1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance

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Harper Collins, Oct 6, 2009 - History - 416 pages
3 Reviews

The New York Times bestselling author of 1421 offers another stunning reappraisal of history, presenting compelling new evidence that traces the roots of the European Renaissance to Chinese exploration in the fifteenth century

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 intellectual ideas, discoveries, and inventions, all of which form the basis of western civilization today.

Florence and Venice of the early fifteenth century were hubs of world trade, attracting traders from across the globe. Based on years of research, this marvelous history argues that a Chinese fleet—official ambassadors of the emperor—arrived in Tuscany in 1434, where they were received by Pope Eugenius IV in Florence. The delegation presented the influential pope with a wealth of Chinese learning from a diverse range of fields: art, geography (including world maps that were passed on to Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan), astronomy, mathematics, printing, architecture, steel manufacturing, military weaponry, and more. This vast treasure trove of knowledge spread across Europe, igniting the legendary inventiveness of the Renaissance, including the work of such geniuses as da Vinci, Copernicus, Galileo, and more.

In 1434, Gavin Menzies combines this long-overdue historical reexamination with the excitement of an investigative adventure. He brings 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.

 

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1434: the year a magnificent Chinese fleet sailed to Italy and ignited the Renaissance

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Revisionist historian Menzies (1421: The Year China Discovered America) here argues that a Chinese fleet arrived in Tuscany in 1434, giving Italy the necessary tools for the Renaissance. These tools ... Read full review

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Fanciful nonsense
Read this in hardback after a gullible friend recommended it. Very fanciful, biased conclusions from selective research. I have been interested in China for many years and was
curious to see if the writer had anything new to add to the study of Chinese history but I'm afraid not. Read what some of his critics have to say. Bad work. 

Contents

China lgnites the Renaissance
63
PAOLO TOSCANELLIS FLORENCE
83
I4 LEON BATTISTA ALBERTI
88
TOSCANELLI MEETS THE CHINESE AMBASSADOR
94
COLUMBUSS AND MAGELLANS WORLD MAPS
101
TOSCANELLIS NEW ASTRONOMY
132
THE FLORENTINE MATHEMATICIANS
143
LEONARDO DA VINCI AND CHINESE
166
SILK AND RICE
197
I9 FIREARMS AND STEEL
216
PRINTING
231
TRAGEDY ON THE HIGH SEAS ZHENG HES
257
THE CONOUISTADORES INHERITANCE
278
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About the author (2009)

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.

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