查看: 1841|回复: 6

Did China discovered the America?

发表于 10/21/2019 17:52:22 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 郭国汀 于 10/21/2019 18:04 编辑


This map claims that a Chinese Muslim beat Columbus to it. But is it real?


In 1405 a Chinese Muslim eunuch, Zheng He, launched the first of seven voyages west from China across the Indian Ocean. Over the next 30 years, in command of the world’s largest fleet and funded by the Ming emperor, he sailed to the east coast of Africa and deep into the Persian Gulf. That much, we know, is true.

But some people believe he went much farther—and this map is one reason. Entitled “General chart of the integrated world”, it is apparently an 18th-century copy of a 1418 map which claims to show the world that Zheng He discovered. If it is real, it rewrites history, for it shows that he circumnavigated the globe and—most provocatively—that he discovered America more than 70 years before Columbus.

The map came to light in 2001 when a Shanghai lawyer, Liu Gang, says he bought it from a local dealer for around $500. He believes it proves that Zheng navigated the waters around both poles, the Americas, the Mediterranean and Australia too. In 2003 Gavin Menzies used it as evidence for his book “1421: the year China discovered the world”.

The outlines of the continents on the map are instantly recognisable. Some aspects are characteristically Chinese: the blue, fan-like waves are part of China’s cartographic tradition, as are the annotations with textual descriptions of places. The map is impressively detailed. It shows the two hemispheres of the world, a convention for depicting the round Earth on flat paper. The contours of North and South America are clear, as are the rivers running from far inland. We can see the Arctic. And the Himalayas, among whose foothills Zheng He was born, are marked as the highest mountain range in the world.

It is these detailed elements, however, that give the game away. Only Europeans represented the globe this way. European explorers completed travels like this over the course of hundreds of years, rather than Zheng He’s 30, which makes it almost impossible that his maritime voyage would have had such a specific grasp of river courses. The Arctic appears first on a Ming Chinese map only in 1593. And the world’s greatest mountain range was labelled as such only in the 19th century.

This map is a complete nonsense,” says Professor Timothy Brook of the University of British Columbia. He believes that what you see here is a copy of a European map from the early 17th century. But it is still interesting, because of the stories attached to it and the recent hype surrounding Zheng He. He was certainly a great mariner, but had been largely forgotten until the late 1990s when the history of his quest was resurrected and he was embraced as a national hero. As Brook puts it: “The West had a Columbus and the Chinese needed one.”

The debate over the veracity of this map is emblematic of the current arguments over China’s role on the world stage. President Xi Jinping hails Zheng He as one of China’s great innovators and an example of its early, peaceful exchanges overseas. Though he does not claim that Zheng He found America, he holds up his voyages as an inspiration for a new maritime silk road that is now being promoted to expand Chinese trade and influence abroad.

Though Columbus and Zheng He both sailed the seas, their purposes were quite different. Columbus’s mission was commercial, Zheng He’s diplomatic: he was sent to bring back envoys from other countries to pay homage to the new Yongle emperor, who had usurped power from his nephew and needed to find a way to assert his legitimacy.

With the end of Zheng He’s life, China’s explorations on the high seas finished too. By this time there was a new emperor with less need to finance pricey expeditions. For the next few hundred years China largely turned in on itself. What would have happened if the Chinese fleet had been allowed to continue is one of the great counterfactuals of history. Instead, while Columbus forged his way to the New World, Zheng He died a quiet death—at sea or at home, it is not known—and few beyond China now know his name.


Rosie Blau is a China correspondent for The Economist and a former associate editor of Intelligent Life

 楼主| 发表于 10/21/2019 18:07:45 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 郭国汀 于 10/21/2019 18:17 编辑

China: First to Discover the New World?

