Enlighten me....

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Lucky13, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    What good does Columbus Day celibrations have today, even though it has been proven that he wasn't first to discover America? Vikings, Leif Eriksson, was there 492 years before him, not to mention those that were already there when THEY got here....?8) :D
     
  2. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    I'll give you the "historian's" rationale which makes sense (at least to me). Columbus' "discovery" was the first to be historically documented.

    But you're right about Leif. He was the first.

    TO
     
  3. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    That's what everybody say....they didn't have a "reporter" with them. :lol:
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    It is just another day off for me...
     
  5. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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  6. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I think it has slowly evolved into an Italian pride sort of celebration - similar to Black History Month, May 5 and Puerto Rican Pride Day in NY.
     
  7. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I always wondered why they didn't have more documentation on the Norsemen's travels to North America. They have found ruins of Norse buildings on the east coast of North America and Iceland and Greenland both have well preserved sites. Well, all of Iceland is pretty obvious, for that matter...lol

    And if I remember right, didn't they find a sunken Roman trade ship off the coast of Brazil a number of years ago?
     
  8. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    ....not to mention those that were already there! :lol:
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Its always possible that these mystery discoveries were "ghost ships" in that the crew perished and the boat just drifted along till it hit schoals or high water and sank.
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    You know, that may have been the case. It would make sense because of the currents and such. And who's to say that the shipwreck survivors didn't make it and the locals gave them a less them hearty welcome :lol:
     
  11. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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  13. Captain Dunsel

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    I think the key is that, after Columbus, the discoverers DID something with their discovery. The earlier discoverers, most notably the Vikings, never pushed their colonization (and might not have been able to, even if they'd wanted to, due to their lack of military superiority to the Indians).

    CD
     
  14. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    A leaf from Leif. Columbus might have been a Viking disciple...


    BY BRUCE B. AUSTER

    Pirates attacked Columbus's ship west of Gibraltar, as he headed north to England. The young Italian crewman, his vessel ablaze, gripped an oar to keep from drowning and swam to shore. He caught the next ship to the end of the Earth.

    Fifteen years before his mission to the New World, the story goes, Columbus reached Iceland, the land known in legend as Ultima Thule, the farthest possible place in the world, where "land, water, and air are all mixed together." The mysterious island boasted volcanoes, lava-black beaches, and snowy white landscapes. It may also have been the birthplace of Columbus's bold leap to America. Historians continue to search for new documentation to prove that Columbus reached Iceland and, if he did, whether his stay there, at age 25, stirred the adventurer to imagine that a passage to China lay to the west, across the Atlantic.

    Some 500 years earlier, the Vikings had set sail from Iceland and ultimately reached the New World. Could Columbus have heard the stories of Leif Ericson's voyage to the place called Vinland? If the story is true, "Columbus would have learned from Icelandic sailors that there was land to the west," says William Fitzhugh, a curator of the Smithsonian Institution's exhibit "Vikings," which opened in April in Washington and will travel for two years throughout North America.

    We're No.1. It is no coincidence that historians in Scandinavia are cheerleaders for the Columbus-in-Iceland saga while those in Italy turn up their noses. If the Viking backers are right, Columbus not only arrived in America after the Vikings, he borrowed their idea. The Vikings did beat Columbus to America, an accomplishment no longer in dispute. Forty years ago, archaeologists discovered evidence of a Viking set* tlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, in Newfoundland. No other Viking sites have been found despite exhaustive, and sometimes ridiculous, efforts. But the ruins of buildings discovered at L'Anse aux Meadows confirmed the essential details of the Vinland Sagas, the two oral tales that describe the journeys of Eric the Red to Greenland and Leif Ericson and others to North America.

    Scholars cannot be sure Columbus even reached Iceland. The case isn't ironclad because only one fragment of evidence from Columbus's day remains: The explorer's son, in his biography of his father, cites Columbus's memoirs, in which he describes the voyage of February 1477. For years, historians did not know what to make of the account. Many details were accurate: The winter that year was mild, so waters in the north were navigable. Others were wrong: Columbus badly misstates Iceland's latitude. But the errors, because they reflect the limited knowledge of the time, are now seen as proof of the memoir's authenticity. In 1484, just seven years after he is believed to have stopped in Iceland, Columbus proposed to the king of Portugal that he could reach China by crossing the Atlantic.

    Small world. No single spark lighted the explorer's imagination. Before his voyage, Columbus would have known of Marco Polo's journey to China. He is also believed to have studied Ptolemy's Guide to Geography, a brilliant Roman-era work by the Greek astronomer who argued that the sun revolved around the Earth. His Geography, though influential, vastly underestimated the size of the Earth. That led Colum* bus to believe a shorter route to China and India could be found to the west. Ptolemy's teachings may have only confirmed what he knew from the Viking sagas: that a westward passage was possible.

    That Columbus wasn't first to America is unthinkable to many. Ken Feder, debunker and author of Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries, gets the most hate mail from Columbus lovers. "I expect psychic archaeologists to get on my case, not the Columbus appreciation society," he says. Others suggest the Viking discovery had no lasting importance. "It is unquestionable that the Vikings got there first, if getting there is all that matters," says historian David Henige, who analyzed the journal of Columbus's first voyage. "But Columbus catalyzed settlement of the New World." Might the Vikings have the jump there, too? New evidence being gathered by archaeologists may prove that the Vikings maintained elaborate trade relations with native North Americans for some 350 years. "If the Norse were huddling in Greenland trying to survive, that's one thing,'' says the Smithsonian's Fitzhugh. "But if they were exploring, meeting natives, and trading, then that's a new chapter in American history that hasn't been explored."

    Paolo Emilio Taviani entitled his biography of Columbus The Grand Design. But the adventures of Columbus and the Vikings, five centuries apart, suggest how both will and chance shape history. Columbus's design was grounded in error and miscalculation–but it succeeded brilliantly. Olafur Egilsson, a former board member of Iceland's historical society who believes that Columbus reached Iceland, thinks the visit could have been crucial. "It might have given Columbus confidence to know there were lands on the other side of the ocean," he says. Perhaps that's why, when the crew of the Santa María nearly rebelled, afraid the winds would never turn and blow them home again, Columbus calmed them, then kept sailing west.
     
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