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Islam i USA före Columbus?

Min privata efterhängsna psykfall (finns inga lagar som kan stoppa denna stalker?) framhöll att Columbus hade muslimska tolkar med  sig när han ”upptäckte” Amerika. Inget ovanligt med det, då man ju på den tiden visste att araberna handlade med Indien och Columbus trodde ju att han skulle hamna i Indien.

Herr psykfall verkar inte veta hur de arabiska handelsmännen på den tiden reste men här kommer en liten inblick i muslimernas kontakt med den amerikanska kontinenten. Jag läste vid flera tillfällen hur svarta muslimer fraktades iväg som slavar till USA.

Hade Columbus arabiskspråkiga tolkar med sig?

Läs mera

"Columbus: What If?"

by Aileen Vincent-Barwood

in "Aramco World" (January/February 1992, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 5-9)

     Arabic had been the scientific language of most of humankind
from the eighth to the 12th century.  It is probably for this
reason that Columbus, in his own words, considered Arabic to be
"the mother of all languages," and why, on his first voyage to the
New World, he took with him Luis de Torres, an Arabic-speaking
Spaniard, as his interpreter.
     Columbus fully expected to land in India, where he knew that
the Arabs had preceded him.  He also knew that, for the past five
centuries, Arabs had explored, and written of, the far reaches of
the known world.  They had been around the perimeter of Africa and
sailed as far as India.  They had ventured overland beyond
Constantinople, past Asia Minor, across Egypt and Syria--then the
western marches of the unknown Orient--and into the heart of the
Asian continent.  They had mapped the terrain, traced the course of
rivers, timed the monsoons, scaled mountains, charted shoals and
reached China, and, as a result, had spread Islam and the Arabic
language in all these regions (See "Aramco World", November-
December 1991).
     It was on the 33rd day of his voyage, October 12, 1492, that
Columbus made his landfall.  At that point, he probably stood on
the shores of a Bahamian island named Guanahani--which he
immediately renamed San Salvador and claimed for "their sovereign
majesties, the king and queen of Spain."
     Probably the first of his surprises that day was his discovery
that the "Indians," as he called the islanders he greeted, did not
speak Arabic.
     Still, he remained undaunted and wrote in his log for Friday,
October 12, that he was certain he had only to sail on through
these outer islands of India to reach the riches of Cipangu (Japan)
and China, a journey of only a further 1000 miles.  Here, he was
convinced, he would greet the Great Khan, an emperor of vast wealth
who spoke Arabic and ruled over lands of gold, silver and gems,
silks, spices and valuable medicines.
     One may wonder how Columbus, a 41-year-old professional
mapmaker, avid reader, researcher and seasoned mariner, a man who
had spent the greater part of his adult life planning his great
venture to the west, could have been so far off in his
     One explanation may be that, as well as a master mariner, he
was also a clever politician.  As a Christian whose expedition was
funded by two Christian monarchs, King Ferdinand II of Aragon and
Queen Isabella I of Castile, Columbus's miscalculations may well
have been due not to a lack of navigational information--of which
there was a great deal available--but to a calculated decision to
use "acceptable" sources of scientific knowledge and to exclude or
ignore other, more "foreign" sources.
     During the seven centuries of Arab dominion over Spain and
Portugal, from AD 711 to 1492, there had developed a culture of
Muslim arts and sciences which had a deep and permanent effect on
the life, arts and sciences of Europe.  The roots of this culture
went as far back as Europe's Dark Ages, which can be defined as
lasting roughly from AD 476 to 1000, during which the arab world
was the incubator of Western civilization.  The Arabs not only
preserved, refined, updated and translated into arabic the rich
heritage of classical Greek knowledge, but they also added original
and significant new contributions (See "Aramco World", May-June
     Once Europe began its explorations of the world of knowledge,
it turned not to Greek or Roman sources, most of which were lost or
inaccessible, but to Arabic scientific writings.  Recognizing this,
Europeans in the 12th century embarked on a massive program of
translation of these sources, founding a college of translators in
Toledo, Spain, from which most of the Arab works on mathematics and
astronomy were first made available to Europe's scholars.
     During that period and even earlier--in fact, dating back to
the days of the Roman Empire (27 BC to AD 284)--people had
discussed the idea of sailing west to find the riches of the Golden
East.  Yet no one had ever tried it.
     By the seventh century, however, the Arabs were thoroughly
familiar with the eastward approaches to the Orient.  For over 300
years they had explored much of the known world.  From Delhi and
Agra in the east, through Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus, to Cairo,
Tripoli, Tunis and Cordoba in the west, arab scientists and
explorers had expanded the knowledge of the known world and pushed
back the horizons of the unknown.
     Ultimately, this knowledge--along with philosophy, logic,
mathematics, natural history and much else--was to be found written
down in the great libraries that were the flowers of Spain's
brilliant Muslim-Christian-Jewish culture, and in libraries
elsewhere in Europe.  Arab geographical encyclopedias,
dictionaries, maps and charts, as well as books on mathematics,
astronomy and navigation, and treatises on vastly improved
navigational instruments, reposed there in Muslim Spain and in the
Middle East.
     So, too, did the theory of "the new world beyond the Sea of
Darkness," the idea of an uncharted continent that lay to the west