By Marc Lallanilla October 08, 2013 History

The controversial Chinese map argued by some to be from 1418.
(Image: © 1421.tv)

The first humans to settle in the Americas crossed the Bering land bridge from Asia, most archaeologists agree, and Norse sailors and Christopher Columbus were among the first Europeans to set foot in the New World. Or so goes conventional wisdom.
But amateur historian and author Gavin Menzies has made a lucrative career upending conventional wisdom, starting with his controversial book "1421: The Year China Discovered the World" (William Morrow, 2002), in which he claims that a Chinese fleet helmed by Admiral Zheng He sailed to the Americas in 1421 and left behind ample archaeological and genetic evidence of their journey.
Menzies' claims were roundly criticized by respected researchers and historians: "The historical equivalent of stories about … close encounters with alien hamsters" is how Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, professor of history at the University of London, described the book, according to the Telegraph. [9 Craziest Ocean Voyages]
Undeterred by relentless, scalding criticism, Menzies — a former sailor with Britain's Royal Navy — went on to write an equally scoffed-at sequel, "1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance" (William Morrow, 2008), and the widely mocked "The Lost Empire of Atlantis: History's Greatest Mystery Revealed" (Harper Collins, 2011).
R, Menzies is back with a new book, "Who Discovered America: The Untold History of the Peopling of the Americas" (William Morrow, 2013), in which Menzies claims a Chinese map dated 1418 supports his contention that the Chinese were exploring the Americas in 1421, a full 71 years before Columbus' ships set sail.

"The traditional story of Columbus discovering the New World is absolute fantasy, it's fairy tales," Menzies told the Daily Mail, claiming instead that Chinese explorers reached the Americas about 40,000 years ago. "If you just go out in a plastic bathtub, the currents will just carry you there. They just came with the current, it's as simple as that."
The map on which Menzies stakes his claims, however, has been dismissed as a forgery. "Scholars who know this field have refuted this claim under no uncertain terms," Sally K. Church of the University of Cambridge told LiveScience in an earlier interview.
"The map is an 18th-century copy of a European map, as evidenced by the two hemispheres depicted, the continents shown and the nonmaritime [details] depicted," said Geoff Wade, a researcher at the University of Singapore's Asia Research Institute.
Despite his dismissal as a charlatan or, at best, a pseudo-historian, Menzies' books have made him very well-off, prompting historical author Louise Levathes to confess to an abiding respect for Menzies: "His promotional machine is nothing less than extraordinary," she told Salon.

 楼主| 发表于 10/21/2019 18:18:32 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 郭国汀 于 10/21/2019 18:42 编辑

Gavin Menzies: mad as a snake - or a visionary?
Gavin Menzies: 'It is amazing how splenetic academics can be - such a different world from the Navy'
Gavin Menzies

01 Aug 2008

His first book claimed that the Chinese discovered America. Now, in a controversial sequel, Gavin Menzies says they also sparked the Renaissance

Gavin Menzies does not look robust enough to take the brickbats that are surely coming his way.

Six years ago, the retired submarine commander caused apoplexy among historians with his controversial theory that vast fleets of Chinese adventurers in multi-masted junks beat Christopher Columbus to the Americas and mapped the entire world centuries before the European explorers. It made him rich and infamous.

Whole websites sprang up devoted to debunking his claims. Scholars called him a fantasist.

Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, professor of history at the University of London, dismissed his book, 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, as "the historical equivalent of stories about Elvis Presley in Tesco and close encounters with alien hamsters".

