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Columbus Christopher Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
Columbus Christopher Quizzes, Trivia

Christopher Columbus Trivia

Christopher Columbus Trivia Quizzes

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3 Christopher Columbus quizzes and 30 Christopher Columbus trivia questions.
  The First Contact   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Even though the Vikings were the first Europeans to reach the Americas, no one can dispute the fact that the voyages of Columbus had the most far reaching effect on the world at the time. Read with me through his 1493 letter to the Treasurer of Aragon.
Average, 10 Qns, ponycargirl, Apr 16 13
ponycargirl editor
1220 plays
  Christopher Columbus: The Explorer    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This is the story of Christopher Columbus. This quiz covers his life and his first voyage. Have fun and good luck!
Difficult, 10 Qns, JuniorTheJaws, May 30 13
JuniorTheJaws gold member
2011 plays
  They Didn't Laugh at Columbus   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Before Columbus sailed west for Spain, he had proposed his plans to Portugal. They got rejected, but not, as often is believed, because it was thought the Earth was flat. In this quiz the real reason - and other facts from Columbus's life.
Average, 10 Qns, engels, Nov 26 17
Nov 26 17
1143 plays

Christopher Columbus Trivia Questions

1. The native Americans called the first land Columbus reached "Guanaham". According to his letter to the Treasurer of Aragon, what did he decide to call it?

From Quiz
The First Contact

Answer: San Salvador

The first island that Columbus discovered was named in "commemoration of His Divine Majesty, who has wonderfully granted all this". Columbus' men, having lost sight of land for over a month, were restless and on the brink of mutiny. Finally they began to see clues, such as migratory birds and plants, that land was nearby. The first person to sight land was promised a silk doublet and 10,000 maravedis. Rodrigo de Triana claimed the prize.

2. Christopher Columbus (Latin: Christophorus Columbus, Spanish: Cristóbal Colón) is generally believed to have born around 1452 in which Italian city?

From Quiz They Didn't Laugh at Columbus

Answer: Genoa

Columbus himself claimed to be from Genoa, and in his own time nobody doubted his claims. Many historians still believe this, but others, noting that almost nothing else of his life before 1476 is known, think that he made this up, to hide his true identity. According to these historians, either Columbus's real descent or some event from the earlier years of his life, had to be kept secret from the Spanish king and queen.

3. According to Columbus' letter, when he came to an island that he called Juana, he believed he had reached Cathay or China. How did the first people he found react when they saw the Spanish?

From Quiz The First Contact

Answer: They fled at once.

Columbus said the natives were "well-made" but "hopelessly timid". They did not possess metal weapons; they had sticks of cane that were sharpened at the end. However, he said they seemed afraid to use them. On Hispaniola large numbers of natives came out, but fled as soon as they saw his men, even though he did not allow his men to be aggressive or injure any of them.

4. Columbus had a vast knowledge when it came to many things. In order for Columbus to travel the seas, he needed to know which two things that were, and still are, most important to sea traveling?

From Quiz Christopher Columbus: The Explorer

Answer: The study of the stars and waterways

All sailors or ship navigators of Columbus' time needed to know the waterways and the telling of direction and time by the stars. Today, with modern ship travel, everything is computerized or solar powered. However, in order for one to be a ship's captain, one must also know which water passages to travel, and they must also know how to find their way by the stars in the off chance that modern equipment should fail.

5. On his first voyage, as Columbus encountered natives who were willing to communicate, he made a point to give them gifts. What kind of gifts did he give to them?

From Quiz The First Contact

Answer: Cloth

As the native people began to lose their fear, they accepted gifts that Columbus offered. The letter says that he "gave them some of everything he had - cloth and many other things - without receiving anything in return..." He said they were very easy to please, to the point that he had to tell his men they could not give worthless gifts, such as broken bowls, pieces of glass and old straps. Nevertheless, one of his men was given gold of the weight of two and a half castellanos for a leather strap.

6. On October 12, Columbus's expedition saw land in the Americas, on one of the islands of the Bahamas. The local population called their island Guanahani, but what name did Columbus give the island?

From Quiz They Didn't Laugh at Columbus

Answer: San Salvador

It is not certain which island is the one that Columbus first saw. For a long time it had been assumed that it was the former Watlings Island, which was consequently renamed San Salvador in 1925. Recently Samana Cay and Plana Cay have been considered more likely. If you are interested in knowing more about the various theories regarding the landfall, you can visit

7. Later on his first voyage, Columbus erected a small colony in the new world, called La Navidad. On which island or piece of land was this colony erected?

From Quiz They Didn't Laugh at Columbus

Answer: Hispaniola

Hispaniola is the island that now consists of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Columbus found the colony destroyed when he returned in 1493, but he established a new colony, La Isabela, in its place. A short time later it was moved to Santo Domingo. Santo Domingo was the beginning of the Spanish colonial empire in the Americas, and is currently the capital of the Dominican Republic.

8. In 1492, Columbus' dreams of sea exploration finally came to light. He was granted use of three ships, The Nina, The Pinta, and The Santa Maria. On which date did Columbus set sail?

From Quiz Christopher Columbus: The Explorer

Answer: August 2, 1492

On August 2, 1492, Columbus set sail from Palos, near Huelva, which is in the southern part of Spain. Queen Isabella's court granted him full command of three ships, The Nina, The Pinta, and The Santa Maria, along with a crew for each. Columbus was the Captain General for all three of his ships. The Nina held eighteen crew members, The Pinta contained eighteen crew members, and The Santa Maria, with Columbus as head navigator contained a total of fifty-two crew members.

