Thursday, October 29, 2009

St. Brendan - excerpt from Wikpedia

St. Brendan stamp showing discovery of The Faroe island and Iceland

While the story is often assumed to be a religious allegory, there has been considerable discussion as to whether the legends are based on actual events, including speculation that the Isle of the Blessed was actually America. There is a St. Brendan Society that celebrates the belief that Brendan was the first European to reach America. Tim Severin demonstrated it is possible that a leather-clad boat such as the one described in the Navigatio could have reached North America.[8][9] Some have alleged that Christopher Columbus relied on the manuscript "Navigatio sancti Brendani abbatis" that told of St. Brendan's travels across the Atlantic.[10] It is well established that Columbus went to look for St. Brendan’s Isle when he discovered the West Indies.[citation needed] As a student of the University of Pavia, Columbus would have learned of Brendan’s voyage from the manuscripts brought there, seven hundred years previously, by Dugal, student and founder of the University of Pavia. On the eve of his great voyage in 1492 he wrote: “I am convinced that the terrestrial paradise is in the Island of Saint Brendan, which none can reach save by the Will of God.[11]

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