Almirante Mayor de la Mar Oceana, an admiral in fact, he made errors in charting his course and reckoned his sea-routes by guesswork. Eleven Italian towns claim that he first saw light within their walls: Genoa, Savona, Cuccaro, Nervi, Pradello, Oneglia, Finale, Quinto, Palestrella, Albissola and Cosseria. For several years Christopher Columbus sailed in the Mediterranean, selling merchandise or carrying cargoes; obscure years they were, filled with one knows not what and about which Columbus was later discreet or reticent. In the year 1483 Columbus succeeded in obtaining an audience with John of Portugal. The exalted and learned assembly before which he appeared did not intimidate Columbus. The Portuguese sovereign, the scholars and ecclesiastics leaned over Columbus’s parchment, stretched out on the marble table. The Portuguese Court knew what it had to do: it needed no foreigner to remind it of its duties.