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The Latin Letter of Columbus

Latin isn’t only the language of ancient civilizations, important Latin literature exists in the modern era too.  Take for example the Latin letter of Columbus.  This document, written in 1493, announced Columbus’ great discovery to the world.  Columbus initially wrote the letter announcing his discovery in Spanish, but the letter was soon translated into the lingua franca of the day, Latin.  Thus all of western Europe could read of his remarkable discover.

Now you also can read this 1493 Latin text.  Google Books is a fantastic online resource that offers scanned copies of old and rare books.  At the link provided below you can see an 1893 reprint of the Latin Letter of Columbus.

Happy Columbus Day, Everyone!

The Latin Letter of Columbus

2 Responses to “The Latin Letter of Columbus”

  • I’m guessing students would probably find it easier to read this digitized version at the Latin Library online – they could use this easier-to-read transcription as a way to start learning how to read the older printed Latin with its various abbreviations!

  • Karen Moore:

    Great point, Laura! I had forgotten it was at The Latin Library too, a great site indeed. It might be fun to let students see both copies side by side if you are able. The old texts are hard to read, but they are beautifully written.

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