1421 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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End of Roman society, feudalism, rise of religious power, beginnings of the nation-state, renaissance (476 - 1492 CE).
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User avatar
By Red_Army
#1849573
Has anyone read this book? It deals with new archeological evidence, which proves that in 1421 Chinese naval treasure excursions traveled around the world, predating Magellan, and that their fleets were incomparably superior to English vessels.

We just had a discussion about China as one of the 5 primary civilizations in my Rise of Civilization class and my professor brought this book up. Chinese vessels displaced 3000 tons of water, while the largest English vessels only displaced 300 tons, I was awe struck by this. Its ironic, because the evidence and the historical record said that even with this vast technological superiority, the Chinese didn't pursue colonialism because they considered their limited experience with foreign cultures as a pollution to their culture. Too bad that ethnocentrism was of the wrong sort to protect them from that pollution which they feared - maybe if they had been motivated to wrangle all of the world under their stewardship like the European powers our world would look quite different.

If anyone has any other information on this book, or archaeological/historical evidence about Chinese technological superiority please share it.
User avatar
By Doctor State
#1849580
If the book is about Zheng He, the Chinese Muslim eunuch who went on seven voyages throughout the world, I'd be interested in reading more about it. Some think he may have been the inspiration for Sinbad the Sailor (his birth name was Sanbao).

Image
User avatar
By Red_Army
#1849586
Yes actually, that ship is on the cover if I'm not mistaken, although I only recall 4 voyages being mentioned.
User avatar
By Thunderhawk
#1849600
I thought he made a series of journies, rather then actually circumnavigating the world?

The Chinese junks were massive, and from what I have read they were impressive. But they were very much civilian vessels. The European ships were warships, and even their civilian plans were off shoots of those war ship ideas. Manouverability, speed, redundancy, quantity and turn over rate were more important then endurance. There is little purpose in comparing one to another, other then to show one group was more militant in mindset and design then the other.
By rymmen
#1849612
quıck research would have showed you that the far from new claıms ın the book are dısputed, and mostly dısmıssed by sınologısts and hıstorıans.

ıt ıs ınterestıng to note that the tımes when chına was techonolgıcally advanced as compared to other cultures was only durıng the dark ages of europe.

however, we must note that durıng thıs tıme, the chınese made many staple dıscoverıes, from gunpowder to prıntıng to the compass... and a few others around there.
User avatar
By Thunderhawk
#1849665
Come on, 10 times the size is quite a significant feat.

That it was actually done, absolutely.

But is it really that outlandish?
Was the construction ability to create such craft lacking in Europe and India because they couldnt, or because it wasnt practical?

Note the sails - they relied on being pushed, rather then the push + aerofoil affect. Also, those ships required a lot of teak (I believe China had to go to war just to get the teak) and one of those ships going up in a fire would be a huge loss. Even if the wood wasnt a problem, I wonder if any European country would pay to build and risk such craft.
User avatar
By Doctor State
#1849805
Nothing to add to what? The fact that Chinese junk ships were massive?
User avatar
By Potemkin
#1849816
Oxy probably means that he has personal experience of the size of Chinese junks.
User avatar
By Thunderhawk
#1849886
@ Oxy
The ships (well, the large ones anyways..) were called Junks.
User avatar
By Oxymoron
#1850143
Oxy
The ships (well, the large ones anyways..) were called Junks.


I know, but it is still funny.


Oxy probably means that he has personal experience of the size of Chinese junks.


:lol: Potemkin I can only trust in you, to see the humour in things.

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