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     Christopher Columbus Quiz...


Christopher Columbus and his voyage of discovery is surrounded by myth. Take the Quiz below, and test your knowledge about this great man and this pivotal moment in history.

  1. Christopher Columbus set out to prove that the world was round.

    True False

  2. Horses were introduced to the new world by Columbus on his second voyage.

    True False

  3. Queen Isabella sold the crown jewels to pay for Columbus' voyage.

    True False

  4. The crew of the three ships that set out on the maiden voyage to the new world were mainly criminals.

    True False

  5. The initial voyage was fraught with peril, including death, bad weather, and a lack of food.

    True False

  6. There was a priest on board the Santa Maria.

    True False

  7. There were 500 men on the first voyage.

    True False

  8. Only the Nina and the Pinta returned to Spain.

    True False

  9. Columbus died from syphilis.

    True False

  10. Columbus died a pauper in a Spanish prison.

    True False

  11. Columbus set foot on North American soil at some point now a part of mainland United States.

    True False

  12. Seventeen ships and over twelve-hundred men made up "The Grand Fleet" of the second voyage in 1493.

    True False

  13. Columbus introduced tobacco to Europe.

    True False

Finished? Click the button below for your score and then see what your score means on the table below. If the form doesn't work with your browser, check the answers below and total your score by giving yourself one point for each correct answer."

Your Score


0-4 Boo! It's time to review your Christopher Columbus history. See the facts below, and have a great Columbus Day!
 5-6 Not bad, but you could do much better. Read the facts about Columbus below, and have a wonderful Columbus Day!
 7-9 Good job! You did great! You are aware of many of the myths surrounding Christopher Columbus. No homework for you tonight. Have a great Columbus Day!
10-13 Excellent! Stupendous! You're a Christopher Columbus history wizard. You know the myth from the man. You should be proud! Have a great Columbus Day. You deserve it!



  1. False. In the 14th Century, almost everyone knew that the earth was a sphere. What people didn't know was the size of the earth. Columbus underestimated its size by one-fourth.

  2. True. Columbus did introduce horses to the new world on his second voyage.

  3. False. Though the Queen might have suggested selling the Crown jewels, advisors found other ways to raise money for the voyage.

  4. False. Though the Crown offered amnesty to those who were willing to sail on the maiden voyage, there were only four criminals on board. The crew was comprised mainly of seasoned sailors from Palos and Moguer, Spain.

One of the criminals was a convicted murderer, who killed a man in a quarrel, the other three were convicted from trying to free him from prison.

  5. False. No one died on the maiden voyage. There was ample food, and the weather was perfect with no storms. However, on the return trip to Spain, there was a major hurricane which nearly destroyed the ships.

  6. False. Though Columbus was deeply religious, there was no clergy aboard any of the ships on the maiden voyage; however there were five priests on the second voyage.

  7. False. Only 90 men made the first voyage. The Santa Maria held 40 men, the Pinta, 26, and the Nina, 24. The ships were quite small, no longer than a tennis court, and less than 30 feet wide.

  8. True. Only the Nina and the Pinta returned to Spain. The Santa Maria was shipwrecked on Christmas Day, 1492. Thirty-nine volunteered to stay behind at the fortress called "La Navidad," which is on the northern coast of present-day Haiti. The volunteers all perished at the hands of the Indians prior to the return of Columbus the following year.

  9. False. He suffered arthritis and gout in later years, and his eyesight was failing, but he had not contracted syphilis in the New World. However, it's believed that the Indians he took to Spain on the return trip did introduce syphilis to Europe.

  10. False. Though Columbus returned to Spain in chains after the third voyage, the Queen and King had them removed and apologized for the misunderstanding. And though the Crown failed to live up to many of the promises they made him, Columbus died peacefully and rich at the age of 55 in Valladolid, Spain, on May 20, 1506. He was surrounded by family and friends.

  11. False. Columbus never saw North America. He first landed in the Bahamas, though the exact location is disputed. The only current U.S. territories either sighted or visited by Columbus are the U.S. Virgin Islands, which Columbus named on his second voyage, and Puerto Rico. Later he would visit the northeastern tip of South America and the eastern coast of Central America, but never mainland U.S.A..

  12. True. Seventeen ships and over twelve-hundred men made up "The Grand Fleet" of the second voyage in 1493. No women were on board. No woman were on the first voyage either. The first women colonists from Europe appeared in 1498, on Columbus' third voyage, when he was allowed to recruit one woman for every ten emigrants.

  13. True. Columbus introduced tobacco to Europe after discovering its use by Indians.

"Christopher Columbus Quiz," written and designed by Bobette Bryan, 2003

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