Monday, October 08, 2007
Christopher Columbus: A Portuguese Jewish Spy?
Today is Columbus Day. It’s a national holiday, but I’m stuck at work (at least I’m not broke like I was last year). Depending on who you are, you are either: 1 celebrating his discovery of the New World, 2 protesting the post-discovery era, or 3, you don’t really give a shit.
Anyway, when I was 13 I read a magazine article that alleged Christopher Columbus was… Jewish. Ever since that fateful day in my adolescence I’ve been fascinated by Columbus’ life story. He is one of history’s most famous figures, yet we actually know very little about the man and his background. Indeed, how did a slightly above average Genovese sailor gain access to the Spanish court?
People have contended that he was really a Portuguese spy, a former Catalan rebel, even a Marrano Jew. All of these theories are very interesting, if not all HIGHLY circumstantial. Here’s an article from today’s New York Times about attempts to trace his DNA.