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

The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance The New York Times bestselling author of offers another stunning reappraisal of history presenting compelling new evidence that traces the roots of the European Renaissance to Chinese exploratio

  • Title: 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance
  • Author: Gavin Menzies
  • ISBN: 9780061492174
  • Page: 140
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 centuryThe 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 iThe 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 centuryThe 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 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 .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.

    One thought on “1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance”

    1. An absolute piece of nonsense. Menzies, like Erich von Daniken (Chariots of the Gods) before him, is fixed on a theory of history and evaluates "data" only on the basis of whether they fit his theory. It is amusing that some of the very things von Daniken insisted were gifts of extraterrestrials Menzies claim came from early 15th Century Chinese. And like von Daniken with his aliens, Menzies doesn't think anyone but the Chinese came up with anything technological on their own. This book consider [...]

    2. Promising subject matter undone by unreadable prose and inscrutable logical progression. I can't explain the author's lengthy digressions into maritime minutiae while broadly glossing over more fundamental questions raised by his thesis, other than by supposing he's a sailor first and author second.

    3. I picked this up as a bargain bin find, and I still got ripped off. There SEEMS to be enough evidence (although, I am leary of saying the evidence he gathers is all that great) to suggest Chinese contact with Europe for many centuries; however, the author's specific "story" of a fleet that provided all of the fuel for the blossoming of the Renaissance seems far-fetched. The evidence is not examined at great lengths, and a lot of his research depends on the British Library System; the author does [...]

    4. The only thing worse than Gavin Menzies' writing is his faulty logic and poor research. "1434" is an example of what happens when someone starts with a fantastic conclusion, come up with a series of unproven events leading to that conclusion, and ignores any contradictory evidence. Mr. Menzie's argument goes as follows:In 1434, a Chinese Fleet sailed to Italy and met with the pope. (No 15th century accounts exist in Italy or elsewhere in the Mediterranean of a large fleet of Chinese Junks being [...]

    5. Insane and ridiculous. I picked this up hoping for either an entertaining alt-history, or failing that, an eccentric read on Chinese history and technology. Instead what you get is akin to being locked in a room for 18 hours with a monomaniac with Attention Deficit Disorder popping speed and rummaging through a pile of newspaper clippings he has collected for several decades that proves, PROVES!!, his argument that the moon landings were faked to cover up the CIA assassination of Pocahontas beca [...]

    6. So there were some interesting bits. I enjoyed the first few pages, the last chapter, and some bits in the middle about DaVinchi. The rest was monotinous and slow and boring as all hell. The author kept telling the reader to visit his website for more information. It read more like a series of articles that should be in a magazine rather than a book. This tried to be many things, and got lost along the way. Just not my style of history book.

    7. (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter]. I am the original author of this review, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)We Westerners are of course familiar with the historical period known as the Renaissance; taking place between the 1300s and 1600s, it's the period when Europeans finally crawled out of their Dark-Age hole, rediscovered such ancient Greek concepts as science and philosophy, and started doing such things [...]

    8. I'm sorry I haven't logged in to GoodReads recently you see, I walked by my favorite book store the other day and saw that Gavin Menzies had a new book out. So I overdrew my bank account, bought the book, and have had my nose in it ever since.1434 is the followup to his brilliant and astonishing previous book, 1421.In 1421 Mr. Menzies puts across a compelling argument that an enormous Chinese fleet circumnavigated the globe in the year 1421, and made "first contact" with all the continents of th [...]

    9. 0 (Zero) stars. What an awful book. Terrible. I finished this only because I started it but what a poor reason to do so. The title of the book is misleading. Very few pages, actually, no pages, are spent describing the interactions that supposedly occurred between the Italians and Chinese. Rather, the author covers ground previously gone over in his other book, 1421. Ok, I get it, the Chinese, or so he claims, knew more about geography than Europeans did. When Menzies does get around to possible [...]

    10. This is a fascinating book about how, in the early 1400's, the Chinese sent enormous fleets around the world, spreading their views, sciences, and technologies. These fleets were packed with enormous encyclopedias, learned scholars, scientists, geographers, and of course weapons for protection. Gavin Menzies presents a wide range of original research, where he has found abundant evidence for these fleets reaching far outposts around the globe. He relates how his visits to museums, libraries, ind [...]

