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More Beyond?

  • One time Spain controlled both sides of the narrowest part of the Strait of Gibraltar. At that narrowing of the two land masses (Africa and Europe), there was a huge marker called the “Pillar of Hercules,” and prior to Columbus’ voyage in 1492, it carried a three word Latin saying chiseled into stone: NE PLUS ULTRA, which, translated, said, “No More Beyond.”
  • Coins, like stamps, can tell us about a country. They celebrate victories, praise founders, sloganize ethnic styles, and advertise scientific breakthroughs. “No More Beyond” was the standard belief of that time. No one would dare question the prevailing conviction that the western horizon contained nothing new.
  • After Columbus’s discovery of a new world beyond Spain, recognition of the revised outlook was pressed into its coins. Coins were struck with a simple Latin slogan, two words: PLUS ULTRA: which meant “More Beyond.” Coins in circulation in Florida in 1796, still had that slogan!

John Gilmore, Probing Heaven, Key Questions on the Hereafter, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989, p. 65.