Christopher Columbus - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: Italian

Status: Ended

Runtime: 90 minutes

Premier: None

Christopher Columbus - Origin theories of Christopher Columbus - Netflix

The exact ethnic or national origin of Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) has been a source of speculation since the 19th century. It is generally agreed upon by historians that Columbus' family was from the coastal region of Liguria, that he spent his boyhood and early youth in the Republic of Genoa, in Genoa, in Vico Diritto, and that he subsequently lived in Savona, where his father Domenico moved in 1470. Much of this evidence derives from data concerning Columbus' immediate family connections in Genoa and opinions voiced by contemporaries concerning his Genoese origins, which few dispute.

Christopher Columbus - Historians - Netflix

On the topic of Columbus' being born somewhere besides Genoa, Morison states “Every contemporary Spaniard or Portuguese who wrote about Columbus and his discoveries calls him Genoese. Four contemporary Genoese chroniclers claim him as a compatriot. Every early map on which his nationality is recorded describes him as Genoese or Ligur, a citizen of the Ligurian Republic. Nobody in the Admiral's lifetime, or for three centuries after, had any doubt about his birthplace” and that “There is no more reason to doubt that Christopher Columbus was a Genoese-born Catholic Christian, steadfast in his faith and proud of his native city, than to doubt that George Washington was a Virginia-born Anglican of English race, proud of being an American.” The position of Morison, is adopted by the British historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto, who writes in his book:

The Catalan, French, Galician, Greek, Ibizan, Jewish, Majorcan, Polish, Scottish, and other increasingly silly Columbuses concocted by historical fantasists are agenda-driven creations, usually inspired by a desire to arrogate a supposed or confected hero to the cause of a particular nation or historic community - or, more often than not, to some immigrant group striving to establish a special place of esteem in the United States. The evidence of Columbus's origins in Genoa is overwhelming: almost no other figure of his class or designation has left so clear a paper trail in the archives.

Besides these documents from which we may glean facts about Christopher's early life, there are others which identify the Discoverer as the son of Domenico the wool weaver, beyond the possibility of doubt. For instance, Domenico had a brother Antonio, like him a respectable member of the lower middle class in Genoa. Antonio had three sons: Matteo, Amigeto and Giovanni, who was generally known as Giannetto (the Genoese equivalent of “Johnny”). Giannetto, like Christopher, gave up a humdrum occupation to follow the sea. In 1496 the three brothers met in a notary's office at Genoa and agreed that Johnny should go to Spain and seek out his first cousin “Don Cristoforo de Colombo, Admiral of the King of Spain,” each contributing one third of the traveling expenses. This quest for a job was highly successful. The Admiral gave Johnny command of a caravel on the Third Voyage to America, and entrusted him with confidential matters as well.

Christopher Columbus - References - Netflix