of the known world.  There seems to be little doubt that it was the
arabs who first made the maps that led Columbus to the New World.
     Growing up in a major seaport, Columbus could not have escaped
hearing about Arab exploits and Arab seafaring skills at an early
age.  The son of Domenico Colombo, a prosperous weaver, Cristoforo
Colombo was born in 1451 and grew up in Genoa.  A great
cosmopolitan merchant center in the mid-1400's, Genoa had colonies
in Egypt, Syria, Cyprus, Constantinople, and on the shores of the
Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
     From these far-flung colonies, Genoese merchants, colonists,
diplomats and missionaries ventured forth into Anatolia, Georgia,
the Caspian Sea, Persia and India.  In the mid-15th century, the
Levantine coast was an open door to the East, ideally situated for
trading with the ports of the Black Sea and Asia Minor.  Indeed,
200 years earlier, when recording his wondrous tales of his
journeys to the Far East, the Venetian traveler Marco Polo wrote of
meeting Genoese and Venetian merchants on the Great China Road.
From some of Columbus's letters, we know that he was profoundly
affected by Marco Polo's account of his travels.
     The prosperous Colombo family lived in a house near the Porta
Sant' Andrea, and by his own account, we know that by the time he
was 10 years old, the young Columbus loved the bustle of the port.
He would linger on the docks and watch the seamen going back and
forth from the giant sailing ships crowding the harbor, ships that
had arrived across shining seas from far-off and exotic places like
Chios and Constantinople, Egypt and Tunis and Syria.  He and his
friends like to play games among the bales and crates of silk and
cotton, the kegs of oil and wine and spices.
     Entranced, he would sit down with the sailors, a small blue-
eyed, red-haired lad, and listen raptly to their tales of the
magical lands to the east.  It is hard to imagine that the boy
Columbus would not have been stirred by the daring exploits of
these sailors, many of them from the Levant--or by the tales he
heard later when, as a seagoing lad of 14, sailing out of Genoa, he
listened to the shipboard tales of the venturesome Arab traders who
roamed the eastern Mediterranean.
     He was unlettered and unread in those days.  Not until years
later did he teach himself to read, and then it was not in his
native Italian, but in Castilian Spanish.
     By the time Columbus arrived in Portugal, he was somewhere in
his mid-20's.  The Christians had reconquered much of Spain and
Portugal from the Muslims.  Nonetheless, because of the Muslim
heritage, the Iberian Peninsula was still Europe's center of
intellectual and artistic endeavor.  Lisbon, where Columbus lived
while planning his voyage into the Atlantic, was the capital of
Portugal and a learned city in which it would have been easy for
him to get the books and materials he needed to pursue his
research.  Since his youth, he had learned Spanish, Portuguese,
Latin and other languages.  It therefore seems likely that
Columbus--sailor, navigator, professional cartographer and later
son-in-law of one of Henry the Navigator's sea captains--would have
drawn on this wealth of Muslim geographical knowledge.
     Indeed, Columbus wrote in a letter in 1501 that during his
many voyages to all parts of the world, he had met learned men of
various races and sects and had "endeavored to see all books of
cosmography, history, and philosophy and of other sciences."  It is
therefore unlikely he would have overlooked the more than four
centuries of Muslim science and exploration available to him so
close at hand.
     According to one of his biographers, the American Samuel Eliot
Morison, author of "Admiral of the Ocean Sea", Columbus did some
"heavy combing through ancient and medieval authorities on
geography" before setting out on his voyage "in order to gather
information and ammunition for his next bout with the experts."  If
this is so, he could hardly have missed such translated works as
al-Biruni's "History of India" and Yaqut's "Mu'jam al-Buldan".  It
would seem also that he would have delved eagerly into Ibn
Battuta's 13th-century "Rihlah" (Journey), in which that greatest
of early travelers writes about his 120,000-kilometer (75,000-mile)
trip from North Africa to China and back.
     From several of his other biographers, most notably the
Spanish priest Fray Bartolome de las Casas, it is also known that
Columbus was an avid reader of books on geography and cosmography.
Four of the books he owned have been preserved: a 1485 Latin
translation of the "Book of Ser Marco Polo", an Italian translation
of Pliny's "Natural History" printed in 1489, Pierre d'Ailly's
"Imago Mundi" and minor treatises, and a 1477 edition of the
"Historia Rerum Ubique Gestarum" by Pope Pius II.
     Columbus also admitted relying heavily on information he
gleaned from the school of navigation founded by Prince Henry of
Portugal, often known as Henry the Navigator.  Around 30 years
before Columbus's first voyage, some of the prince's caravels had
sailed west, to the outer edge of the Azores and perhaps as far as
present-day Newfoundland.  Concluding that there were other lands
to explore beyond what Ptolemy had described in his second-century
"Guide to Geography", and eager to retain and organize the
geographical information in the possession of sailors and
navigators--many of them from the Levant--the prince established
the school at Sagres, in southern Portugal, to act as a sort of
clearing house for present and future knowledge of the sea.  It may
have been from this source that Columbus discovered that when,
years earlier, Vasco da Gama had sailed along Africa's east coast,
he was guided by an Arab pilot, Ahmad ibn Majid, who used an Arab
map then unknown to European sailors.
     And yet, despite all this available information, Columbus made
a major miscalculation of the distance he had to sail to reach the