But while boiling oil was being poured on him from the ramparts of academe, Menzies's book was surging up the bestseller list. It has sold a million copies worldwide, and run to 24 editions in 135 countries.
"I get criticised for being a charlatan and making millions," he says wearily. "But people are astute and if my theories were false and didn't stack up, I would soon know about it from the public."
Every day, 2,000 people go to his website, www.1421.tv - which was set up to deal with the response to the book - pouring in new evidence and ideas. "It is staggering," he says. "Conceited as it may sound, people now think of us as a centre for collating evidence on this period of European and Chinese history."
Menzies, 71, could have anointed his bruises, pulled up his stumps and gone to live in Venice on the proceeds of 1421, satisfied that his revisionist view of history had at least got a good airing.
Instead, he has ploughed his profits into more research and produced an equally contentious sequel, 1434, claiming that the Chinese, once again sailing under the eunuch Admiral Zheng He, sparked the Italian Renaissance and that Leonardo da Vinci's inventions were directly influenced by Chinese technical drawings.
While the eyes of the world are on the exploits of modern China as host of the Beijing Olympics, Menzies is providing the historical counterpoint. What drives him? Is he, as some critics have suggested, "mad as a snake" or a sincere visionary?
"I think one's got to hold on to one's nerve and keep going," he says. "Some of the attacks were vitriolic. I was accused of manufacturing the evidence. I got so ferociously attacked that I decided to defend myself by putting the new evidence on the website as it piles in.
" Much of the critical flak has come from the National University of Singapore and from academics in New Zealand. But Menzies has academic supporters, too, especially in China and America.
The worse the battering he gets from historians, the more people want to know what the fuss is all about. Advance warning of a television documentary called Junk History, shown by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2006, prompted Menzies to alert the website's 13,000 subscribers.
"It was a carve-up," he says. "They completely tore me and my then publishers, Transworld, to shreds. We apologised to our website friends and said if you want to cancel your subscription, we will understand. Only one person cancelled.
That night, we had a huge number of new subscribers and sales of the book in Australia trebled, making it the biggest-selling history book in that country. People want to make up their own minds."
In 1421, Menzies argues that the 107-strong armada of Zheng He's sixth voyage of exploration reached Latin America, the Caribbean and Australia, circumnavigating the globe a century before Ferdinand Magellan, leaving wrecks and artefacts and establishing colonies.
He believes Columbus, Magellan and James Cook all had maps before they set sail - based on a Chinese original. The new book, 1434, is not so sensational but more far-reaching. In it, he contends that Chinese advances in science, art and technology - brought by a cultural delegation that sailed first to Cairo and arrived in Tuscany in 1434 - shaped the Renaissance.
"The idea that Europeans dreamed up everything in the Renaissance is just to make history more romantic," says Menzies. "There's going to have to be an agonising reappraisal of the Eurocentric view of history."
Under his urbanity there is a thin skin. "I got terribly upset when people called me a crank in the early days. It is just amazing how splenetic academics can be. Such a different world from the Navy. If I had been in charge of destroying 1421, I would have said: 'Well, it's a very interesting book and it's a good read.
But the Chinese went home, they didn't colonise the world. History wasn't affected. That was the end of it. So what?' But they handled it badly by trying to undermine me. The man in the street thought he'd better find out about this unknown writer."
