Columbus was not looking for India as most people think. He was looking for Japan and China.
|The essence of Columbus' view of the world. "Cippangu" is Japan.|
- Columbus used too small a value for the number of miles in a degree of longitude, making his version of the globe too small.
- Marco Polo overestimated the size of Asia, the Sea of Japan and Japan itself, effectively merging the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
Note that the map above is more pessimistic than the one Columbus used. His distances were shorter because of the smaller value he had for the number of miles per longitudinal degree.
What's interesting is that Columbus reached the Caribbean near enough to where he thought Japan lay to reinforce his incorrect notions of geography.
|Cuba and Haiti could easily have been mistaken for Japan at first.|
More later. I've got some Linux to play with now, so I've run out of time here.