other side of the globe.
     That the earth was a sphere was not a new idea, and it was
widely accepted by well-educated people in Columbus's time.  So was
the Greeks' division of the spherical earth into 360 degrees, but
where sources differed was on the question of the length of a
degree.  The correct measurement, we know today, is about 111
kilometers (60 nautical miles) per degree at the equator.  In the
third century BC, the Libyan-born Greek astronomer Eratosthenes,
director of the library at Alexandria, had come up with a
remarkably accurate calculation of 100 kilometers (59.5 nautical
miles) per degree; in the second century, the great Alexandrian
geographer Ptolemy had calculated the degree at 93 kilometers (50
nautical miles).  In the ninth century, Muslim astronomer Abu
al'Abbas Ahmad al-Farghani, whose works were translated into Latin
during the Middle Ages and who--under the name Alfraganus--was
studied widely in Europe, had calculated that a degree measured 122
kilometers (about 66 nautical miles)--not as accurate a result as
that of Eratosthenes, but better than Ptolemy's.
     Either Columbus erroneously used Roman miles in converting al-
Farghani's calculations into modern units of distance--thus coming
up with a figure of 45 miles per degree at the equator--or, after
first deciding that al-Farghani's figure was right, chose in the
end, perhaps for reasons of policy, to follow the revered and
irrefutable Ptolemy, whose "Geography", in its first printed latin
edition, had gained great popularity in 15th-century Europe.  In
the first case, Columbus would have underestimated the distance he
had to sail to reach Asia by a third; in the second, by some 25
     Had Columbus but accepted the ninth-century findings of a
consortium of 70 Muslim scholars, working under the aegis of Caliph
'Abd Allah al-Ma'mun, who had gathered them to determine the length
of a degree of latitude, he might have avoided many mistakes.
     Using wooden rods as measures, the caliph's scholars traveled
a north-south road until they saw a change of one degree in the
elevation of the pole star.  Their measurements resulted in an
amazingly accurate figure for the earth's circumference: 41,526
kilometers, or 22,422 nautical miles--the equivalent of 115.35
kilometers per degree.  By Columbus's time, a wealth of knowledge
gleaned from Arab science and exploration rested in the libraries
of Spain and Portugal.  Al-Biruni had accurately determined
latitude and longitude and--six hundred years before Galileo--had
suggested that the earth rotated on its own axis.  One hundred
years later, in the ninth century, the mathematician al-Khwarizmi
had measured the length of a terrestrial degree and Arab navigators
were using magnetic needles to plot accurate courses.  It was
around this time, too, that the Arab astronomers Ibn Yunus and al-
Battani--or Albategnius, as he was known in Europe--improved the
ancient astrolabe, the quadrant, the sextant and the compass to the
point that, for hundreds of years afterward, no long-distance
traveler could venture forth without them.  By the 12th century,
the Hispano-Arab geographer al-Idrisi had completed his voluminous
world atlas containing dozens of maps and charts (See "Aramco
World", July-August 1977).
     In calculating the distances he had to travel to reach India
and the Orient, Columbus chose not to rely on the Arab and Muslim
sources.  He was, instead, greatly persuaded by the theory of Paolo
Toscanelli, a Florentine physician who dabbled in astronomy and
mathematics.  When he saw Toscanelli's charts stating that Marco
Polo's estimate of the length of Asia was correct, and that it was
only 3000 miles from Lisbon westward to Japan and 5000 to Hangzhou,
China, Columbus accepted the figures he wished most to hear.  It
was Toscanelli's chart he took with him on his first voyage of
     Columbus also believed that his voyage west from Spain to
India, though difficult, would be short.  Using maps and
information based on the calculations of Ptolemy and Martin Behaim,
the German cartographer, he believed he could reach China after no
more than a 4000-mile voyage.  This notion was confirmed by Pierre
d'Ailly's "Imago Mundi", a book that, according to Columbus's son
and biographer Ferdinand, was his father's bedside companion for
years.  (Columbus's copy, its margins covered with hundreds of
hand-written notes, is in the Seville museum.)  D'Ailly believed
that the western ocean, between Morocco and the eastern coast of
Asia, was "of no great width."  He followed the system of Marinus
of Tyre, a second-century Greek who made Eurasia very wide east to
west, and the Atlantic Ocean narrow, and predicted that the latter
could be crossed in a few days with a fair wind.
     According to Columbus's log--the original of which has been
lost, or, as some historians suggest, destroyed--he sailed his tiny
fleet of three small ships to the New World by dead reckoning.
This means he crossed the vast expanse of Atlantic Ocean between
the Canary Islands and the Bahamas using only a mariner's compass
and dividers, a quadrant and lead line, an ampolleta, or half-hour
glass, a ruler, and charts.  His charts were sheepskins that showed
the coasts of Spain, Portugal and North Africa, the Azores, Madeira
and the Canaries.  He took his course from his mariner's compass,
developed from the magnetic needle used four centuries before by
Arab navigators.  His quadrant was an early invention of the great
Arab astronomer Ibn Yunus of Cairo.
     There is no doubt that Columbus deserves to be celebrated, in
this anniversary year, for his courage, perseverance, sailing
skills and superb navigational ability.  On the other hand, one can
only wonder what might have happened that October day 1492 had he
heeded eight centuries of Arab invention and navigational
knowledge.  Certainly it would have made his navigation easier, his
fears fewer, and his landfall more accurate.

