Christopher Columbus returned to Europe in the final days of 1500, ending his third voyage to the Indies not in triumph but in chains. Seeking to justify his actions and protect his rights, he began to compile biblical texts and excerpts from patristic writings and medieval theology in a manuscript known as the Book of Prophecies. This unprecedented collection was designed to support his vision of the discovery of the Indies as an important event in the process of human salvation - a first step toward the liberation of Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim domination.
This work is part of a twelve-volume series produced by U.C.L.A.'s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies which involved the collaboration of some forty scholars over the course of fourteen years. In this volume of the series, Roberto Rusconi has written a complete historical introduction to the Book of Prophecies, describing the manuscript's history and analyzing its principal themes. His edition of the documents, the only modern one, includes a complete critical apparatus and detailed commentary, while the facing-page English translations allow Columbus's work to be appreciated by the general public and scholars alike.