In the early 16th century, the Spanish author and explorer García Ordóñez de Montalvo wrote a novel titled "Las Sergas de Esplandián," which described the adventures of a legendary hero named Amadis. In this novel, Montalvo described the island of California as a place near the Terrestrial Paradise.
According to Montalvo, California was a "very close island, almost touching the side of the Terrestrial Paradise," and was said to be inhabited by black women who lived without men and had gold tools and weapons. The description of California as an island near the Terrestrial Paradise was not based on actual geographical knowledge. Still, it was instead a product of Montalvo's imagination and the romantic and mystical ideas prevalent in the late medieval period.
Despite the lack of accuracy in Montalvo's description, the idea of California as an island near the Terrestrial Paradise captured the imagination of many Spanish explorers and conquerors who followed in the centuries after Montalvo. In 1533, the Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés sailed from Mexico to California, hoping to find the island described by Montalvo and searching for the legendary wealth and prosperity that was said to be there.
However, when Cortés and his men arrived in California, they found that it was not an island but a peninsula connected to the mainland. Despite this disappointment, the Spanish continued to explore and colonize California, and the state became one of the essential parts of their American empire.
In conclusion, García Ordóñez de Montalvo's description of California as an island near the Terrestrial Paradise was a product of the romantic and mystical ideas of the late medieval period and had no basis in actual geographical knowledge. Despite this, the idea of California as an island near the Terrestrial Paradise captured the imagination of many Spanish explorers and conquerors and continues to be a part of the state's rich history and cultural heritage.