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Christopher Columbus

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Christopher Columbus

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS

Rummaging through dusty archives, historian Kirkpatrick Sale unearthed the following rare document. A psychiatric study of Christopher Columbus by 15th century doctor Sigmundo Feliz, based on clinical observations and the famous mariner's own writings.

Case: 1492

Patient: Cristobal C

Occupation: Admiral of the Ocean Sea, one time Colonial Governor

Date: May 1506

This represents one of my most regrettable cases, for despite my best endeavours I was too late to be of any substantial benefit to this patient, and he died shortly after our last visit, a bitter, sorrowful man, still a victim of the paranoia and melancholia that seems to have afflicted him most of his adult life. He was a victim too, in a more physical sense, of a congeries of ailments I diagnose as Reiter's Syndrome - that is arthritis, uveitis, and urethritis, serious inflammation of the joints, the eyes and the urinary tract, leading most often to incapacitating stiffness, retinal bleeding and dysmicturition, sometimes as well to mental instabilities of a general sort.

I was fortunate to have in addition to several lengthy visits with this patient in recent months, full access to his most intimate papers, including logs of his major voyages to the Indies, letters written by him to the court over some ten years, notebooks he assembled for King Fernando and our late Queen Isabel, and marginalia in the numerous books in his library. From these I have been able to arrive at

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