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Columbus, Christopher (1451–1506)

  1. Michael Coulter

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0328

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Coulter, M. 2011. Columbus, Christopher (1451–1506). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Christopher Columbus, whose voyages to the New World greatly changed the world's history, was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1451, the son of a middle-class merchant. As a young man, he apprenticed as a business agent for a trading company, and his travels took him as far as Ireland. Europe had long been interested in asea passage to the Far East because the longoverland trip was not very economical. Contrary to popular belief, Columbus did not discover that the world was spherical. Columbus, however, is credited with discovering the trade winds and believed that a journey to the Orient by sea was possible. Late in his life he believed that God had opened his mind to a journey to the New World.


  • Columbus, christopher (1451–1506);
  • voyages to the new world, changing world's history;
  • Columbus, in discovering the trade winds;
  • Columbus, ships, the nina, pinta, and Santa Maria;
  • staunch catholic;
  • Columbus' aim, to convert the Indians to Christianity;
  • Columbus, celebrated by many in the new world