Myths About Columbus

The Propaganda Professor


The above portrait of Christopher Columbus is probably more accurate than most, because it depicts his prematurely gray hair. Unfortunately, the tint of his locks isn’t the worst morsel of misinformation widely distributed in romanticized visual and verbal portraits. Children are no longer fed the Caucasian-centric absurdity that he “discovered America” — which is quite inaccurate even from a Caucasian-centric vantage point. But there are plenty of other misconceptions about the man that many people still take on good faith. Here are the most  common.

Myth # 1: He was Italian

There is a great deal of scholarly speculation about the famed navigator’s national and ethnic roots, with recent scholarship suggesting he was Spanish (there is even some evidence that he may have been of Hebraic derivation). For the time being, however, the official story is still that he was born Cristoforo Colombo in Geneoa, which of course is a city…

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