In eclipse season, it’s bound to happen that someone will quote the story of Columbus fooling the settlers into believing that his god was upset with them and therefore eclipsed the moon.

But as often as this story is quoted, someone else inevitably has to come along and say that he heard that it was made up. The above Wikipedia article does cite that story, but I don’t have access to the citations that I can confirm whether they just quote the story or actually bring evidence that it happened.

So which is it? Did this story actually happen, or did someone make it up along the way and it’s been passed around so much that it’s widely accepted as fact?

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    This is a better Wikipedia article concerning the 1504 Lunar Eclipse, it's also fairly referenced. – Jordy Aug 21 '17 at 14:52
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    Given that Columbus thought he was in a previously undiscovered part of India, it seems unlikely that he would have known that an eclipse was due at his location. – Paul Johnson Aug 21 '17 at 17:57
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    Lunar eclipses you don't need to be anywhere in particular to see - you just need to have the moon visible at the time. "at his location" is considerably less important for lunar eclipses. – Dan Uznanski Aug 21 '17 at 18:01
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    @DonielF Having a Pulitzer prize winning biography of Columbus written by a notable historian as a reference for the claim is IMHO a good start, and not evidence to be discarded out of hand. Answering the questions: "In what terms does the book tell the story?", and "does it give primary sources?" would be better, of course. – richardb Aug 21 '17 at 18:55
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    @DonielF, the fact that he thought he was somewhere else is completely irrelevant, the lunar eclipse was visible on almost the entire northern hemisphere as per the wiki article. The article also describes how he used the tools to predict his location, despite the fact that he got his location wrong, it does prove that he was "clever" enough to use those tools. So the question remains, what would be valid evidence according to you? – Jordy Aug 22 '17 at 13:39

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