October 12, 2009

Was Christopher Columbus A Greek-speaking Romaios From Chios?

Convincing evidence seems to indicate a possibility that Christopher Columbus, the official European discoverer of America, was a Greek-speaking Romaios from the Greek island of Chios. By Romaios we mean that his origins were as a citizen of the Eastern Roman Empire. In fact, he may have been a Prince as a relative of the Palaiologos family, and raised in Constantinople during its final years before its fall to the Ottomans in 1453. This would have also possibly made him an Orthodox Christian originally.

We do know for a fact that the reason Columbus was able to discover America was because of the Ottoman occupation of Constantinople and the Black Sea, which had been the quickest trade route with India and now closed to the West. Since the Ottomans hated the West, they were no longer allowed to use this trade route and thus Columbus was commissioned to discover a new trade route to India from the West rather than the Ottoman-occupied East.

Also, it is a myth that the majority of people in Columbus' day believed the world was flat. That the world was round and spherical was a common belief among the Greek-speaking Romans, and after the fall of Constantinople this knowldge was quickly spread to the West where it was also maintained among the more educated. But could Columbus have had something to do with the spread of the knowledge of Byzantium to the West like many of his contemporaries?

So did a member of the Palaiologos Dynasty discover America and do Americans celebrate such a man on Columbus Day? Read the links and watch the videos below to form your own opinion.

Christophoros Columbus: A Byzantine Prince from Chios, Greece

Was Columbus Greek?

Christopher Columbus - Was He Greek?

Christopher Columbus Signature

Timeline of Columbus' Life (notice the time gaps and question marks)