Christopher Columbus was actually a Scotsman called Pedro Scotto, historian says
The 15th century explorer who opened up the American continents to Europe was actually called Pedro Scotto - not Christopher Columbus - and his family originally hailed from Scotland, a Spanish historian has claimed.
08 Mar 2009
Alfonso Ensenat de Villalonga has disputed conventionally-accepted narratives on the explorer's origins - that he was the son of a weaver in Genoa, Italy, or that he was from Catalonia or Galicia in Spain.
In fact, he was from Genoa, but he was "the son of shopkeepers not weavers and he was baptised Pedro not Christopher," Mr Villalonga told Spain's ABC newspaper on Sunday.
And his family name was Scotto, and was not Italian but of Scottish origin.
"He had light-coloured eyes and freckles. He also had blond hair even though it quickly turned white. That's how his contemporaries described him. Nothing like the traditional images (of him), which are totally invented," the historian said.
Mr Villalonga cited a chronicle of Catholic kings written by Lucio Marineo Siculo, who referred in his writings to "Pedro Columbus", not Christopher.
The historian has also claimed that the navigator once worked for a pirate called Vincenzo Columbus, and adopted that family name in order not to "expose" his relations.
Mr Villalonga said his research involved combing the archives in the Genoa region along with those in the Spanish history academy and national library.