Did the Irish and St Brendan discover America first?

We know that Christopher Columbus’ voyage of discovery was initially conceived and planned by the great founder of modern science, Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa and his circles who envisioned a New World, free of oligarchical control.  Cusa’s circles inspired Columbus to take the mission, which he dutifully did.

What is also known for certain is that Columbus visited Ireland to find out as much as possible about St Brendan’s voyage before setting out on his own historical journey to America.

It would be interesting to know to what extent St Brendan’s voyage, some thousand years earlier, motivated and inspired Cusa and his associates.   If any of our readers have any particular insight into this question, it would be great to hear from you.

Here’s an excerpt from an Irish Central article (including a short video) on St Brendan’s travels…

The famous text, the Voyage of St. Brendan is a work of fiction or fact depending on who is interpreting it.

We know for certain that in 484 Saint Brendan was born near Tralee, in County Kerry.

What we also know for certain is that between the years 512 and 530 St Brendan built monastic forts around Ireland and then undertook a seven year voyage which is the basis of the American legend.

It is described as  a hero’s journey in a boat and visits to an island far to the west which many modern historians believe is America. The Island is called ‘Isle of the Blessed’

Years later explorer Tim Severin retraced Brendan’s steps.  Relying on the medieval text of St. Brendan, Tim Severin built the  boat identical to the leather curragh that  Brendan sailed.

The subsequent book, The Brendan Voyage, published  in 1978  described the trip in great detail and has been translated into 28 languages. As a result of his voyage Severin remains convinced that Brendan reached America.

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3 Responses to Did the Irish and St Brendan discover America first?

  1. oldsalt1942 says:

    It really doesn’t matter if Brendan “discovered” America before Columbus. If he DID, it didn’t change anything. Columbus’s big claim to fame is that his voyage in 1492 CHANGED the world and its view of itself.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well I Do Need To Know For A Project! So Yea It Dose Matter

      • @Anonymous- In the first paragraph of the article you commented on you will find the answer to your question on your project, for the issue isn’t whether it can be proven who was first to “discover” America, but how explorers and scientists learn from each other. If you think about that you become a explorer yourself of knowledge.
        The paragraph refers to Christopher Columbus mapping out his voyage based on instructions of Nicholas of Cusa, a German Cardinal who had already died, but who passed his work on exploring the new world to a n associate of his, who shared it with Columbus. Columbus,aware of the Irish saints and scholars who shared their knowledge with the wider world in earlier centuries, looked to the legend of St Brendan as he worked out his navigation pland.
        Have fun exploring through the navigation through the long waves of history. A discovery, you know, is not just what you happen on in the present, but also the past discoveries leading to it and the future that is shaped by it.

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