Today in History: Christopher Columbus Reached the New World

In 1493, after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sights a Bahamian island, believing he has reached East Asia.

His expedition went ashore the same day and claimed the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, who sponsored his attempt to find a western ocean route to China, India, and the fabled gold and Spice Islands of Asia.

He became obsessed with the possibility of pioneering a western sea route to Cathay (China), India, and the gold and spice islands of Asia.

At the time, Europeans knew no direct sea route to southern Asia, and the route via Egypt and the Red Sea was closed to Europeans by the Ottoman Empire, as were many land routes.

Contrary to popular legend, educated Europeans of Columbus’ day did believe that the world was round, as argued by St. Isidore in the seventh century.

© 2012 SAT Telecommunications Ltd.

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