Columbus from birth (circa 1451) till 1492

Christopher Columbus signature

Who was Christopher Columbus, well he was probably born in 1451. To date no hard and fast evidence tells us exactly where he came from. It has been suggested that the epitaph on his tomb, translated as "Let me not be confused forever," is a veiled hint that his identity was different from the one he publicly stated during his life. However, the actual phrase, "Non confundar in aeternam" (in Latin), is perhaps more accurately translated "Let me never be confounded," and is contained in several Psalms.

Certainly he appears to have deliberately obscured his background. This could have been for any number of reasons. Therefore, given Columbus' modern fame, there are many groups and nationalities vying to claim him as one of their own.

Most historians believe Columbus's own claims that he was from Genoa, but others think that he was hiding his past. For example he may have been a converted Jew. Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, and converted Jews would be suspect as well. The various options for his origin are:-

His life in Portugal from his run in with corsairs off the Portuguese coast in 1476, till his move to Spain in 1486 is covered in source documents.

Christopher Columbus - discoverer of America