Christopher Columbus: Secretly Jewish?
Explorer was seeking homeland for his people: Spanish scholars
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2012 4:00 PM CDT
Christopher Columbus: seeking a new land for his people?   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer from Genoa, right? Not according to a recent round of scholarship, which portrays him as secretly Jewish and seeking a new land for his people during the Spanish Inquisition, CNN reports. Evidence suggests that Columbus was a "Marrano," meaning he secretly practiced Judaism to avoid persecution and a 1492 decree that banished all Jews from Spain. Among the more intriguing points in his last will and testament:

  • Columbus ordered that a tenth of his income be tithed to the poor and given to poor girls as dowries—both part of Jewish customs.
  • He used a signature of triangular letters and dots that resembled inscriptions on Jewish gravestones. He told heirs to use that signature, which would effectively let his sons say Kaddish, a mourning prayer, for him after he died.
  • He left money for crusaders seeking to liberate the Holy Land.
What's more, his famous (or infamous) voyage to the New World was funded by a prominent Jew and two Jewish converts to Catholicism. Read the full article here. (Or read another theory: that his father was a Polish king.)

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Showing 3 of 26 comments
May 13, 2014 2:30 PM CDT
As a member of the tribe I would love this to be true. But, in looking at Columbus will which I read, I don't see what is being claimed in the article. Perhaps what I read was lost in translation but I doubt it. Even the 10% claim is not clear. Some pictures and backup to these claims would be helpful.
Jul 27, 2012 6:50 AM CDT
Jeepers. I'm innocently listening to an old interview (well it's not that old, still in this month's archived section on the bookreportradio dotcom) with Steve Berry, and his new book 'The Columbus Affair', and I get introduced to him possibly being Jewish. I think to myself; so? Then Berry introduces me to the Hooked 'X', and even more mystery. So, curiosity being piqued at learning so much stuff (that surely I had to know...I mean, how did I not know this stuff?), I then dig a little more and lo, and behold: The Vikings beat Columbus to the Americas (actually Columbus only ever got close to the Florida keys, and North was apparently 'heaven' - really). Then I find out that he was really of Polish decent (injuring the Italian egos), worse is when I come across the medical theory that he introduced Europe to syphilis. To top it all off, I then come across a small group that have evidence that Northern America was first discovered by 5 Afghani monks...the Columbus roller coaster!
May 22, 2012 6:31 PM CDT
And how is this news???