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Encyclopedia > 1421 theory

The 1421 theory of the Chinese discovery of the Americas originates from former British Royal Navy submarine commander Gavin Menzies. In his book 1421: The Year China Discovered The World Menzies suggests that fleets by the Chinese captains Zhou Wen (周聞), Zhou Man (周滿), Yang Qing (楊慶) and Hong Bao (洪保), in the fleet of Emperor Zhu Di's (朱棣) Admiral Zheng He (鄭和), travelled to many parts of the world during the Ming Dynasty era from 1421 to 1423, before the Europeans 'discovered' these places. The Americas refers collectively to North and South America, as a relatively recent and less ambiguous alternative to the name America, which may refer to either the Americas (typically in languages other than English, where it is often considered a single continent) or to the United States (in English and... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the senior service of the armed services, being the oldest of its three branches. ... USS Los Angeles A submarine is a specialized watercraft that can operate underwater. ... Gavin Menzies, a former Royal Navy submarine commander, is the author of the controversial book 1421: The Year China Discovered the World which asserted that ships from the fleet of Chinese admiral Zheng He travelled to the Americas prior to Christopher Columbus arrival in 1492. ... Captain is both a nautical term and a military rank. ... See also The Emperor disambiguation page. ... The Yongle Emperor (May 2, 1360–August 12, 1424), born Zhu Di, was the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty of China from 1402 to 1424. ... Admiral is a word from either the Arabic term amir-al-bahr, or the Irish term Ard muirfhear or Ardmurar , both meaning commander of the seas. ... Characters for Zheng He. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Events March 21 - Battle of Beaugé. A small French force surprises and defeats an English force under Thomas, Duke of Clarence, a brother of Henry V of England, in Normandy. ... Events July 31 - Hundred Years War: Battle of Cravant - The French army is defeated at Cravant on the banks of the river Yonne. ...


According to Menzies, the discoveries include Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, Antarctica, the northern coast of Greenland, and the Northeast Passage. The knowledge of these discoveries has been lost, Menzies argues, because the mandarins (administrators) of the Emperor's court took a strict line on new adventures after lightning (which was considered a sign of divine anger) burnt down the newly constructed Forbidden City. A year later, his successor (son), the Hongxi Emperor, then forbade making new voyages, and his advisors destroyed all accounts of Zheng He's voyages. The Americas refers collectively to North and South America, as a relatively recent and less ambiguous alternative to the name America, which may refer to either the Americas (typically in languages other than English, where it is often considered a single continent) or to the United States (in English and... The Northern Sea Route (Russian Северный морской путь) is a shipping lane from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean along the Siberian coast of Russia. ... A Mandarin was a bureaucrat in imperial China. ... Multiple cloud-to-ground and cloud-to-cloud lightning strokes are observed during a night-time thunderstorm. ... The Hall of Supreme Harmony (太和殿) at the centre of the Forbidden City The Forbidden City or Forbidden Palace (Chinese: 紫禁城; pinyin: ; literally Purple Forbidden City), located at the exact center of the ancient City of Beijing, was the imperial palace during the mid-Ming and the Qing dynasties. ... Categories: Stub | Ming Dynasty emperors ...

Contents


Methodology

The 1421 theory is partially influenced by Charles Hapgood's theory. Charles H. Hapgood, (1904-1982) was an American academician, and one of the best known advocates of a Polar shift theory. ...


Menzies bases his theory on Chinese shipwrecks, old maps, surviving Chinese literature from the time, and accounts written by navigators like Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan. Menzies also believes that unanswered structures like the Newport Tower and the Bimini Road were constructed by Zheng He's men. Christopher Columbus For information about the director, see the article on Chris Columbus. ... Ferdinand Magellan (Spring 1480 – April 27, 1521; Portuguese: Fernão de Magalhães; Spanish: Fernando/Hernando de Magallanes) was a Portuguese sea explorer who sailed for Spain. ... The Newport Tower The Newport Tower is a round stone tower located in Touro Park in Newport, Rhode Island. ... The Bimini Road is an underwater stone structure near the Bimini Island. ...


Maps

The Kangnido map (1402) describes the entirety of the Old World, from Europe and Africa in the west, to Korea and Japan in the east, with an oversized China in the middle.
The Kangnido map (1402) describes the entirety of the Old World, from Europe and Africa in the west, to Korea and Japan in the east, with an oversized China in the middle.
One of the inscriptions on the Fra Mauro map (1459) relates the travels of an Asian junk deep into the Atlantic Ocean around 1420.
One of the inscriptions on the Fra Mauro map (1459) relates the travels of an Asian junk deep into the Atlantic Ocean around 1420.