It is easy to see why Menzies could be the victim of academic snobbery. He left school at 15, with no qualifications, to follow his father into the Navy, becoming a commander of submarines.
He became fascinated by Chinese navigation on a silver wedding trip to Beijing, where he first heard about Zheng He. His sprawling book on the subject took 11 years to write and was unpublishable.
But his agent refined it to the year 1421 and secured a £500,000 advance from Transworld, a colossal sum for the first-time author of a work of non-fiction. The usual advance for a history book is between £20,000 and £30,000.
"The response is fairly natural," he says. "If some university don had tried to lecture me on submarines, I would have said: Who is this screwball? I can understand their lack of enthusiasm. Also, if you have written about Columbus's discoveries and you are told he had a map, you would think: this is grotesque."
A further annoyance is that Menzies produces riveting reads with copious reference sources and appendices. "This kind of revisionist view of history is very popular and makes people think," says his literary agent, Luigi Bonomi.
"It probably does a lot more to inspire people to approach history than any dry academic tome, even if they disagree with his theory. Gavin is a phenomenon. He genuinely believes he is right and offers some very fascinating insights. People think he must be in the pay of the Chinese government but he pays for all his own flights. He is out there on a mission statement."
Menzies has been made an honorary professor of Yunnan University, in south-west China, and been given the freedom of the city of Kunming. He has carried out 62 major foreign tours - mostly to China, America and the Far East - since 1421 came out in 2002, and is in demand for speaking engagements.
Critics tried to stop his presentation to the Library of Congress in Washington in 2005 from going ahead, and security guards were doubled to prevent his talk being disrupted.
To date, 1421 has been the subject of eight television documentaries. The film rights have been bought by Warner Bros.
Menzies's ordered life as a retired seaman has been turned upside down. He works harder, lives more healthily and spends alarmingly. "Before this book came along, I used to drink far too much, two bottles of vino a day. For the past six years, I have started work at 6am and gone through to 7pm. Boozing time is dramatically curtailed."
He has sunk almost £2 million into research. Recently, he commissioned radar studies off the coast of Oregon to establish whether a shipwreck identified by an American, Dave Cotner, is a Chinese junk.
The wood samples were in such poor condition it was impossible to tell, so Menzies is now faced with raising money for a complete excavation. "There's no end to it," he says.
Menzies and his Italian wife, Marcella, have been round the world six times in pursuit of his Chinese adventure. Their five-storey north London home has become the hub of the history machine, with an entire room given over to files of evidence on the top floor and a team of four graduates working full-time in the basement.
"They have assembled into a coherent whole the avalanche of assorted evidence that pours in," he says. "They are head and shoulders better than I and my friends were at a similar age - we were mostly irresponsible drunken ruffians."
Some reviewers suggest that Menzies's strength is that he links known facts that no one has had the wit to put together before and comes up with something worth debating. Others have called his books a tower of hypotheses. But his brand of history as detective thriller, with clues being provided by a fascinated public, has its own peculiar momentum.
It was Henry Adams, the novelist and historian, who said that history will die if not irritated. "The only service I can do to my profession," he said, "is to act as a flea." Menzies is a very troublesome flea indeed, and possibly an important one.

