Facts and Fiction about Columbus

Fiction: Columbus proved that the Earth was round.

Fact: Many people proved the earth before him. Ancient people studied the stars to prove the earth was round. People like the Greek gathered much scientific knowledge. The Phoenicians and the Carthaginians may have sailed around Africa and other seas. Many people believed the earth was round. Columbus never proved that the earth was round. In addition, he was not an astronomer.

Fiction: Columbus was inspired by Marco Polo's books to travel to India.

Fact: Columbus was inspired somewhat, but not all the way by Marco Polo's books. He wanted to make Spain rich. Columbus persuaded the king and queen of Spain to give him the money to travel to Asia. He thought that his journey would be shorter than of Prince Henry's. (At that time the Pope had said that any land found by Prince Henry's men would be Portugal's land. Since Spain followed the Church they had to obey the rule. But since the Pope had not blocked anyone from going out, Columbus could get the lands for Spain).

Fiction: Columbus Wanted To Travel To India To Prove the Earth was Round.

Fact: Actually Columbus wanted to travel to India to get the riches of the Muslims and claim the lands for Spain. Columbus left on three ships named the Pinta, Santa Maria, and the Nina on August 3, 1492 to India. He meant to reach India by traveling west, but reached America. That’s why he named the people there "Indians" These people are now called "Native Americans" or "American Indians." Columbus never got to India. However, his mistake made Spain the richest country in the world for some time.