Reprint permission granted by the publisher and the author.

9 kommentarer

  1. Roger S. 16 november 2009

    haha nu sa mannen i klippet att Indianerna PRATADE arabiska.

    Tack för den mycket underhållande historielektionen.
    Är detta den officiella versionen man lär ut i muslimska skolor?

    Det var synd att dom inte pratade isländks, norska eller Svenska. För vikingarna var där många många år före kamelryttarna.

    Undrar lite smått vad för Arabiska uppfinningar och navigationsverktyg artikeln hänvisar till. Se nu till att svara rätt. Du får ett par dagar på dig, så får jag återkomma och piska dig på fingrarna. För jag är redan nu övertygad om att du kommer svara helt fel. =)

    Natti natti. Föreläsning imorgon Kan inte sitta här och underhålla mig. Skrattar på tok för mycket

  2. Bahlool 16 november 2009

    Muslismka skolor? Suck..så alla rön som västerlänningar kommer med, lärs ut i skolorna? Du får faktiskt lära dig skillnaden på vad som är officiellt (som om jag bryr mig om de talar kinesiska eller arabiska lol) och vad rön och vissa personers uttalanden är. Mannen ifråga är rätt okänd för mig, men du verkar tro han har någon slags övergripande makt över alla muslimer? Att vikingarna var där är också rön..inte helt säkert det där (vart försvann de? dog de ut? åkte de tillbaka?) memri är en judisk kanal som försöker svartmåla araberna/muslimerna. Det är därför det är klippt som det är, vill du lägga fram något får du faktiskt ta fram hela programmet och då kan vi snacka om saken inte bara saker ur dess sammanhang.
    Det är bara du som inte vet eller vill veta vilka uppfinningar muslimerna kom fram till. Du på föreläsning? HAHAHAHHA..vadå har du börjat ta din medicin nu? Du mådde ju såååå dåligt..orkade ju inte plugga, inte jobba, var hemlös, var utan bidrag..rofl..du har rätt jag skrattar verkligen på tog för mkt 😉

  3. Roger S. 16 november 2009

    haha lilla nusse nuss….Medcin? hemlös? Ska du inte lägga fram det där inlägget du trollade bort din lille peddodyrkare?