 楼主| 发表于 10/21/2019 19:08:37 | 显示全部楼层
Of course the Chinese didn't discover America. But then nor did Columbus

Simon Jenkins

A map supporting claims that the admiral Zheng He reached the New World in the early 15th century is plainly a hoax

Fri 20 Jan 2006 00.07 GMTFirst published on Fri 20 Jan 2006 00.07 GMT


We all know that a lie goes halfway round the world while truth is putting on its boots. But what if the lie goes the whole way? What if it claims to circumnavigate the globe?
Last week came purported evidence that the Chinese admiral Zheng He sailed his great fleet of junks round the world a century before Columbus, Da Gama and Magellan. An 18th-century copy of a map dated 1418 has emerged from a Shanghai bookshop, depicting North and South America, Australia and Antarctica. The map was bought by a Chinese lawyer, Liu Gang, and was reportedly to go on display on Tuesday in London's Maritime Museum. (The museum denies all knowledge of it.) The map challenges the customary Euro-centric version of global discovery and can thus rely on a weight of political correctness in support. It appears to stake China's claim to have "discovered" America first.

This comes as a surprise to those of us who know for a fact that America was discovered by Prince Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd in 1170. He landed at Mobile, Alabama, on the orders of the family druid and asserted Wales's claim to King Arthur's North Atlantic empire. Making his way across country, he settled west of the Mississippi, where the Mandan tribe were encountered in the 18th century, fair-skinned and speaking a dialect of Welsh.
Unfortunately Madoc's arrival had been forestalled by St Brendan in the seventh century. He sailed to America in a leather-bound coracle, as Tim Severin proved in 1977. The survivors of this trip remain pickled in a downtown Boston saloon to this day. Brendan and Madoc were followed by a Scottish knight templar, Henry Sinclair, seeking refuge from the suppression of his order in 1398. He and his freemasons escaped with assorted treasures and holy grails to settle in Nova Scotia with the Micmac Indians (clearly a tribe of Hiberno-Scots ancestry). Sinclair's masonic star, or "la merika", duly gave its name to the continent and merits a Da Vinci saga all of its own. The only blot on this glory is that everyone knows America got its name from Glamorgan's Richard ap Meurig (Amerik), a wealthy sponsor of John Cabot's search for the north-west passage in the 1490s.
It is amazing that all these chaps never bumped into each other. Sailors tend to chat, and nothing obsesses them so much as maps. Zheng's giant ships - some 400ft long, five times the size of Columbus's - would surely have left a chopstick or two in Manhattan. They would have left more than a kung fu parlour in downtown LA. As for Zheng He's dubious British cheerleader, the author Gavin Menzies, how can he explain a detailed Chinese map of America appearing three years before his hero discovered the place, as he claims, in 1421?
The Chinese map is plainly a hoax. It not only shows North and South America as massive continents, which no sailor could possibly have known. It accurately depicts Alaska, the curve of central America and the Yucatan peninsula, not to mention the Mississippi and St Lawrence rivers. It shows Australia and the land mass of Antarctica beneath it, and New Zealand as two islands.
Even normally chauvinistic Chinese scholars have rubbished the find. They pointed out last week that the cartographic portrayal of the Earth as two circles on a flat sheet is European. The most obvious "mistake", showing California as an island, is clearly borrowed from mistakes made in 17th-century European maps. Nor are the Chinese characters properly medieval, that for the western God postdating the arrival of Jesuit missionaries. Zheng He's 15th-century travels in the Indian Ocean were indeed sensational, but they were well authenticated. Why diminish them by faking a circumnavigation? Besides, since the map is a copy, there is no way of verifying any original.
I blame the internet. It is an open house for boosting the egos of crackpot historians, though it does at least facilitate their demolition. Map hoaxers usually fall down not on their inaccuracy but on their accuracy. It was the correctness of the 1440 Vinland map's outline of Greenland that for many years queried its status as the first map to show North America (or at least Baffin Island). Only after much scholarship in the 1960s was its authenticity put beyond doubt. As the Vinland scholar RA Skelton asserted at the time, it remains "the only known cartographic delineation of American lands before the discoveries of Columbus and Cabot".
The Vinland map's historical origin lay in the first known settlement of modern America by outsiders, by the Viking Leif Eriksson in the early 11th century. It is described in the sagas, and archaeological remains survive at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Since Columbus is thought to have sailed with Bristolians to Iceland and cited "the lands the Bristol captains know" in support of his own expedition, Bristol's claim to the first "discovery" of America since the Vikings remains strong.
Yet so what? As theoreticians of geography point out, it all depends what you mean by discovery. America was "found" by Siberian migrants across the Bering Strait at various times between the 30th and the 10th millennium BC. As for later contacts, a minor industry surrounds the likelihood of Phoenicians, Portuguese and other sailors being blown across the Atlantic before Columbus and never coming back. African and Brazilian rafts may have drifted back and forth carrying seeds, spores and genes with them. That Chinese or other oriental sailors may have travelled down the coast of Canada is possible. The trouble is, they never told us so.
Discovery requires more than a verifiable fact. It requires understanding what has been discovered, being able to place this mountain, island or coast in a framework of knowledge. That is why sceptics were right to question Columbus as the "discoverer" of America, since to his dying day he was convinced he had reached part of Asia. The real discoverer was Amerigo Vespucci, whose later voyages revealed the new continent for what it was, and from whom it took its name.
Hence Daniel Boorstin's masterpiece of modern geography, The Discoverers, presented the Portuguese Prince Henry the Navigator as a true explorer, merely sitting in his Sagres castle at Cape St Vincent, debriefing his captains and filling the blanks on his maps. When Europeans heard tell of the New World they were disappointed to be told by Columbus that "in these islands I have so far found no human monstrosities, as many expected". It was the disappointment of imagination corrected by facts.
Such discoverers were map makers not just of place but of science, society, economics, the human body and the human mind. In the person of Einstein, Boorstin finally found geography married to physics, "when time and space came together in a single tantalising riddle". All scientists were geographers at heart. That is why maps are the most sacred tools of science. That is why those who fabricate and abuse them are a menace to the cause of knowledge.

