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Columbus And Banking

Monday, October 11, 2010 - 1:49 PM
Since this is Columbus Day, I was trying to find something that connected banking with Columbus. I didn't have any luck, but I did come across this interesting story about how he used astronomical tables to predict a lunar eclipsed. Columbus's intent was to scare the natives into supplying him and his crew with food while they were stranded on Jamaica during his fourth and last voyage to America. This Science News article, The Eclipse That Saved Columbus, provides the details.
Ken TuminKen Tumin5,471 posts since
Nov 29, 2009
Rep Points: 125,611
1. Monday, October 8, 2012 - 11:41 AM
Since it's another Columbus Day, I thought this reposting might be interesting for those who missed it two years ago.
Ken TuminKen Tumin5,471 posts since
Nov 29, 2009
Rep Points: 125,611
2. Monday, October 8, 2012 - 3:24 PM
Thank you, Ken, for a timely reminder of the courage of the earliest explorers. 

As the article states,  "The success of Columbus's strategem was a tribute to the accuracy of the calculations and predictions made by Regiomontanus [the Latin name for prominent German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Müller], based on Ptolemy's Earth-centered model of the solar system." 

To think that Zacuto's astronomical tables and Muller's Ephemerides included complex computations performed without benefit of/depending on a slide rule (not developed until the 17th century), a calculator, or a computer.... and that they were relied on for voyages of discovery across unknown waters is nothing short of amazing.   This, in a time, when formal education was limited to a privileged few.

Yet today, in our country, with education open to everyone, we have citizens who cannot make change for $1 without a machine telling them the answer.   What a contrast. 


pearlbrownpearlbrown1,469 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,378