Sunday, November 13, 2005


The Year China Discovered The World

On 8 March 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China. The ships, some nearly five hundred feet long, were under the command of Emperor Zhu Di's loyaul eunuch admirals. Their orders were "to proceed all the way to the end of the earth".

The voyage would last for two years and by the time the fleet returned, China was beginning its long, self-imposed isolation from the world it had so recently embraced. And so the great ships were left to rot, and the records of their journey destroyed. And with them, the knowledge that the Chinese had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan and Elkano, reached America seventy years before Columbus, and Australia three hundred and fifty years before Cook.

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1 comment:

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