Why did John Cabot change his name?

Question:

Why did John Cabot change his name?

John Cabot:

John Cabot was one of many explorers during the European Age of Discovery to venture into the world to find new lands and new sources of wealth. Cabot followed in the footsteps of previous explorers, like Marco Polo, who he read a lot about. He also followed in the footsteps of Portuguese mariners who had been exploring the coast of Africa for decades. Finally, Cabot aspired to have success similar to that achieved by Christopher Columbus following his first expedition to the Americas in 1492.

Answer and Explanation:

John Cabot did not formally change his name. Cabot was born Giovanni Caboto in either Naples or Genoa around 1450. As was common at the time, Cabot altered his name to fit the different cultures he lived in at various times. After leaving Italy, Cabot relocated to Spain. In Spain, Cabot was likely known as either Zuan Chabotto or Juan Cabotto. When Cabot moved to England, he embraced the anglicized "John Cabot" to fit in with English culture. This approach helped Cabot, as he was later commissioned by the King of England, Henry VII, to lead an expedition to the Americas in order to discover land and wealth for England.


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John Cabot Lesson for Kids: Facts & Biography

from Social Studies for Kids

Chapter 4 / Lesson 28
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