Christopher Columbus Childhood
Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa (located in Italy today) in 1451 to Domenico Colombo, a middle class wool-weaver, and Susanna Fontanarossa. There is a debate over the date and place of birth of Christopher Columbus, but it is generally accepted that he was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451. He had three brothers, Bartolomeo, Giovanni Pellegrino and Giacomo. His mother's name was Susanne Columbo.
His contemporaries noted that he was the oldest son born to his parents, and that he had blue eyes, red hair, and was tall. Unfortunately, no paintings of Columbus were made while he was alive so later artists had to use their imaginations.
Christopher Columbus Knowledge
Though little is known about his childhood, it is apparent that he was well-educated because he was able to speak several languages as an adult and had considerable knowledge of classical literature. He studied at a Monastery and only learnt basic Latin and Mathematics. While he was at the monastery, he needed to be tutored In addition, he studied the works of Ptolemy and Marinus to name a few. Some historians speculate that he may have attended Pavia University before his sailing adventures, though Columbus claimed that he "entered upon the sea sailing" at a "very tender age."
Christopher Columbus Sailor
If the date given above, of his birth, is correct, this was in the year 1450, a few years before the Turks took Constantinople, and, in their invasion of Europe, affected the daily life of everyone, young or old, who lived in the Mediterranean countries. From this time, for fifteen years, it is hard to trace along the life of Columbus. It was the life of an intelligent young seaman, going wherever there was a voyage for him. He says himself, "I passed twenty-three years on the sea. I have seen all the Levant, all the western coasts, and the North. I have seen England; I have often made the voyage from Lisbon to the Guinea coast." This he wrote in a letter to Ferdinand and Isabella. Again he says, "I went to sea from the most tender age and have continued in a sea life to this day. Whoever gives himself up to this art wants to know the secrets of Nature here below. It is more than forty years that I have been thus engaged. Wherever any one has sailed, there I have sailed."
Although his humble family heritage was respectable, Columbus and his son often told stories of his aristocratic upbringing. Columbus' son Ferdinand wrote that the Columbuses "were persons of worth who had been reduced to poverty", but he provided no evidence to support his claim. Columbus claimed his birthplace as Genoa but never mentioned his family background, likely out of concern that people from wealthy families were more highly regarded in fifteenth century Europe. Yet as even Ferdinand Columbus acknowledged, his father's accomplishments were great regardless of his family origins.