History rewritten? Mysterious text suggests Europeans knew of America long before Columbus

“Galvaneus’s reference, probably derived by oral sources heard in Genoa, is the first mention of the American continent in the Mediterranean region, and gives evidence of the circulation (out of the Nordic area and 150 years before Columbus) of narratives about lands beyond Greenland.”

Not only does the study challenge the widely held belief that Columbus was the first to set sail for America, but it suggests the explorer may have already had a vague idea about where he was headed.

Professor Chiesa is, however, confident the document reveals a wealth of knowledge was being traded between the Nordic and Mediterranean communities in the first half of the 14th century.

He added: “Furthermore, it brings unprecedented evidence to the speculation that news about the American continent, derived from Nordic sources, circulated in Italy one and half centuries before Columbus.”


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