Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
reply to post by Hanslune
Christopher Columbus was a northern European. I can buy that he was Scottish. Regardless, I believe that he, or his family, hailed from the northern
regions. As well, he was a nobleman from these northern regions.
I believe that the northern people knew of the New World, and had for generations. And Christopher Columbus was just following through on knowledge
he had from his northern roots. I would be surprised if the Spanish royals didn't already know, too. Or, at least to the extent they cared to (the
knowledge is abstract, of little use to them at the time, until they were ready to monetize the knowledge).
No Columbus was genoese, but he had access to scandanavian nautical knowledge. He made a trip to Iceland in 1475, and his father in law was a ships
master with the knights of Christ, in Portugal.
The knights of Christ were the remnants of the templars in Portugal.
Did you notice that Columbus' sails flew the standard of Templars, red cross,on a white field.
There is circumstantial evidence that the Portugese reached the new world as early as the 1470's
, when the Spanish got to Brazil in the early 1500's there were already Portugese sugar plantations on a fee offshore islands.
The Portugese crown did its best to keep knowledge of its newly discovered lands from it trade competitors, the Italian city states and the Spanish.
Many of the early expeditions' information and charts were seen as a state secret and were kept very secret.
And seeing how it was from iceland that the scandanavians jumped off for the new world, it is very plausible that he could have gained knowledge
from them about the new world.
Clearly the scandanavians had much more contact with the new world than just the failed out post
L'anse aux meadow and the newly discovered site, but those sites were just seasonal camps used for lumbering and fishing and would have left very
little trace. But they did leave traces that aren't fully accepted yet.
One thing most people don't understand is that the Viking period ends when two things happen, the first is the fuedalizing of scandanavia society,
by the new monarchies in Denmark and Sweden, then christianization.
Another thing people don't think about the place in society that many of the earlier explorers had, they were mostly outcasts, forced to leave home
because of being banished for crimes or fueds with other clans in the tribe.
When they settled Iceland and greenland it was as much to get away from everyone else as it was about exploration. And by the time the mainland was
fully christianized the outlying settlments were stubornly hanging on to their pagan ways.
So there was an impetus to keep the knowledge of new lands from the church and crown. Also these people didn't appreciate the kings, whom they had
no real connection with, forcing them to pay taxes on thier goods they worked so hard to export to the mainland.
There are even records of ships full of lumber from the new world being taxed in danish ports, lumber that had to have come from much farther south
than is the currently accepted limit of scandanavian exploration.