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Christophoros Columbus: A Byzantine Prince from Chios, Greece ^ | 1982 | Ruth G. Durlacher-Wolper

Posted on 08/05/2004 5:48:37 PM PDT by Destro

Christophoros Columbus: A Byzantine Prince from Chios, Greece, by Ruth G. Durlacher-Wolper

Cover of the book by Ruth G. Durlacher-Wolper.

Over 500 years ago, Admiral Christophoros Columbus stepped upon the soil of San Salvador Island, Bahamas, in the New World, with the banner of the Royal Standard of Spain flying in all its glory. The captains of La Nina and La Pinta followed him off the La Santa Maria, carrying the banners of the Green Cross. Behind them came the weary crew -- men whose faith had weakened during the hard journey, but who had had their faith revived time and again by their dauntless leader, Christophoros Columbus: the Byzantine prince from Chios Island, Greece.

Directed by wind and star and compass, across the unfathomable depths of uncharted waters, the courageous spirit of Columbus never failed. This historic landing -- the culmination of a vision that inspired the perseverance which characterized Columbus' efforts over 16 years, during which time he was scoffed at by the doubters, and denied patronage by the kings of Portugal, England, France, and Spain -- became a reality on 12 October 1492.

Who was Columbus? Many theories have been expressed concerning the obscurity of his identity. Not wishing to deprive the countries that have claimed Columbus as their own, the author's new theory unveils the obscurity that has clouded the mystery of Columbus' early life before 1476. Her book answers the questions that have been asked for 500 years and more, and will provide -- it is hoped -- the inspiration for other investigators to continue to unravel the true facts concerning Columbus' identity.

The reliance on two principle sources (though many others are also cited), written by persons who had actually seen Columbus' original Journal, are the main basis of the author's thesis. One is Columbus' second son Ferdinand -- who had sailed with his father -- whose life work was collecting books about Columbus for his extensive library, and who wrote The Fourth Voyage of Columbus, as well as The Life Of The Admiral, Christopher Columbus. The other was the famous Historia De Las Indies, by Bishop de las Casas -- who had also sailed with Columbus. These two sources, according to the author, are the most reliable because their authors had sailed with the great mariner, and knew him well. Columbus' son, Ferdinand, was known to have complained repeatedly that there were many lies and falsehoods being written and disseminated about his father. His chosen mission in life was to clear up the many misconceptions, and to let the truth be known. Bishop de las Casas, confirmed that Columbus "was of the Genoese nation," but would never utilize the Genoese language in his writings, and would refer to himself as "Columbus de Terra Rubra," ("Columbus of the Red Earth"). He also wrote that "more precise information as to his actual birthplace [was never forthcoming"], but that he claimed that his ancestors "had always followed the sea." It is worthy of note that Chios Island is known for its red soil, and that Chiotes have -- since time immemorial -- been famous as seafarers and fleet owners.

Samuel Eliot Morison, the eminent historian, confirms Columbus' "ardent enthusiasm for seafaring," and wrote, in his book, Admiral of the Ocean Sea (Little, Brown, & Co., Boston. 1942), that Columbus first took to the sea in the early 1460s, and that he made "many voyages to Chios in the Aegean," where he learned to "hand reef, and steer, to estimate distance by eye, to let go and weigh anchor properly, and all other elements of seamanship." Also, that he was a "ruddy-complexioned redhead, with blue eyes." His son Ferdinand wrote that Columbus gave himself the name "Christophoros" because "... in Greek it means one who bears Christ," and "[my father] had carried Christ over deep waters with great danger to himself ... that the Indian nations might become dwellers in the triumphant Church of Heaven."

Columbus' signature was a combination of Byzantine-Greek and Latin. He signed his name Xpo-Ferens, the first part being Greek and the second Latin. He instructed his heirs to continue to "sign with my signature, which I now employ, which is an X ["CHI"] with an S over it, and an M with an A over it, and over that an S, and then a Greek Y with an S over it, preserving the relation of the lines and points." (Morison p.202.)

