Was Christopher Columbus a grandson of a Lithuanian Grand Duke?

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Was Christopher Columbus a grandson of a Lithuanian Grand Duke?

Title page of Columbus’s Book of Privileges published in 1602 on which his name is written as Colón, and not Colombo (Italian) or Columbus (Latin).

VILNIUS – The Portuguese historian Manuel Rosa explained in his book ‘Colon. The Untold Story’ a new thesis about the origins of the discoverer of America where he insists that Columbus is the son of Vladislovas III, King of Poland and son of Jogaila, Grand Duke of Lithuania who belongs to the House of Gediminas.

For several decades historians from all over the world have debated the true origins of the noble explorer who discovered America. To date, six countries have claimed the “origins” of the navigator: Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and the UK, but now the historian Manuel Rosa argues that Columbus is of Lithuanian origin and that royal blood runs through his veins, as he is the son of Vladislovas III, King of Poland, and son of Jogaila, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, who belonged to the House of Gediminas (Lithuanian Royal House).

Rosa has spent over 20 years researching the life of the famous mariner and has written three books on the subject. According to his research, the great adventurer could be the son of King Vladislovas III.

In his last book, he says that Vladislovas III did not die in the battle against the Turks as was hitherto known. Rosa says that what really happened is that Vladislovas III fled to Portugal where he lived in disguise as “Henry the German”. It was the secret aim of Vladislovas III to carry out the orders of the King of Portugal to send the Spaniards (Kingdom of Castile) sailing outside the zone of Africa to protect his interests. There, according to Rosa, Vladislovas III married a Portuguese noblewoman, who gave birth to Christopher Columbus as a result of that relationship, and for several reasons he always avoided revealing his identity.

For Rosa, Christopher Columbus was a highly educated man with a knowledge of astronomy and geography, so it would be completely impossible for Columbus to be the son of a craftsman. He therefore, vehemently denies that Columbus belongs to the Genoese family that claimed to be his original birth family.

Until today, lots of historians have insisted that Christopher Columbus was a poor commoner from Genoa who arrived in Portugal in August 1474 at the age of 25, due to a shipwreck, and without money, shelter, education, qualifications or studies of any kind. However, within two years, he had married a noblewoman and suddenly joined the court of the Kingdom. A fairy tale that rivals Romeo and Juliet.


As a matter of fact, Columbus could never have been a Genoese commoner. If so, why did he never write in Italian or Genoese when he corresponded with Fray Gaspar Gorricio and other people from Genoa? Why did Columbus and the Court hide his identity? How was he so well educated? How could he marry a Portuguese noblewoman 15 years before his first trip without being a nobleman?

As we all know, Christopher Columbus was a mariner, cartographer, Admiral, Viceroy and General Governor of the Indies in the service of the Crown of Castile (Spain), famous for discovering America on 12 October, 1492. Columbus’ original idea was to show that India could be reached by sailing west, i.e., across the Atlantic Ocean. Columbus needed money for this trip and it was Queen Isabella of Castile who financed his journey. First, Columbus sailed to the Canary Islands to get provisions and then continued westward.


On 12 October, 1492 at 2:00am and after 72 days at sea, the mariner Rodrigo de Triana sighted land. Christopher Columbus and his expedition reached an island, which the natives called Gunahaní, and which he later named San Salvador; this island was located in the Bahamas. Then he continued exploring the area and soon reached what is present-day Cuba, which he called Juana.

He was convinced he had reached the East Indies and that is why he called the inhabitants “Indians”. He was subsequently given the task of searching the residence of the Great Khan, so he toured the northern part of Cuba in a westerly direction and found the island that is now known as Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which he named The Spanish. He built a fort with the remains of the Santa Maria, which had crashed and was completely wrecked. This shelter is called Christmas and was the first Spanish settlement in America.


In 1496, when Christopher Columbus returned from his second trip to the “New World” he met Amerigo Vespucci. Both talked about new discoveries and Amerigo seemed sceptical about the claims of Columbus, who claimed to have reached the eastern edge of Asia. Subsequently, Vespucci made several trips to the “New World”. In late 1503, he returned to the Brazilian coast (something he had done on his previous trip), confirming his suspicions that the continent was not Asia as Columbus believed.

In 1504, the booklet “Mundus Novus” (New World) was published in Augsburg. This booklet featured a copy of a letter from Vespucci to Lorenzo de Medicis where he recounted his trips.

In 1505, his second book “Lettera di Amerigo Vespucci delle Isole Nuovamente Ritrovate in Suoi Quetto Viaggi”, was published expressing his belief that there were new lands between Europe and Asia.

As we know, Christopher Columbus died believing he had reached the Indies, without suspecting that those islands that he had taken possession of on behalf of the Crown of Castile belonged to a new continent. His friend Amerigo Vespucci was commissioned to tell the old Europe that the lands Columbus found were not Asia, but formed part of a “quarter” of the world that would bear his name involuntarily. This man, insignificant compared to the large figure of Columbus, also died without knowing the effects of this revolutionary news: posthumous glory, derived from the casual baptism for him and his lineage.

Manuel Rosa wants to apply for permission to exhume the remains of the grandfather of King III Vladislovas so as to compare his DNA with the son of the explorer, which are in Seville (Spain), in order to confirm his theory. If this theory were confirmed some day, it would revolutionize world history.

Now Lithuanians expect the world’s response to the thesis of the historian Manuel Rosa, we know it was Christopher Columbus who discovered America on behalf of the Crown of Castile. But now, who will really discover where the real roots of the great navigator are?


By: Liudvikas Jakavicius-Grimalauskas | The Lithuania Tribune

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