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Ambitious, Columbus eventually learned Latin, Portuguese, and Castilian.He read widely about astronomy, geography, and history, including the works of Claudius Ptolemy, Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly's Imago Mundi, the travels of Marco Polo and Sir John Mandeville, Pliny's Natural History, and Pope Pius II's Historia Rerum Ubique Gestarum.Columbus subsequently visited Cuba and Hispaniola, establishing a colony in what is now Haiti—the first European settlement in the Americas since the Norse colonies almost 500 years earlier.He arrived back in Castile in early 1493, bringing a number of captive natives with him.before 31 October 1451 – ) was an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonist who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon.He led the first European expeditions to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, initiating the permanent European colonization of the Americas.Columbus's early life is somewhat obscure, but scholars generally agree that he was born in the Republic of Genoa and spoke a dialect of Ligurian as his first language.
His name in Ligurian is Cristoffa Corombo, in Italian Cristoforo Colombo, in Spanish Cristóbal Colón, and in Portuguese, Cristóvão Colombo.
Throughout his life, Columbus also showed a keen interest in the Bible and in Biblical prophecies, often quoting biblical texts in his letters and logs.
For example, part of the argument that he submitted to the Spanish Catholic Monarchs when he sought their support for his proposed expedition to reach the Indies by sailing west was based on his reading of the Second Book of Esdras (Ezra): see 2 Esdras , which he took to mean that the Earth is made of six parts of land to one of water.
Many of the names he gave to geographical features—particularly islands—are still in use.
He continued to seek a passage to the East Indies, and the extent to which he was aware that the Americas were a wholly separate landmass is uncertain; he gave the name indios ("Indians") to the indigenous peoples he encountered.