is Désirade which he baptizes thus Desirada , so much the sight of a ground was wished by the crew. The other islands are not far.
A third is presented to the horizon, it will be Dominica (the Dominique) since it appears one Sunday morning, where it will unload.
The next morning, November 4th, they take again the sea towards a larger island from which they had seen with far the mountains. Colomb then decides to drop anchor in front of this island in order to grant a few days of rest to its men. It is the island of Caloucaera " Karukera" (name given by the Caraïbe S) and which was renamed " Santa Maria de Guadalupe de Estremadura" (it is the Low-Ground of the Guadeloupe), to honor a promise (to give the name of their monastery to an island) made with monks at the time of a pilgrimage, or which it had been made with itself at the time of the storms of its preceding return.
Then it sets out again towards north in direction of Hispaniola. He sees then an small island that he baptizes Montserrat, of the name of the massive of Montserrat, a mountain close to Barcelona where are a sanctuary and a monastery Benedictine in the honor of the Virgen de Montserrat .
The November 11th 1493, feastday of saint Martin de Tours, the fleet sees an island with broad and same name baptizes it: Saint Martin's day, and sees at the horizon another small island that he baptizes name of his Bartolomeo brother, St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.
With Hispaniola, the Spaniards organize a great hunting for the Esclave and gather 1500 Arawak S (men, women and children), which they park in enclosures under the monitoring of men and dogs. 500 of them are embarked towards the Spain, 200 die during the crossing, and the survivors are put on sale as of their arrival. Colomb sells each Indian for 5000 Maravedis.
IIIe travels (1498-1500)Six months after its return, Colomb obtains court the authorization to engage the preparations for another voyage. That asks for more than one year to him of effort. Two ships, the India and the Nina leave five months before him, on January 23rd, 1498, under the command of Pedro Hernandez Coronel, to supply the colonists of Hispaniola. It is only on May 30th, 1498 that Colomb weighs the anchor, of San Lucar, with the head of six ships.
The August 31st 1498, it arrives finally at Hispaniola. That made two years and nine months that it had left the island. It finds it in prey with severe disorders orchestrated by Francisco Roldan that his/her Bartolomè brother, general captain and president of the Council of the governors, have great difficulty to circumscribe. In August 1500, Francisco de Bobadilla, emissary of the kings, unloads on the island and makes throw the three Colomb brothers with the dungeon before returning them to Spain. At the end of October 1500, it unloads in humiliated and marked Cadiz.
Visited territories: Saint-Vincent, Grenade, Trinidad, Margarita, Venezuela
IVe travels (1502-1504)No exhaustive account precisely describes the events which have occurred at the time of this fourth and last voyage started by Colomb on May 3rd, 1502. It seems indeed that the Admiral did not hold of newspaper, and only perhaps his/her Fernando son, then thirteen years old, would have taken under the dictation of the observations of his father, whose some traces appear in the history that he wrote later. Only a shortened relation written by Colomb, written about July 1503 June, and king arrived to us.
Four caravels of weak tonnage leave Seville with on their board 135 people: the Capitana , flagship, the Santiago , ordered by Bartholomè Colomb, El Gallego and El Vizcaino . Colomb considers this fourth voyage like a company of discovered and thus does not carry any supply for Hispanola which its instructions intimated to him not to approach, except in the event of extreme need.
Visited territories: St-Lucia, Martinique, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama.
End of its lifeThere remains physically very decreased after its return, suffering in particular from one very invading drop, which initially prevents it from going to the royal court which settled with Medina del Campo. From Seville, where it settled, it sends to it his son Ferdinand and its Barthélémy brother so that they “deal with his business”. It remains in contact with them by letters and the emissary sending, of which Amerigo Vespucci. He works to try to make recognize his rights and richnesses who return to him. It can itself go to the court at the summer 1505, with back of mule, temporary permission granted by the king. Its presence near the Ferdinand sovereign is not shown more decisive, the king having included/understood what the discovery of these “Indies implied”. He “by no means intends to restore with the Admiral the financial and governmental prerogatives” as specified on April 30th, 1493 with the return of the first voyage of Colomb.
He dies the May 20th 1506 with Valladolid surrounded by his sons and his brother after having established a will which confirms in particular the majorat established with the profit of his/her Diego oldest son. He does not know satisfaction to see Diego being named by the king governor of Hispaniola in 1508. Its skin is transferred in 1541 in the cathedral from Saint-Domingue.
Like Marianne Mahn-Batch writes it: “It is necessary to give up the romantic image of the man of ignored dying genius, in the lapse of memory and misery. Until the end, the Admiral will keep faithful friends, among whom important characters. And it will receive large sums on the incomes of the Indies - with delays and incompletely, it is true. ”
Christophe Colomb in his time
Colonization, evangelization and slaveryAugust 1st
Gold, spices and pearlsThe maritime company of Colomb is before a a whole commercial business and on the matter the discoveries of the Admiral and those which accompanied it disappointed the hopes placed in them. That it is as regards spices or gold, the fast and important benefit were not with go islands approached, at least of living of Colomb.
Colomb and navigationThe historians of Colomb, in particular at the 19th century, often tried to explain the success of its maritime company by the use of new techniques as regards navigation, evoking inter alia the Boussole, the Gouvernail of stern post and the Caravelle. If Colomb chose the caravel as ship - type of ship already used by the Portuguese since the beginning of the 15th century in their explorations on the side African - it is because of sound relatively low costs of armament and its weak Tirant of water which makes it possible to approach the coasts without being likely to fail.
Colomb and the “discovery of America”Amerigo Vespucci is the first navigator to affirm to have discovered a Nouveau world which is not the Indies. Its discovery is recognized by the cartographers of the Vosgean Gymnase, who publish in 1507 Universalis Cosmographia (today known under the name of Planisphère of Waldseemüller), where the name America figure for the first time.
Colomb in literature and with the cinema
- Paul Claudel publishes in 1933 a lyric drama in two parts entitled the Book of Christophe Colomb .
- Ridley Scott carries out the film 1492 which leaves on the screens to the autumn 1992.
- Discovered of America
- Great discoveries
- Day of Christophe Colomb
- 1492: Christophe Colomb , film of Ridley Scott, which tells a fictionalized history of the navigator
- the town of Barcelona set up in 1888 in homage to Colomb, a imposing monument decorated reliefs and sculptures reporting the life of the explorer, become emblematic of the city.
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