    Skärp dig Bhajklpåå Du blir mer och mer desperat över att upprätthålla dina lögner. Ska du göra samma sak som Noor, stänga ner och dra? Det verkar vara enda sättet för er förljugan peddodyrkare att behålla er sanning numera.

    Ska med glädje debunka den videon du hänvisar till. Räckte att googla cherokee så föll mer eller mindre allting som sas.

  4. Bahlool 16 november 2009

    Jag är rätt trött på alla de här personangreppen och hån. Du är tyvärr inte kapabel att vistas på den här bloggen. Man kan faktiskt diskutera utan att gå ner till den låga nivån du befinner dig i, men till slut blir man trött på att höra dig skriva pedofil och angripa Profeten för 100 gången. Vidare är man trött på att du sitter här och försöker med musse och med bhajkalpå och gud vet vad, hur gammal är du?
    Du är inte välkommen här längre och inga av dina kommentarer kommer att tillåtas publiceras längre, hur bra eller blåsta de än må vara. Du berättade att du var en bastard och inte visste vem din far var och att du hade problem med familjen, men bara för det betyder inte det att du ska bete dig som en sådan på bloggen.
    Det är skillnaden mellan islam och personer vars familj inte kunnat ge dem någon uppfostran, ni vet inte hur ni kan diskutera eller tala utan att bete er som djur.
    Du är ökänd för din sjukdom, några månader sedan var du på jakt efter SD nu är du på jakt efter muslimer, nästa gång är du väl på jakt efter judar sen efter homosexuella och gud vet vad.
    Jag hoppas du klarar av att hålla dig borta från min blogg tack? Jag kan tyvärr inte avhålla dig, finns ingen sådan funktion, men du är en mycket störd människa och sådana är inte enbart farliga för sig själva utan även för sin omgivning.
    ps: du sa 2 timmar sen du skulle sova för du ska på ”föreläsning”..föreläsning my ass..

    Du bad om loggar det ska komma efter det hoppas jag slippa se dig här tack:

  5. RZA 16 november 2009

    Det är synd om Roger. Kan inte vara lätt att växa upp utan en far. Därför tycker jag att man borde införa ett genetisk register för alla sexköpare i landet. Ifall det blir några barn så kan barnet hitta sin far med hjälp av detta när han/hon blir vuxen, så slipper vi dessa trasiga människor som blir en börda på samhället.

  6. Anna Carlbro 16 november 2009

    Så här står det i NE om vikingarnas färder: Vinland, under vikingatid och tidig medeltid skandinaviska sjöfarares benämning på den sydligaste del av Nordamerika som de besökte. Berättelser om resor dit – av omtvistad tillförlitlighet och delvis motsägelsefulla – nedtecknades från 1200-talet på Island. Nordamerika skall först ha siktats av islänningen Bjarni Herjolfsson ca 986. Omkring 1000–1020 företogs en serie expeditioner från Grönland, alla ledda av Erik Rödes familj. Den första resan till V. företogs av Leif Eriksson, som först angjorde Helluland (”Häll-landet”), möjligen Baffin Island, därefter Markland (”Skogslandet”), möjligen Labrador, och slutligen V., där vin och vete växte vilt. Det har föreslagits att med V. avsågs nuv. Newfoundland och landet söder därom; alla lokalisationsförsök är dock osäkra.

    Den största expeditionen till V. företogs av Thorfinn Karlsefni och syftade till bosättning; hela familjer och boskap ingick. Expeditionen avbröts efter tre år p.g.a. konflikter med skrälingar, nordbornas benämning på kontinentens urinvånare. Resor till V. i syfte att hämta virke m.m. tycks dock ha företagits in på 1300-talet. Arkeologiska vittnesbörd om vinlandsfärderna har framkommit under senare år, bl.a. vid L’Anse aux Meadows på Newfoundland. Ett norskt 1000-talsmynt har också anträffats på en indianboplats i Maine, USA. Vikingarna var främst sjöfarare och handelsmän, inte kolonisatörer.

  7. Bahlool 16 november 2009

    Tack jag läste en ”kortare” form i en historietidning. Då togs det inte upp frågan om virke dock.

  8. Bahlool 16 november 2009

    Lol nu bombarderar han mig med att skicka mail till min epost..Hade jag publicerat allt han sagt om Profeten och Muslimer, så skulle han nog bli Sveriges mest jagade man 😛

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