Originally posted by Moonsouljah
While Phage's links and others observations are enough to close debate, I would simply point out on the first map that شرق" translates to East
and غرب translates to West They are upside down.
This particular link should reopen debate then.:
The Venetians obtained Chinese maps of the world from Marco Polo, which showed that the Americas existed, and these were later taken to Portugal long
before Columbus arrived there. These maps were kept sceret for commercial reasons, but there were Europeans before Columbus who were aware on the
Columbus probably also heard stories about lands to the west from his travels to Britain and Iceland, since Bristol merchants and fisherman knew about
them already and the Vikings had also made maps of them. We now know that the Vikings also navigated the Great Lakes and the Mississippi river, but
they would literally go anywhere there was water. They really got around.
This explains why Isabella made Columbus governor of any "new lands" he might discover with 10% of the profits. He argued constantly that he never
really got his fair share of these, but that's another story.
To be sure, there was always a great deal of obfuscation and secrecy surrounding these "new lands" over the years, but that was only to be expected
given commerical and imperial competition between the various powers at the time. My view has always been that Columbus always had a good idea that
where he was going, since he knew others had already done it long before--both Asians and Europeans.
What he can take credit for is opening the door to European colonization of the Americas on a large scale for the first time, but not for discovering
what was already known.