Portuguese historian Manuel Rosa has researched the life and origins of legendary explorer Christopher Columbus for the past 20 years, and last month, he released Columbus. The Untold Story, his third book on the subject. According to the author, “new documental evidence shows that we have been fooled for 500 years. Christopher Columbus was not a lowly wool weaver but a highly trained nobleman and a Portuguese spy.”
According to Rosa, the popular accounts of Christopher Columbus’ origins, which say that he was born in the Republic of Genoa (now northwest Italy) to a middle-class wool weaver (as well as competing accounts placing his birth in Greece, Spain, France, Portugal and even Scotland), are incorrect. The historian claims that Columbus was a direct descendant of Polish King Vladislav III, who was though to have been killed in the Battle of Varna in 1444. According to Rosa, Vladislav not only survived, but he married a Portuguese noblewoman who bore him a son, Columbus.
Rosa justifies his rather radical claims by pointing to a conspiracy to hide the true identity of Columbus, and arguing that he was too well-educated to be the son of a middle-class weaver. The historian wants to prove his theory by extracting DNA from the remains of Polish kings as well as Columbus’ son.