Columbus' Byzantine Signature

This would accord with Columbus' desire to keep his identity concealed, as did many Orthodox Christian Greeks who'd migrated to Catholic Italy before and after Constantinople's fall to the Turks in 1453, and who wished to avoid persecution in their new surroundings, or death at the hands of the Turks. Columbus referred to Chios many times in his Journal, and also to the mastic gum which is cultivated only on this island, and which grows in its red soil. Chios was under Genoese rule from 1346 to 1566, and, during Columbus' time, was administered -- though under the sovereignty of Genoa -- by a Genoese chartered company called the "Mahouna." The bank used by this company was the Bank of St. George in Genoa, which was also the bank used by Columbus. Because of this connection, and the fact that he dressed like a Genoese, historians concluded that he was Genoese, even though -- as confirmed by the great authority on Columbus, Lionel Cecil Jane -- "[he] could not speak or write Italian." (Select Documents Illustrating the Four Voyages of Columbus. Hakluyt Society. London, 1930.)

In Chios today, one may see examples of Genoese architecture throughout the island. In the "mastichochori" (the mastic growing region in the southern part of the island), and especially in the county seat of the district, the town of Pyrghi, one sees the Italianate influence everywhere. The houses and buildings of this town are decorated with geometric designs unique to Chios, and more particularly to the mastic growing region where the Genoese had the strongest influence because of their involvement in the mastic trade. Over the doors of some homes in places like Pyrghi and Cimbouri, one can still see the name KOLOMVOS inscribed. A picture of a priest of Pyrghi is shown in the book whose name is "Kolomvos," and who told the author, Ruth Durlacher-Wolper, that his family goes back 600 years on the island, and that the old Greek Byzantine aristocracy had intermarried with the Genoese merchants because "they were bound by the same interests," i.e., the mastic trade.

The connection to royalty is demonstrated by the writings of Ferdinand and Las Casas, who quote Columbus as saying that "[I] sailed with my kinsman, Colon the Younger, the Greek corsair"[pirate]. Who was this "kinsman?" Colon the Younger was a member of one of the most important royal families in the Byzantine world, the Palaeologi. His name was George Palaeologus Disipatos, and was also known as "George le Grec." He turned corsair after the fall of Constantinople, and fought the Turks on the sea after they'd conquered the Byzantine Empire. At this time, according to the author, Columbus also went by the name of Colon, and her research indicates that with the fall of Byzantium he "fled with his kinsman, Colon the Younger, to... France" It is not certain just when he changed his name to Columbus, and, in Ferdinand's book, he quotes a passage from a letter his father wrote to the nurse of Don Juan of Castile: "I am not the first Admiral of my family. Let them call me, then, by what name they will, for after all, David, the wisest of kings, tended sheep and was later made king of Jerusalem, and I am the servant of Him who raised David to that high estate." The Byzantine connection would explain his knowledge of Latin and Greek, and would answer the question as to why he kept his log in these two languages instead of the Italian of Genoa.

Facts Contributing to the Clarification of Columbus' Identity

1) Columbus' signature "Xpo-Ferens" (Christophoros), is Greek-Latin (Byzantine).

2) Columbus spelled Chios with a Greek X -- Xios.

3) Columbus marked the corner of his letters with a Greek X for Xios or Xpo-Ferens, his name.

4) Columbus named Cape Maysi in Cuba by the Greek words "Alpha and Omega."

5) Columbus never asked Italy for ships or aid or food or shelter when he needed help.

6) Columbus never spoke or read Italian.

7) Columbus made markings of Greek words on the margins of his favorite book, Imago Mundi, by

Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly.

8) Columbus was called "Genoese" because he was from Chios, which belonged to Genoa, and he

dressed in the Genoese style.

9) Columbus called himself, and signed documents, "Columbus de Terra Rubra" (Columbus of the Red

Earth), because of the red earth of southern Chios where the mastic tree grows.

10) Columbus banked at St. George Bank in Genoa, along with other Genoese Chiotes, because:

a) Chios was a colony of Genoa.

b) Chios had been Genoese for 300 years (since 1346).

