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Articles on Christopher Columbus

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Does a painting from 1400 depict one of Jesus’ torturers as suffering from ‘saddle nose,’ a common effect of syphilis? Detail of an Austrian painting c. 1400 of the Passion of Christ, The Cleveland Museum of Art

Manuscripts and art support archaeological evidence that syphilis was in Europe long before explorers could have brought it home from the Americas

The idea that Europeans brought new diseases to the Americas and returned home with others has been widely accepted. But evidence is mounting that for syphilis this scenario is wrong.
A float featuring Christopher Columbus makes its way down Fifth Avenue during the 75th annual Columbus Day Parade on Oct. 14, 2019, in New York. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

How Columbus Day contributes to the cultural erasure of Italian Americans

Given Italian history, U.S. descendants of Italian immigrants have reason to reject their association with Columbus and stand in solidarity with indigenous groups as they reclaim their histories.
Agricultural Building at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois, circa 1893. University of Maryland Digital Collections

How Columbus, of all people, became a national symbol

An anthropologist tells the story of how Columbus actually came close to falling into historical obscurity, until American hubris got in the way.
Agricultural Building at the Worlds Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois, circa 1893. University of Maryland Digital Collections

Columbus Day: Black legend meets White City

An anthropologist tells the story of how Columbus actually came close to falling into historical obscurity, until American hubris got in the way.

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