Christopher Columbus

William D. Phillips

in Renaissance and Reformation

ISBN: 9780195399301
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:
Christopher Columbus

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy


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Christopher Columbus and his voyages captured the imagination of contemporaries and have continued to fascinate admirers through the centuries as well as a growing number of detractors. The extensive sources and studies give a privileged view into his life and times, especially his post-1492 experiences. The publication dates indicate the high points of activity as editors and authors tended to concentrate their efforts. There was a peak around 1892, the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s first voyage. In 1942 Samuel Eliot Morison published Admiral of the Ocean Sea (see Classic Studies), a biography that constructed an image of Columbus that became standard in the United States for a half century. Most of the recent contributions of scholarship and edited sources appeared in the years immediately before and after the quincentenary of 1992 with an additional flurry around 2006, the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s death. The United States, Spain, and Italy have been the countries where most of the publications have appeared; each of them had major initiatives to support Columbian scholarship in the period around 1992.

Article.  9683 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

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