 楼主| 发表于 10/21/2019 19:36:00 | 显示全部楼层
Is Gavin Menzies Right or Wrong?Fact & Fiction

by Timothy Furnish
Mr. Furnish, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor, World History, Georgia Perimeter College.
Every college world history textbook discusses the early 15th c. CE Chinese naval expeditions, commissioned by the Ming Emperor Zhu Di and commanded by the legendary Admiral Zheng He, that sailed as far as East Africa and the Red Sea. Indeed, one of the favorite themes of the history subgenre known as alternative history is: why didn't these Chinese flotillas beat the Portuguese and Spanish to the New World--and what if they had?
Gavin Menzies, a former British Royal Navy officer, argues in the bestseller 1421: The Year China Discovered America, that squadrons from Zheng He's fleets, between 1421 and 1423, did indeed get to the Americas first--as well as to Greenland, Antarctica, Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately for supporters of this theory, he offers no proof, only a great deal of circumstantial evidence marred by questionable scholarship.
Menzies has no "smoking gun" that proves his theory-- because the xenophobic Confucian officials who advised the later Ming emperors destroyed all records of these sea voyages. So he relies upon three types of evidence. First, Menzies claims that Chinese maps from as early as 1428, allegedly showing parts of North and South America and some Atlantic islands, were used by European explorers (including Columbus) when they started their own voyages decades later. Second, he adduces allegedly tangible evidence of pre-Columbian contact between Asia and the Americas, such as: flora and fauna (maize, sweet potatoes, Asiatic chickens, coconuts) that must have been transported by humans; "DNA evidence" that links American Indians to the Chinese; wrecks of Chinese ships and medieval Chinese anchors found in California. Third, Menzies relies upon, and constantly reminds the reader of, his own naval expertise which gives him a mystical understanding that landlubbers lack; for example, "if I was able to state with confidence the course a Chinese fleet had taken, it was because...my own knowledge of the winds, currents, and sea conditions they faced told me the route as surely as if there had been a written record of it" (p. 83).
Authors that aim to rewrite 500 years of accepted history should rely less on subjective claims and more on hard evidence. And this is where Menzies ultimately fails to persuade. First, he does not read Chinese and thus cites no primary sources--a problem even if one accepts that the records were all destroyed. Even more fatal to his argument, Menzies often fails to provide corroborating data for many of his claims. To cite just four examples, he: never provides the DNA evidence supposedly linking the American Indians and Chinese; fails to document the discovery of Chinese anchors off the coast of California; appeals to unspecified "local experts," as when arguing that remains of 15th century Chinese shipwrecks have been found in New Zealand; and says that a Taiwanese museum's copy of a Chinese map allegedly showing Australia and Tasmania "unfortunately...has been lost." Questionable speculative leaps are also Menzies's stock-in-trade, as when claiming that the inscription on a stone column in the Cape Verde Islands (off Africa's western coast) is in Maylayam, a language of South India, and that this proves the Chinese were there. Yet why would a Chinese fleet admiral order a message inscribed in a language other than Chinese? And sometimes Menzies just plain contradicts himself, as when he asserts that "sea levels in 1421 were lower than today" (p. 257) because of modern global warming, but then later claims "Greenland was circumnavigable in 1421-2, for...the climate...was far warmer than it is today" (p. 306).
As I tell my college world history students, the most likely candidate for future world domination in1400 certainly would have been China, with its huge oceangoing ships backed up by a sophisticated, prosperous and powerful state. However, that did not come to pass. Even if Menzies were right about the Chinese discovery of the New World--and there are tantalizing aspects to his thesis, such as the strangely accurate pre-Columbian maps of parts of the Atlantic, as well as the biological evidence of pre-Columbian Old and New World contacts--that would not change the fact that it was the Europeans who colonized the new lands and came to dominate the globe. Ultimately, however, Menzies's presentation in 1421 is much like that delivered at the United Nations recently by Secretary of State Powell regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction: convincing only to true believers and leaving others at best, in the words of the old hymn, "almost persuaded."

