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The posts on this blog need not be read in order. As the blog description says, they are really just a collection of random things I hear or read about concerning history. The list of labels on the left side of the screen shows the topics I have discussed so far. Feel free to browse them if you're looking for something particular, or just read straight through the posts in the order I've written them. I update often, so be sure to visit me again soon!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Small Fact Known Only to Few...

...Okay, so maybe more than a few people know this one. But for those of you who don't:

Columbus didn't discover America.

The Vikings beat him to it. And there is a possibility that the Romans crossed the Atlantic Ocean as well. And the Chinese possibly found our west shores long before Columbus. The "lost" continent wasn't that lost and unknown.

I'm not sure why Columbus is hailed as the discover... I enjoy reading about his voyage and all that, and I agree he furthered the advance of Europeans settlement in North America, but he wasn't the very first. Anyone have an idea why he's presented as the one who discovered America?

4 comments:

Sandra said...

People think Christopher Columbus was the first one to find America, because he's the one that brought attention to it. That there is land out there, and we can go over there to live and make the laws different. Hope that answers your question Amber.

Anonymous said...

Actually Columbus thought he had found the West Indies... America was "discovered" by Amerigo Vespucci. That is why this land is called Amercia, and not Columbia...
But the question is... how did this land get "discovered" if there were already people living here?

Amber said...

Anonymous:
That's a good point. I've often wondered that myself; how could this land be discovered when people were already living here, with their own cities and histories? I suppose history is just told from the European viewpoint. It's just been recently that I've discovered how much was going on during the Middle Ages in OTHER parts of the world, besides Europe. It's quite interesting.

Amanda said...

In reply to the question, "How did this land get "discovered" if there were already people living here?": I would imagine that maybe that goes back to right after the Tower of Babel. Immediately after that, people were scattering throughout the earth, and it would make sense to think that some groups went to what we know as North America. If that was the case, we can assume that with the vast expanse of ocean between the continents, within a few generations, the memory of people having traveled over here would have been lost. As the groups with different languages seperated, it would be easy to get wrapped up in their own "clans" enough to forget where the rest of the people went, and before long, only those who stayed "advanced" enough to write down their history would be remembered for that time period. Then, when Columbus published his findings, it would make sense that since the previous explorers hadn't broadcasted the news, and the "Indian" tribes had long since been forgotten, he would be hailed as the original discoverer of America.
So... after this rather lengthy imagination explanation, do you think this could be a possibility?