Monday, October 10, 2005

Columbus/America Myths 1 and 2

Christopher Columbus/America Myth 1: Christopher Columbus discovered America. This is actually false in many ways. America has been visited, had trade routes with and even colonized by both Asian and European powers long before Columbus. Ancient Celtic writing found in a cave in the southern Atlantic Seaboard region shows that European visitors had some contact with North America perhaps centuries before Columbus’ voyage. Before even that, Vikings had colonized the region from Newfoundland to New England over 1000 years ago. Some evidence even suggests that there may have been Mediterranean contact in Roman Republic times. From Asia, Chinese records describe contact with the American West Coast decades before Columbus sailed his first voyages. Of course, the ancestors of the Native American peoples arrived thousands of years before everyone else. All of this leads to the conclusion that there is no true discovery date for the Americas.

Christopher Columbus/America Myth 2: America is named for Amerigo Vespucci. The falsehood about the discovery of America is even evident in the name “America” itself. Since America wasn’t discovered by Columbus, it wasn’t named after him. Nor was it named for a Saint or Monarch. This is very telling. So, the myth says that the name America is derived from Mr. Vespucci’s first name. However, this makes no sense in two ways. First, he is a minor historical footnote, which means it was very unlikely he would have received such an honor before the Queen or the Church. Second, despite perceived similarities in spelling, the names are completely different. If Mr. Vespucci’s name was used, it should have been his full first name or his full first name with some variation last syllable, something like Amerigosa. This would have lead to America’s name having different translations in different languages. Yet in Spanish and English, America is spelled the same even though both languages use much different naming conventions. So, it is much more likely that the name America is derived from another name or term that was already in use (though perhaps not common use) by the time Columbus set sail. The main source that qualifies for this criterion is the “Merica”, which was in use by some prior to Columbus’ first voyage to represent a promised land across the Atlantic Ocean. However, even this supposed origin is suspect. Personally, I think that the name America has its source in some mythology, whether it be from the tales about Merica or some other forgotten myth. The origin of the name America has yet to be discovered verifiably, but serves as its own massive clue that the New World wasn’t named for any of its European explorers.

More mythbusting to come.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know your a loser when you have three blog's.
If asian's and European's colonized North America, how come 1.) American Indian's look absolutely nothing like either group 2.) Have no genetic marker's 3.) Have absolutely no cultural or technological influence from either asia or Europe.

Human's naturally interbreed with each other, and it's hard to believe these people never came into contact with each other.

If what you say about the naming is true, why haven't linguist, historian's, and anthropologist caught this flaw long ago? Do you even speak portugese?

You really ought to cite your source's when you are "mythbusting".
This is easy to do, all it involve's is pasting a link to a website or a book on Amazon. With skill's and creativity like yours, you shouldn't waste it on blogging. You should get a job with the National Enquirer.

FCSuper said...

All three of your first points are invalid. Ruins of Viking settlements are found at several sites from Newfoundland to New England. It's a matter of historical record that Chinese explorers came across the west coast. It's European arrogance that discredits Asian records.
Also, on the first voyage, Columbus himself writes about finding natives with gold rings with writing on them. When he pressed them for the source, they didn't know. The natives didn't have a written language. This is in Columbus' own writing in his own log. So, your inbred hypothesis fails the facts. Thank you for your time though.

FCSuper said...

As far as the naming thang, it's known that the source to "America" is not known. I was throwing out a possibility and I admit that. However, it's a given that it wasn't named for Amerigo. One source for the Merica hypothesis is The Hiriam Key, and yes, it's on Amazon. :)