 楼主| 发表于 10/21/2019 19:45:18 | 显示全部楼层


The brilliance of the Renaissance laid the foundation of the modern world. Textbooks tell us that it came about as a result of a rediscovery of the ideas and ideals of classical Greece and Rome. But now bestselling historian Gavin Menzies makes the startling argument that in the year 1434, China—then the world’s most technologically advanced civilization—provided the spark that set the European Renaissance ablaze. From that date onward, Europeans embraced Chinese ideas, discoveries, and inventions, all of which form the basis of Western civilization today.

The New York Times bestselling author of 1421 combines a long-overdue historical reexamination with the excitement of an investigative adventure, bringing the reader aboard the remarkable Chinese fleet as it sails from China to Cairo and Florence, and then back across the world. Erudite and brilliantly reasoned, 1434 will change the way we see ourselves, our history, and our world.

Gavin Menzies is the bestselling author of 1421: The Year China Discovered America; 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance; and The Lost Empire of Atlantis: History’s Greatest Mystery Revealed. He served in the Royal Navy between 1953 and 1970. His knowledge of seafaring and navigation sparked his interest in the epic voyages of Chinese admiral Zheng He. Menzies lives in London.

 楼主| 发表于 11/23/2019 14:12:01 | 显示全部楼层
From 1405, in order to maintain and expand the Ming Dynasty’s tributary system, Yongle Emperor Zhu Di (reigning 1402-1424) and Xuande Emperor Zhu Zhanji (reigning 1425-1435) ordered eunuch Zheng He to lead giant fleets across the seas. But soon after Zheng He’s seventh and last voyage in the 1430s, the Ming emperors put an end to this activity and ordered all records of previous voyages to be destroyed. Chinese writer Luo Maodeng (罗懋登), knowing the history of some of these voyages, wished to preserve a record of them, but, conscious of the possible penalty, decided to record the facts “under a veil”, in his 1597 novel, An Account of the Western World Voyage of the San Bao Eunuch (《三宝太监西洋记》). This is what Dr. Sheng-Wei Wang has concluded after reading and analysing Luo’s novel. Her book, The last journey of the San Bao Eunuch, Admiral Zheng He, shows the methodology and evidential arguments by which she has sought to lift the veil and the conclusions she suggests, including the derivation of the complete trans-Atlantic navigational routes and timelines of that last journey and the idea that Zheng He’s last expedition plausibly reached the ancient American Indian city, Cahokia, in the U.S. central Mississippi Valley in late autumn, 1433, long before Christopher Columbus set foot for the first time in the Americas. She supports the hotly debated view that Ming Chinese sailors and ships reached farther than previously accepted in modern times and calls for further research. She hopes this book will become an important step in bridging the gap in our understanding of ancient China-America history and the era before the Age of Discovery and an interesting contribution to an ongoing debate.The Last Journey of the San Bao Eunuch, Admiral Zheng He [color=rgb(85, 85, 85) !important]Paperback [color=rgb(85, 85, 85) !important]– November 17, 2019 by Sheng-Wei Wang (Author)

您需要登录后才可以回帖 登录 | 注册


道至大 道天成

小黑屋|手机版|Archiver|联系我们|天易综合网 (Twitter@wolfaxcom)

GMT-5, 9/27/2020 06:20 , Processed in 0.187961 second(s), 10 queries , Gzip On.

Copyright 天易网 network. All Rights Reserved.

© 2009-2015 .

快速回复 返回顶部 返回列表