9. On his first voyage, Columbus named one of the islands he found Hispaniola. There he began building a settlement, and left enough men to hold it until his return. What did he name of the settlement?

From Quiz The First Contact

Answer: Navidad

Columbus choose Hispaniola as the site of his settlement because it seemed to be the most accessible for the gold mines and commerce. He ordered that fortifications be started, and, in addition to the men, left arms, artillery, and provisions that would last more than a year. He believed the men would be safe, especially if they behaved properly. When he returned a year later, rather than seeing a thriving settlement, he found several of his men's corpses on the beach and the city destroyed. The natives told him that his men had mistreated them, and they had been killed in retaliation.

10. Columbus had several destination stops mapped out for this, his first voyage. What was his first stop on his route?

From Quiz Christopher Columbus: The Explorer

Answer: The Canary Islands

Columbus arrived at the Canary Islands within two to three days after he first set sail. He only intended to stop for food supplies, but remained there for approximately four weeks, because he had trouble with his ships, and had to repair them. Part of the delay came from lack of winds that was needed to help sail the ships to the Far East. Some of the foods that were in abundance on the Islands included: beans, Gomera goat cheese, salted beef and pork, dry salt cod, water, wine, garlic, olive oil, almonds, chick peas, and sea biscuits. Once the crew was stocked with food, and the winds picked up, Columbus again set sail on September 6, 1492. The Captain General was headed next for the Bahama Landfall (Hispaniola).

11. In the letter sent to Spain at the completion of his first voyage, Columbus does indeed say that he encountered monsters. What did he describe?

From Quiz The First Contact

Answer: A tribe of cannibals.

At the second island, which Columbus named Santa Maria de Concepcion, he encountered people who all the islanders considered to be the most ferocious. They had many canoes, and used them to overrun the other islands, stealing all they could. He said they looked the same as the others (except they grew their hair long like women) and had the same type of weapons.

12. On his third voyage in 1498, Columbus discovered the mainland of South America. How did he realize that what he discovered was not just another island, but actually a new, unknown continent?

From Quiz They Didn't Laugh at Columbus

Answer: He saw the mouth of the large Orinoco River.

Columbus did not further explore the continent he had discovered, eager to go to Hispaniola quickly. There he had to subdue a revolt, and complaints against him and his brothers reached Spain. Francisco de Bobadilla was sent out to investigate these complaints, and when Columbus returned to Spain in 1500, it was as a prisoner. Bobadilla himself was deposed in 1502 and replaced by Nicolas de Ovando. He was lost at sea on the voyage back to Spain.

13. Columbus did not have an easy time with this voyage. He had a serious problem on December 24, 1492. On that date one of his vessels ran aground. What is the name of the ship that caused Columbus a severe problem?

From Quiz Christopher Columbus: The Explorer

Answer: Santa Maria

According to Columbus historians, his voyage was bound for disaster because of a lack of equipment and a poor crew. Most of Columbus' crew consisted of convicts that were bound for death or had severe medical problems. The Court of Spain allowed these men to board ship and be active members of Columbus' crew. When Columbus set sail in August of 1492, his stops were The Canary Islands, The Bahama Landfall (Hispaniola), Cuba (and all of the surrounding islands), The Azores, and then back to port at Palos. As the previous question attests, Columbus made it to his first destination, The Canary Islands, and departed four weeks behind schedule. He and his crew landed on Hispaniola on October 12, 1492. Several days later, they again set sail for Cuba. Columbus landed on the Cuban Isle on November 22, 1492. While there, and unbeknownst to Columbus, Martin Alonso Pinzon, the Captain of The Pinta, left The Nina and The Pinta to sail on a buoy to various islands in search of gold that the islands were said to contain by his native guides. During this time Columbus was heading for the island of La Navidad, which he named, and which means Christmas. He arrived on the island on December 5, 1492. The Nina arrived the next day on December 6, 1492. While there, The Santa Maria ran aground on a reef bed on December 24, 1492, and sank the very next day. With what remained of the ship, Columbus supervised his crew members in building a fort. However, Columbus soon discovered that the small Nina could not hold all of the crew from The Santa Maria. Columbus did not like the idea of having to leave any of his crew on the island, but in order for him to finish his journey, he had no choice. Columbus, now in command of The Nina, set sail on January 2, 1493. He was heading east, around Hispaniola, when he spotted The Pinta on January 6, 1493. It was then that he found that Pinzon had left command of the ship, and headed to the surrounding islands, while he was stranded with his crew on, what is now called Christmas Island, in search of gold. However, Columbus' anger was short-lived when he realized that he now had another ship and could return to pick up his remaining crew, before heading back to Spain.

14. In the letter sent to Spain at the completion of his first voyage, Columbus is confident that he has found what desirable commodity for Ferdinand and Isabella?

From Quiz The First Contact

Answer: Gold

Columbus believed that he could provide "as much as as they desire, if they would give him a little assistance, spices, cotton..." He believed he had found rhubarb and cinnamon, and that the men he left behind would find other valuable commodities.

15. In his letter describing the findings of his first voyage, what did Columbus say about the people he met?

From Quiz The First Contact

Answer: They are most ingenious men.

He also described them as being "far from ignorant". He admired their navigational skills, even though they never "before saw people wearing clothes, nor vessels like ours".

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