The study of an ancient writing suggests that sailors from the Italian city of Genoa already knew of the existence of America 150 years before the famous discovery of Christopher Columbus.
In the text entitled “Cronica universalis”, discovered in 2013, mention is made of a land called Marckalada, located west of Greenland. This document bears the signature of the Milanese monk Galvaneus Flamma, who lived from 1283 to 1345, includes an article published in the scientific journal Terrae Incognitae by the medieval literature expert and professor at the University of Milan, Paolo Chiesa.
Markland has been mentioned by some Icelandic sources and identified by scholars as a part of the Atlantic coast of North America. "The Galvaneus reference, probably derived from oral sources heard in Genoa, is the first mention of the American continent in the Mediterranean region," the study maintains.
Galvaneus was a Dominican friar who lived in Milan and was related to the House of Visconti, which ruled the city at that time. Galvaneus left several historical essays in Latin, mostly on contemporary local issues based on first-hand information. But it also deals with events that occurred outside of Milan, based on different sources.
"These rumors [about Markland] were too vague to find consistency in cartographic or academic representations," Chiesa noted, explaining why Marckalada was not classified as a new land at the time.
However, the scientist considers that the "Cronica universali" provides unprecedented evidence to the hypothesis that the news about the American continent, derived from Nordic sources, circulated in Italy a century and a half before the arrival of Columbus.
“Further west there is another land, called Marckalada, where giants live; on this earth there are buildings with stone slabs so huge that no one could build with them except huge giants. There are also green trees, animals and a lot of birds,” Galvaneus writes in the old text.
Chiesa believes that the Genoese sailors could have brought scattered news about these lands to the city. "The Marckalada to which [the travelers] refer must be the Markland of the Vikings and the idea that the giants live there comes from ancient Norse legends", sums up the Italian researcher. (Text and photo: RT)
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