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1421: The Year China Discovered America

av Gavin Menzies

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,795843,575 (3.26)61
"On 8 February 1421 the largest fleet the world had ever seen sailed from its base in China. The ships, 500 foot long junks made from the finest teak and mahogany, were led by Emperor Zhu Di's loyal eunuch admirals. Their mission was "to proceed all the way to the end of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas" and unite the whole world in Confucian harmony. Their journey would last over two years and circle the entire globe. When they returned Zhu Di had fallen from power and China was beginning its long, self-imposed isolation from the world it had so recently embraced. The great ships rotted at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America 70 years before Columbus and circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. They has also discovered Antarctica, reached Australia 350 years before Cook and solved the problem of longitude 300 years before the Europeans. Gavin Menzies has spent 15 years tracing the astonishing voyages of the Chinese fleet. In this historical detective story, he shares the account of his discoveries and the incontrovertible evidence to support them. His narrative brings together ancient maps, precise navigational knowledge, astronomy and the surviving accounts by Chinese explorers and the later European navigators. It brings to light the artefacts and inscribed standing stones left behind by the Emperor's fleet, the evidence of sunken junks along its route and the ornate votive offerings left by the Chinese sailors wherever they landed, in thanks to Shao Lin, goddess of the sea." -- BOOK JACKET.… (mer)
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Grand Eunuch Zheng He at the command of the Emperor Zhu Di (Ming Dynasty) launched in 1421 AD a massive fleet of Chinese Junks, made of wood and approximately 480 feet long and 180 feet wide. They were accompanied by an armada of smaller ships for logistical, commercial and defensive support. Its purpose was to explore the world beyond the Middle-Kingdom, establish trade and chart unknown seas and lands. They used the stars as one of their navigational aids and were excellent cartographers. The extant of their voyages and their discoveries is the jist of this book. Gavin Menzies, a retired British submarine commander, spent 15 years searching the cartography, historical records, artifacts, inscribed stele and sailing to many of the locations searching for evidence. This was no small task. Much of the written evidence e.g journals and the like were destroyed by the palace Mandarins after the Emperor fell in an ill fated battle in 1423 China became closed and no further voyages took place. Menzies was not an professional historian but a practical seaman who put together his evidence in a clear manner. The appendices in the book are well worth reading. To imagine the Chinese fleet accomplished this without the modern technology we take for granted is mind-boggling. The fleet divided among various commander sailed up and down the coasts of America, Central America. NewZealand, Australia and as far North as the Atlantic.
  mcdenis | Jun 18, 2020 |
Every reputable historian shredded Menzies and his evidence when this was published. Nothing has changed. For a good example, see the PBS documentary by the same name which allows MEnzies to present his evidence before having historians take it apart. Even the Chinese say his evidence is lacking... ( )
  bvelto | May 4, 2020 |
perhaps it could have happened ( )
  Phyllis.Mann | Mar 18, 2020 |
China really was the first. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
Gavin Menzies, the author, was a member of the British Royal Navy, and had the advantage of being able to read naval charts, which is where he found most of the data for this book. Emperor Zhu Di sent huge junks, nearly 500 feet long on a two-year journey to gather tribute from "barbarians beyond the seas." In the process, they circumnavigated the globe almost 100 years before Magellan. I first heard of this voyage in a summer AP world history class about ten years ago, and have been fascinated ever since. I'm only one chapter in, as I got distracted by a flurry of political books beginning about November 2016. But, I will finish it someday! ( )
  Pieter_Cramerus | Nov 22, 2019 |
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This book is dedicated to my beloved wife Marcella, who has travelled with me on the journeys related in this book and through life.
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On 2 February 1421, China dwarfed every nation on earth.
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"On 8 February 1421 the largest fleet the world had ever seen sailed from its base in China. The ships, 500 foot long junks made from the finest teak and mahogany, were led by Emperor Zhu Di's loyal eunuch admirals. Their mission was "to proceed all the way to the end of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas" and unite the whole world in Confucian harmony. Their journey would last over two years and circle the entire globe. When they returned Zhu Di had fallen from power and China was beginning its long, self-imposed isolation from the world it had so recently embraced. The great ships rotted at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America 70 years before Columbus and circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. They has also discovered Antarctica, reached Australia 350 years before Cook and solved the problem of longitude 300 years before the Europeans. Gavin Menzies has spent 15 years tracing the astonishing voyages of the Chinese fleet. In this historical detective story, he shares the account of his discoveries and the incontrovertible evidence to support them. His narrative brings together ancient maps, precise navigational knowledge, astronomy and the surviving accounts by Chinese explorers and the later European navigators. It brings to light the artefacts and inscribed standing stones left behind by the Emperor's fleet, the evidence of sunken junks along its route and the ornate votive offerings left by the Chinese sailors wherever they landed, in thanks to Shao Lin, goddess of the sea." -- BOOK JACKET.

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