notes: “rivers of gold” by hugh thomas

rivers of gold:  the rise of the spanish empire, from columbus to magellan,” by hugh thomas, random house, 2003

“that the earth was round had been realized for many generations.  the greek astronomers of miletus had even thought, about 500 bc, that the world was a sphere.  that view had been advanced by the geometer pythagoras.  though much of greek learning was later lost, the catholic church had accepted this hypothesis by about ad750, and in the fifteenth century, the ‘sphericity’ of the planet was generally agreed.  only a few ignorant people still tried to maintain that it was flat.”  p54-55

“columbus had difficulty finding a way through the winds bearing on him from the east.  then he sailed northeast through the sargasso sea, finding the seaweed so thick that some of his men thought they might be held fast.”  p100

“the houses [in taino villages] were usually ranged irregularly around a central plaza.  the chief’s house was larger than that of the others.  the chiefs concerned themselves with storing surplus food in a special warehouse. these leaders, incidentally, might have been either male or female, a complete deviation from the usual among primitive peoples.  ancestors were always traced matrilineally, though there was polygamy.  thus the role of women in the ancient caribbean was stronger than in most countries, sophisticated or the reverse.”  p112

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About jeanne

artist, grandma, alien

Posted on April 3, 2010, in research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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