Domìngues De Sousa Costa Antonio ,
Cristóvào Colombo e o Cónego de Lisboa Fernando Martins de Reriz, destinatàrio da carta de Paulo Toscanelli sobre os descobrimentos maritimos ,
Antonianum, 65/2-3 (1990) p. 187-276
Summary — On the occasion of the fifth centenary of the discovery of the New World, the Author of this study, against some discordant opinions currently divulged, maintains that one must put into record the authentic documents referring to the birth of the great Italian navigator Christopher Columbus in the city of Genoa and his association with the Franciscans who interceded for him with the Catholic kings in defence of his project of reaching India through the Western sea-way. Some historians, in the presence of the first difficulties in the evangelisation of those peoples, among whom the Franciscans were the pioneers, have availed themselves of the opportunity to see in them the beginning of the disruption of the friendly relations between Columbus with his son D. Diego and the Observant Franciscans, especially with the Archbishop of Toledo, the future Cardinal Cisneros, who was responsible for the Observants' movement in Spain and who would then be accredited with the fall of the Admiral as Viceroy of the discovered islands, creating in him an ambiguous position, conflicting whith that of the very good relations with the General of the Order, Fr. Giles Delfini. The author insists that such an opinion is unfounded, relying on the last wills of Columbus and his son D. Diego Columbus, and also on other unpublished documentation. That project of Columbus, conceived during his stay in Portugal, during the course of experiences and nautical studies in association with navigators, physicists and astrologers, and particularly after having married a Portuguese noble lady (to which events the Admiral refers in his letters and postils annexed to his books) has many historical incidences with the letter of the Florentine cosmographer, Paul Toscanelli, to the Canon of Lisbon, Fernando Martins, of the 25th June 1474, jealously preserved in the notes of Columbus, and also with the discussed correspondence between the Italian physicist and the Genoese navigator, whose authenticity is denied by some historians. The pontifical documentation, not integrally published, analysed by the author, with reference to the Portuguese Canon Fernando Matins de Reriz, Master in Arts and Medicine, accomplished Bachelor in Theology, doctor to Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, to whose service he was assigned together with the Florentine cosmographer, shows that he had returned to Portugal from Italy before 1474 and lived in Lisbon till 1483, having been affectionately familiar to both Cardinal D. Jaime, during the latter's stay in Florence, and to the Portuguese Sovereign. Such documentation offers, therefore, some indication and basis to the probability not only of the connections of the Canon with Columbus, who in his notes and in his postils mentions his own contacts and relationships with wise personalities — ecclesiastical and secular — before deciding to set sail towards the Indies through the West, but also of the Admiral's correspondence with the Italian cosmographer during that period of experiences and studies, particularly from 1479 till the actual decision of proposing the implementation of his project first to the King of Portugal and then to the Catholic monarchs of Castiglia.