Several maps were used by Menzies: Download high resolution version (1739x1615, 2623 KB)The Korean Kangnido map (1402). ... Download high resolution version (1739x1615, 2623 KB)The Korean Kangnido map (1402). ... The Kangnido map (Integrated Historical Map of Countries and Cities), was made in Korea from Chinese source material in 1402, by Gim Sa-hyeong (김사형:金士衡), Li Mu (이무:李茂) and Li Hoi (이회). ... The Old World consists of those parts of Earth known to Europeans before the voyages of Christopher Columbus: Europe, Asia, and Africa. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1062x1107, 1015 KB) The Fra Mauro map. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1062x1107, 1015 KB) The Fra Mauro map. ... The Fra Mauro map (1459) in Venice (inverted, South is normally at the top). ... The Junk is a Chinese sailing vessel. ... Events May 21 - Treaty of Troyes. ...

  • The Kangnido map (混一疆理歷代國都之圖 or 疆理圖) (1402), which tends to indicate an extensive geographical knowledge of the Old World (and particularly of the contour of the African continent) by Eastern Asian countries, even before the time of Zheng He's expeditions.
  • The Pizzigano map (1424)
  • The Fra Mauro map (1459), which describes an expedition by an Asian ship into the Atlantic around 1420:
"About the year of Our Lord 1420 a ship, what is called an Indian junk (lit. "Zoncho de India", "India" meaning Asia in 15th century Europe), on a crossing of the Sea of India towards the Isle of Men and Women (close to Socotra), was diverted beyond the Cape of Diab (Cape of Good Hope), through the Green Isles, out into the Sea of Darkness (Atlantic Ocean) on a way west and southwest. Nothing but air and water was seen for 40 days and by their reckoning they ran 2,000 miles and fortune deserted them. When the stress of the weather had subsided they made the return to the said Cape of Diab in 70 days and drawing near to the shore to supply their wants the sailors saw the egg of a bird called roc." (Fra Mauro map, Inscription 10, A13).
  • The Cantino map (1502)
  • The Waldeseemüller map (1507)
  • The Piri Reis map (1513)
  • The Jean Rotz map (1542)
  • The Wu Pei Chi (Wu Bei Zhi; 武備志) map (redrawn after Zheng He's maps in 1628)
  • The Vinland map

The Kangnido map (Integrated Historical Map of Countries and Cities), was made in Korea from Chinese source material in 1402, by Gim Sa-hyeong (김사형:金士衡), Li Mu (이무:李茂) and Li Hoi (이회). ... Events September 14 - Battle of Homildon Hill. ... Events August 17 - Battle of Verneuil - An English force under John, Duke of Bedford defeats a larger French army under the Duke of Alençon, John Stuart, and Earl Archibald of Douglas. ... The Fra Mauro map (1459) in Venice (inverted, South is normally at the top). ... Events September 23 - Battle of Blore Heath. ... The Junk is a Chinese sailing vessel. ... Map of the Socotra archipelago Socotra or Soqotra (Arabic سقطرة Suquṭrah) is a small archipelago of four islands and islets in the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa some 350 km south of the Republic of Yemen, which administers Socotra for the Banu Afrar Mahra Sultanate of Qishn and... The Cape of Good Hope headland seen from the north 1888 Map of the Cape of Good Hope Triangular Postage Stamp The Cape of Good Hope is a headland in South Africa, near Cape Town, traditionally — and incorrectly — regarded as marking the turning point between the Atlantic Ocean and the... The Fra Mauro map (1459) in Venice (inverted, South is normally at the top). ... Events January 1 - Portuguese explorers sailed into Guanabra Bay, Brazil and mistook it for the mouth of a river which they named Rio de Janeiro May 9 - Christopher Columbus leaves Spain for his fourth and final trip to the New World. May 21 - Portuguese discover island of St Helena. ... Events The western continent is named America on the maps of Martin Waldseemüller. ... Piri Reis (originally Hadji Muhammad) was an Ottoman admiral born around 1465, in Gallipoli on the Dardanelles. ... Events January 20 - Christian II becomes King of Denmark and Norway. ... Events War resumes between Francis I of France and Emperor Charles V. This time Henry VIII of England is allied to the Emperor, while James V of Scotland and Sultan Suleiman I are allied to the French. ... Events March 1 - writs were issued in February 1628 by Charles I of England that every county in England (not just seaport towns) pay ship tax by this date. ... the Vinland map The Vinland map is purportedly a 15th century map of the world, redrawn from a 13th century original. ...

