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Bartholomew Columbus (Genoese: Bertomê Corombo[1]; Spanish: Bartolomé Colón; Italian: Bartolomeo Colombo; c. 1461 – 1515) was an explorer and the younger brother of Christopher Columbus.

Bartholomew Columbus (Bartolomeo Columbo)

In the 1470s Bartholomew was a mapmaker in Lisbon, the principal center of cartography of the time, and conceived with his brother the "Enterprise of the Indies," a scheme to break the Portuguese grip on the rich Oriental spice trade by sailing west to reach East Asia. In the late 1480s Bartholomew took up residence in France, and his brother in Spain, to persuade their respective monarchs to back the scheme.

When word arrived in 1493 that his brother had succeeded, Bartholomew returned to Spain where he missed Christopher Columbus who had already left for the second voyage. Funded by the crown, he traveled to Hispaniola in 1494 to meet his brother. He remained on the island for six and a half years (1494 - 1500) serving as captain on one of the ships or as governor with the title of Adelantado during the absence of his brother. He founded the city of Santo Domingo de Guzmán on Hispaniola between 1496 and 1498. This became Santo Domingo, which is now the capital of the Dominican Republic. He was imprisoned together with his brothers Christopher and Giacomo (also called Diego) by Francisco de Bobadilla and returned to Spain in December 1500. After the royal pardon for Columbus, Bartholomew accompanied Christopher on the last of his four voyages.


Augusto Mascarenhas Barreto: O Português. Cristóvão Colombo Agente Secreto do Rei Dom João II. Ed. Referendo, Lissabon 1988. English: The Portuguese Columbus: secret agent of King John II, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0-333-56315-8


  1. ^ Ra Gerusalemme deliverâ, Genoa, 1745, XV-32

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