Just learned a bit about St. Brendan, who supposedly discovered America for the West before the Vikings in the 500s. In fact, the Vikings are some of the people who managed to keep records of his legendary travels.
He started to sail west in hopes of finding the "Land of Promise of the Saints." I suppose once he got here, he figured he found it.
The Irish should have returned after that and set up shop. Would've been an interesting world if that happened, I figure.
In the sixth century, St. Brendan, an Irish monk who was widely reputed as a skilled seafarer, is said to have undertaken an ambitious voyage. Brendan, along with a crew of fellow monks, sailed looking for Paradise, the Land of Promise of the Saints. After seven years exploring mysterious lands, he came upon what he believed to be the fabled paradise. It was an island so vast that he and his crew failed to reach the far shore after 40 days of walking. It contained a river that was too wide to be crossed. It was a wooded land, filled with lush fruits. He and his men filled their boats with gems they found there and returned home to tell of the news.
I'm a huge proponent of talking up just how special the North American continent is.
Just consider that for the longest time--since antiquity--the known world was Eurasia and Africa. Suddenly, in 1492 there is a brand new land to be explored.
Not an island. But a continent. Two of them. An entirely new hemisphere. Something so big and massive that they called us The New World.
The thought of such a land to the ancient world probably seemed too magical and far-fetched for belief. And yet, here we are today. I take comfort in the fact that mankind has worked hard to make this place exceptional.
Now, if only the Americas would accept Catholic monarchy. Things might change for the better if we were led by a holy saintly king.
A link to the quoted article is here.
(At some point, I need to look up what the Phoenicians called this place.)