Other evidence

Among his specific evidence are DNA studies showing "recent" DNA flow from China, maps which apparently show foreign lands before the Europeans discovered them, and a drawing of an armadillo in a book published in China in 1430, along with many other circumstantial evidence. Space-filling model of a section of DNA molecule Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or deoxyribose nucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions specifying the biological development of all cellular forms of life (and many viruses). ... Genera Chlamyphorus Cabassous Chaetophractus Dasypus Euphractus Priodontes Tolypeutes Zaedyus Armadillo is also the name of an NES video game. ... Events May 23 - Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne The Ottoman Empire captures Thessalonica from the Venetians Year in topics 1430 in art Births Robert Morton, English composer, approximate date Antoine Busnois, Burgundian composer, approximate date Deaths Christine de Pizan...


Also quoted are the accounts of Bartolomé de las Casas according to which two dead bodies that looked like Indians were found on Flores (Azores). De las Casas said he found that fact in Columbus' notes, and it was one of the reasons for Columbus to assume India was on the other side of the ocean. Bartolomé de Las Casas Bartolomé de Las Casas (1484 – July 17, 1566) was a 16th century Spanish priest, the first ordained in the New World and the first Bishop of Chiapas. ... Flores Island is an island of the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago. ... Flag of Azores Shaded relief map of the Azores from 1975 The Azores (Portuguese: Açores) are an archipelago of Portuguese islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, about 1,500 km from Lisbon and about 3,900 km from the east coast of North America. ...


Criticism

His book is considered by many experts to not be founded in fact. One Chinese expert pronounced the theory "pure fiction". However, some academicists, like Dr. Sir John Elliot (Oxford University) do believe the theory. The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ...


Reactions

Menzies modifies his theory from time to time based on newly discovered evidence. His new findings are usually bigger, bolder, and much less traditional than his previous ones. For example, he now claims some of Zheng He's ships travelled as far as Spain. He also now alleges that the Chinese records of the voyages were never, in fact, destroyed, and are waiting to be found.


Achievement

Menzies' hypothesis and his theory accomplishes what many Zheng He scholars and academicians failed to do: that is to create a wide awareness on the subject matter; and forced a critical rethink, including some reevaluations on the extent, the success and the failures of the Ming Imperial Treasure Fleet.


References

  • Menzies, Gavin. 1421, The Year China Discovered America. New York: Morrow/Avon, 2003. (ISBN 0060537639)
  • Menzies, Gavin. 1421, The Year China Discovered the World. London:Bantam Press, 2002. (ISBN 0593051580)

See also

The Kangnido map (Integrated Historical Map of Countries and Cities), was made in Korea from Chinese source material in 1402, by Gim Sa-hyeong (김사형:金士衡), Li Mu (이무:李茂) and Li Hoi (이회). ... 1420 state leaders - Events of 1421 - 1422 state leaders - State leaders by year Asia China (Ming Dynasty) - Yongle, Emperor of China (1402 - 1424) Japan Monarch - Shoko, Emperor of Japan (1412-1428) Shogun (Ashikaga) - Ashikaga Yoshimochi, Shogun of Japan (1394-1423) Korea (Joseon Dynasty) - Sejong, King of Joseon (1418-1450) Europe... The expression pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact refers to interactions or claims of interactions between Native American peoples and peoples of other continents — Europe, Africa, Asia - or Oceania — before the historically recorded European discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. ...

External links

  • Official website
  • Menzies' evidence of the Chinese visit to Europe

Debunking sites


  Results from FactBites:
 
1421 hypothesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2082 words)
The 1421 hypothesis of Chinese contact with the Americas originates from former British Royal Navy submarine commander Gavin Menzies.
The 1421 hypothesis is based on some documents of debatable provenance (the Piri Reis map, the Vinland map) and on novel interpretation of already accepted documents (Fra Mauro map, de las Casas) as well as uncategorized archaeological findings.
On the dust jacket of 1421, Menzies states that he was raised in China.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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