1492. In Columbus' Time by Timothy Foote

By Timothy Foote

Christopher Columbus traveled to the hot global in a golden age of exploration and discovery. Little did he comprehend that his exploits may even be the dawning of Western civilization. right here, during this short-form ebook via award-winning journalist Timothy Foote, is the tale of these days of exploration and experience, instructed throughout the precise viewpoint of Columbus' existence.

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Copernicus could not prove his theory because there was no telescope for accurate study of celestial bodies. Moreover, the church set about making it heresy to say the earth orbited the sun. It wasn’t until 1610 that Galileo perfected a telescope enough to see the moons of Jupiter and observe that Venus had phases like our moon, which meant it circled the sun, proving Copernicus right. By then, however, the struggle between science and religion had hardened enough so Galileo was forced to recant his findings.

At public gatherings to expunge lechery and luxury, known as bonfires of the vanities, “they outdid one another in zeal, tossing into the flames rich clothes, perfumes, jewelry, wigs, toiletries, veils, dice, playing cards, musical instruments, and paintings of beautiful women. After four years, history’s most notorious pope, Alexander VI, a Borgia who had his murderous son Cesare made a cardinal at age seventeen, accused Savonarola of heresy and had him hanged from, and burned on, a gibbet placed on a special causeway built out into the city’s main square.

As a great maritime power, Venice established the quarantining of sailors off arriving ships, initially for thirty days. To cut down sources of contagion when plague threatened, many cities banned the resale of old clothes (which were burned instead). Communal public baths were banned, too. Florence had a city ordinance forbidding citizens to throw dead cats into the river Arno. But there, as elsewhere, people were buried in city churchyards that leached into nearby streams. In some places, garbage was burned or collected to be tossed over the city walls.

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