José Rodrigues dos Santos


O Codex 632

(Codex 632)


When Tomás Noronha, a professor of History and expert cryptographer, is called upon to finish an unresolved investigation involving an aged scholar who is mysteriously found dead in his hotel room, his life takes several unexpected and dramatic turns. As Tomás slowly begins to unravel the cryptograms and enigmas that shroud the old professor’s work, he finds a code that could possibly change the course of historical scholarship:


In his quest to decipher this mysterious code, Tomás travels around the world, from Lisbon to Rio, New York and Jerusalem. He quickly immerses himself in the fascinating history of the discovery of the Americas, and the one enigma that no historian has ever been able to solve: the true identity of Christopher Columbus.

The mystery begins with the great explorer’s name. Columbus never introduced himself as Columbus, but as Colom or Colón. People who knew him personally called him Colom, Colón, Colona or Guerra. But never Columbus. Why, then, do we call him Columbus, a name he never went by?

 Tomás finds that one mystery only leads to another. Take Columbus’ language. The great navigator tried only twice to write in Tuscan, and both his efforts are full of Portuguese and Spanish words. Why is that? Being an Italian, could he not write in Tuscan? Columbus wrote some letters to Genoese friends, but, amazingly, these letters were not written in Tuscan or Genoese, as might be expected in letters between Genoese people, but in Spanish. Now, doesn’t that strike you as a little bit odd? And what kind of Spanish was that? Actually, argue Spanish philologists, it wasn’t really Spanish. It was Portuñol, the hybrid language Portuguese people talk when they try to speak Spanish. Codex 632 tells the true story of a supposed Genoese who left his town at the age of 24 and, yet, could not speak a word of Genoese or Tuscan, and whose Spanish was full of Portuguese words.

And what of his Cabalistic signature? Codex 632 unlocks the secrets hidden behind Columbus’ signature, and what it unravels is beyond imagination. Why does Columbus include the main Jewish prayer in his Cabalistic signature? Why does he say “let my name be erased” in his Cabalistic signature? Why does he deny Christ in his Cabalistic signature?

A further mystery is Columbus’ marriage. The Genoese Cristoforo Colombo was a plebeian, a poor and ignorant wool weaver, according to reports and documents from that time. And, yet, he supposedly married Dona Filipa Moniz Perestrello, a Portuguese woman from high nobility, descendent of two independence heroes of Portugal and related by family ties to the Portuguese crown. And this marriage took place in a 15th century full of class divisions, when social classes behaved like castes, with no intermarriage whatsoever, and no noblewomen ever marrying poor plebeians. Could a woman like this marry a poor plebeian wool weaver?

Many questions provided by history, and no answers delivered by historians.

Until now.

Codex 632 tells you there are two Columbus in History. One is called Colombo and was a poor, ignorant, plebeian Genoese wool weaver. The other one, the discoverer of America, is called Colom/Colón and he was an Iberian nobleman, who could speak several languages, including Latin; furthermore, he was a close friend of the Portuguese king and had knowledge of cosmography and mathematics. Only the second one could marry Dona Filipa.

Come with us on a memorable trip, follow cryptanalyst Tomás Noronha on a last journey to the great age of the Discoveries and find out the ultimate mystery behind Columbus’ final riddle