Let’s say you set off from home, leaving everything you know and love behind, knowing you’re probably not coming back. You sell all of your stuff, find a home for dog, give away all of your books (insisting that they are just on loan, of course), kiss your family and – off you go…
… to sail over the edge of the world.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an apology for the Italian explorer Cristóbal Colón, better known in the Western Hemisphere as Christopher Columbus (and among his closest friends as Thatsumofabitch). But think about that for a moment. He sailed over the edge of the world.
So, is it any wonder that upon returning from his fourth voyage, he felt compelled to sit down and write something like El Libro de las Profecías? And really, can you blame him? After all he had done and been through, he was entitled to write at least one Crazy Book.
El Libro is actually a collection of manuscripts written between 1501-1505 in both Latin and Spanish that purport to be divine revelations and prophecies concerning the end of times and Columbus’ crucial role in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy:
“God made me the messenger of the new heaven and the new earth of which he spoke in the Apocalypse of St John after having spoken of it through the mouth of Isaiah; and he showed me the spot where to find it.”
(Humble guy, eh?)
He also reveals that Ferdinand and Isabella would become World Emperors and that a mountaintop in Venezuela was home to the Garden of Eden.
Shortly after this, he then rightly (or so he thought) demanded that Ferdinand and Isabella give him a perpetual 10% of all the profits from the lands he discovered. (They refused, but his heirs continued the battle in the court system)
The copy I have in hand is an exact replica of this bound collection of
manuscripts as it sits today in the Biblioteca Capitular and Columbina in Seville. That is to say exact, with every minute detail, flaw and characteristic painstakingly represented by the reknowned artist Cesar Olmos from Testimonio Compañía Editorial in Madrid. Every tear, silverfish nibble, smudge and tape repair is exquisitely recreated in this brilliant reproduction.
Produced in 1985, it was limited to 750 copies, of which 42 copies were gifted to Latin American countries and 25 which were not available for sale. You can find more information or purchase it here.