11) Columbus concealed his identity because of his well founded fear of being killed by the Turks

after the fall of Constantinople: this prevented him from revealing his Greek lineage.

12) Columbus called himself "Colon," and wrote that he sailed with a royal kinsman who also had that name.

13) Columbus kept "a secret accurate reckoning" and two logs. The author shows that his

"secret reckoning" was in Greek leagues, whereas his "official log" was in Roman leagues.

14) Ferdinand could find no sign of the Christopher Colombo family when he searched for it high and low in

Genoa. These were supposedly the relatives of Christopher Columbus, but Ferdinand wrote that " I

have not been able to find out how or where [they] live."

Plaque on the Columbus home in Pirghi, Chios, funded by the European Union

There is much more in this interesting book that would lend considerable and convincing weight to the argument that Christopher Columbus was indeed "A Byzantine Prince from Chios, Greece."

Christophoros Columbus: A Byzantine Prince from Chios, Greece. by Ruth G. Durlacher-Wolper. Published by The New World Museum, San Salvador, Bahamas. 1982.

TOPICS: History; TV/Movies; Travel
KEYWORDS: 1492; ageofsail; americas; ancientnavigation; archaeology; byzantineempire; chios; christophercolumbus; columbus; columbusday; genoa; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; greece; history; italy; jews; navigation; pages; reconquista; ruthgdurlacherwolper; spain; vespucci
There is a lot of speculation that Columbus came from the island of Khios (or Chios) in Greece. The main point of this theory ( is that Columbus never said he was from Genoa but from the Republic of Genoa. The island of Khios was under the Genoese rule (1346 - 1566 AD), for the period of his life, and therefore it was part of the Republic of Genoa. There is a village named Pirgi in the island of Khios where to this day many of its inhabitants carry the surname "Colombus".
1 posted on 08/05/2004 5:48:37 PM PDT by Destro
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To: Destro
Discovery Channel: Columbus: Secrets From the Grave

airing repeat now - which I did not see.

2 posted on 08/05/2004 5:52:25 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting
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To: blam; SunkenCiv


3 posted on 08/05/2004 5:55:36 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting
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To: Destro
Beware of Greeks from Chios...

They pick up figs on moonless nights.

4 posted on 08/05/2004 6:09:25 PM PDT by spokeshave (strategery + schadenfreude = stratenschadenfreudery)
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To: Destro
One aspect of Columbus and his journey to America is consistently left out. We're often told that Columbus decided to take the voyage in hopes of establishing trade routes. I don't know of any evidence that supports that notion, and Columbus himself wrote an entirely different reason in the only book that he ever wrote, "Libro de las Profecias" (or Book of Prophecies):

" At a very early age I began to sail upon the ocean. For more than forty years, I have sailed everywhere that people go. I prayed to the most merciful Lord about my heart's great desire, and He gave me the spirit and the intelligence for the task: seafaring, astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, skill in drafting spherical maps and placing correctly the cities, rivers, mountains and ports. I also studied cosmology, history, chronology and philosophy.

It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because he comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures, a strong and clear testimony from the 44 books of the Old Testament, from the four Gospels, and from the 23 Epistles of the blessed Apostles, encouraging me continually to press forward, and without ceasing for a moment they now encourage me to make haste.

Our Lord Jesus desired to perform a very obvious miracle in the voyage to the Indies, to comfort me and the whole people of God. I spent seven years in the royal court, discussing the matter with many persons of great reputation and wisdom in all the arts; and in the end they concluded that it was all foolishness, so they gave it up. But since things generally came to pass that were predicted by our Savior Jesus Christ, we should also believe that this particular prophecy will come to pass. In support of this, I office the gospel text, Matt. 24:35, in which Jesus said that all things would pass away, but not his marvelous Word. He also affirmed that it was necessary that all things be fulfilled that were prophesied by Himself and by the prophets...

For the execution of the journey to the Indies I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics or maps. It is simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesied. All this is what I desire to write down for you in this book...

I said that some of the prophecies remained yet to be fulfilled. These are great and wonderful things for the earth, and the signs are that the Lord is hastening the end. The fact that the gospel must still be preached to so many lands in such a short time - this is what convinces me."

