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Christopher Columbus and the New World of His Discovery — Volume 2 by Filson Young
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really a destination in view for the expedition. In other words Columbus
had to propose to go somewhere; it would not do to say that he was going
west into the Atlantic Ocean to look about him. He therefore devoted all
his energies to putting his proposal on what is called a business
footing, and expressing his vague, sublime Idea in common and practical

The people who probably helped him most in this were his brother
Bartholomew and Martin Behaim, the great authority on scientific
navigation, who had been living in Lisbon for some time and with whom
Columbus was acquainted. Behaim, who was at this time about forty eight
years of age, was born at Nuremberg, and was a pupil of Regiomontanus,
the great German astronomer. A very interesting man, this, if we could
decipher his features and character; no mere star-gazing visionary, but a
man of the world, whose scientific lore was combined with a wide and
liberal experience of life. He was not only learned in cosmography and
astronomy, but he had a genius for mechanics and made beautiful
instruments; he was a merchant also, and combined a little business with
his scientific travels. He had been employed at Lisbon in adapting the
astrolabe of Regiomontanus for the use of sailors at sea; and in these
labours he was assisted by two people who were destined to have a weighty
influence on the career of Columbus--Doctors Rodrigo and Joseph,
physicians or advisers to the King, and men of great academic reputation.
There was nothing known about cosmography or astronomy that Behaim did
not know; and he had just come back from an expedition on which he had
been despatched, with Rodrigo and Joseph, to take the altitude of the sun
in Guinea.

Columbus was not the man to neglect his opportunities, and there can be
no doubt that as soon as his purpose had established itself in his mind
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