Civilisations – Laurent Binet


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c.1000AD: Erik the Red’s daughter heads south from Greenland. 1492: Columbus does not discover America. 1531: the Incas invade Europe. Freydis is the leader of a band of Viking warriors who get as far as Panama. Nobody knows what became of them. Five hundred years later, Christopher Columbus is sailing for the Americas, dreaming of gold and conquest. Even when captured by Incas, his faith in his superiority and his mission is unshaken. Thirty years after that, Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor, arrives in Europe. What does he find? The Spanish Inquisition, the Reformation, capitalism, the miracle of the printing press, endless warmongering between the ruling monarchies, and constant threat from the Turks. But most of all, downtrodden populations ready for revolution.