5 posted on 08/05/2004 6:10:24 PM PDT by Jaysun (Let me take yet another opportunity to tell the "moderates" to shove it ....... then twist it.)
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To: Destro

Thanks for the ping. The discussion continues.

6 posted on 08/05/2004 6:10:58 PM PDT by blam
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To: Jaysun

that and to raise money to fund a new Crusade to retake Constantinople.

7 posted on 08/05/2004 6:13:21 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting
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To: Destro

Great find Destro!

Many Greeks came West after the downfall of the Byzantine Empire trippgering the Renaissance.

8 posted on 08/05/2004 6:52:41 PM PDT by eleni121 (Thank God fo John Ashcroft: Four more years!)
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To: eleni121

many Greeks were among the later conquistadors - mostly as hired sailors and blacksmiths.

9 posted on 08/05/2004 7:11:15 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting
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To: Destro; SJackson; Alouette; yonif; ValerieUSA
Thanks, I'd not seen that one. I've seen him claimed by Italy (Syracuse NY has a big huge monument to Columbus, erected by the Italian community there), and far and away the consensus is that he came from Genoa. But I've seen him claimed by several other Italian towns, by the Basques in Iberia, and by the Jews:
Columbus's Medinah?
Calgary Jewish Free Press
As we shall see in a moment, however, there has been some weighty scholarly debate over the possibility that Columbus, though undeniably a devout and zealous Catholic, might also have been the proud descendant of Spanish Jews. Ironically, this view has been championed by some patriotic Spaniards, who would rather have him a Spanish Jew than an Italian gentile.
The first time I saw this claim was in a semi-humorous book, "The Jewish Connection" but it appears also (via a quote of the above quoted page) on a site called "Jew Watch", and one can guess where its interests lie. :'D

Christopher Columbus s Jewish roots Christopher Columbus's Jewish roots
by Jane Frances Amler

find nearest library copy

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10 posted on 08/05/2004 10:50:21 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Unlike some people, I have a profile. Okay, maybe it's a little large...)
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To: SunkenCiv

The Discovery Channel show indicated that CC's DNA did not show a Jewish connection. But that is all they proved pretty much.

11 posted on 08/05/2004 11:15:54 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting
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To: Destro
This guy writes for the Slimes, and has won the Pulitzer.

The Mysterious History of Columbus The Mysterious History of Columbus
by John Noble Wilford
"One notarized document in 1479 concerns testimony by Columbus, then a resident of Lisbon, who had been called back to Genoa in connection with litigation over a trip he had made to Madeira for Genoese shipowners; the witness was stated to be 'about twenty-seven years old.' Domenico, the father, was a wool-weaver, as his father, Giovanni, had been. He was a sometime tavern keeper and wader of the Porta dell'Olivella, the eastern gate of Genoa." [p 58]

12 posted on 08/05/2004 11:31:47 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Unlike some people, I have a profile. Okay, maybe it's a little large...)
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To: Destro
Was Columbus Greek?
13 posted on 08/05/2004 11:33:44 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting
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To: Destro
Cross Refrence: Was Columbus from Chios, Greece?
14 posted on 10/11/2004 10:13:13 AM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting and
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To: All

Columbus bump!!

15 posted on 10/09/2005 6:37:54 PM PDT by eleni121 ('Thou hast conquered, O Galilean!' (Julian the Apostate))
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Just updating the GGG information, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

16 posted on 10/09/2006 9:17:07 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (If I had a nut allergy, I'd be outta here.
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To: blam

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach

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17 posted on 11/28/2009 9:29:51 AM PST by SunkenCiv ( Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: Destro

Greek....Italian....who worries? Either way, the food is great!

18 posted on 11/28/2009 9:33:36 AM PST by stboz
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To: SunkenCiv
A hundred and fifty years from now, it won't matter.
School books will be teaching that Black Muslims discovered and invented everything.

White (Christian) males won't even warrant a mention in history books.

19 posted on 11/28/2009 10:36:37 AM PST by blam
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