    11. Couldn't finish this book. It was one continuous advertisement for the author's website and theories. Interesting ideas were discussed, but I think this guy does not follow a scientific approach to research. Instead he starts with the idea that every significant technological advance and geographical discovery was first accomplished by or only achieved because of the Chinese. His book is a "proof" of that thesis, but I'm not entirely convinced and got sick of being referred to his website which [...]

    12. If the outrageous claims and historical speculations in 1421 didn't completely turn you off, 1434 offers more of the same. Gavin's two books have been torn to shreds by ravenous critics across the internet. Like 1421, probably not worth your time reading unless you have a deep interest in Chinese history and the patience to sort out fact from fiction.

    13. Sementara itu, di belahan Timur, dalam kurun waktu yang sama dengan era sebelum munculnya Renaisance di Eropa, terjadi peristiwa luar biasa yang banyak dilupakan oleh sejarah (Barat). Pada Januari 1431, Kaisar Tiongkok mengutus Cheng Ho beserta armada raksasanya untuk melakukan pelayaran mengelilingi dunia untuk mengumumkan kekuasaannya. Kita yang di Indonesia pasti sudah akrab dengan pelayaran sang laksanama Muslim ini, yang sedemikian dihormati sehingga jejaknya bisa kita temukan mulai dari Ba [...]

    14. nwhytevejournal/2897640mlThis book is total tosh. The contention is that Chinese knowledge was spread to Italy via a treasure fleet which sailed through the Red Sea-Nile canal in 1434. I smelt a rat when reading the chapter on celestial navigation, which is surprisingly poor for an author who claims to be ex-Navy, and started wondering when we would get some actual evidence for his claims. 50 pages in, I started googling and discovered that a lot of people had been there before me; there simply [...]

    15. Perhaps it is the nature of "sequels" and my understanding of the premise of the book, but 1434 moved more slowly and had more slogging detail than I remember in 1421. I still found it a worthwhile read, and Menzies makes a good and believable case for his proposition that Chinese innovation, intentionally brought to Europe, sparked the Renaissance. Menzies work also supported two of my own propositions: that print as a medium is vital to culture, and that history is not a boring repetition of s [...]

    16. After the pleasurable recountings of history by David McCullough, it was a rude awakening to immerse myself in this book. The author writes like it is a doctoral thesis proving the influence of the Chinese on the bright Italian scholars of the time (da Vinci, Brunelleschi, Alberti, Toscannelli) that caused the Renaiassance. I buy his suppostion,as he supports it with thousands of documents and comparisons of Chinese drawings, maps, and books (many created hundreds of years before) to the "discov [...]

    17. A couple of years ago, I read Gavin Menzies' book 1421: The Year China Discovered America and was surprised about the influence that Chinese mapping and navigational technology had on European exploration. See the book's website for more detail (and shameless promotion). 1421/Note that the title has changed to "The Year that China Discovered the World"His followup book 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance, was even more informative. Its website i [...]

    18. These oddball theories always attract me. Some of them have an odor of truth to them. Others are for nut jobs. Unfortunately, Menzies fails to present solid evidence to evaluate his claims.His thinking goes like this.The Chinese invented lots of stuff before Europeans.The Chinese sailed in big boats in medieval days.Therefor the Chinese gave Europeans all their inventions and this started the Renaissance.While the 1st two are facts, the 3rd line demands support which to any interested reader wou [...]

    19. As with reading 1421, you get the feeling that Gavin Menzies is a little bit of an obsessive kook, but even though he interrupts his stories with discussions of the wine he drank with his wife in a particular European hotel, he only occasionally bends the evidence to fit his preconceived notion.He doesn't claim to be more of an expert than he is, and for all his shortcomings in writing style and cohesive case building (it's more of a drawn-out story than a debate), the evidence he finds and conn [...]

    20. Menzies' scholarship is impressive! The amount of painstaking research that went into the creation of this book boggles my mind, and I'll admit (although I was VERY skeptical of his position before reading the book), he DID make me re-think my overly Western view of world history.However, "incredible scholarship" is all too often synonymous with "somewhat boring", and eventually that came to be the case with 1434. I stuck with it for a long time, but I'll confess that I'm putting it away now wit [...]

    21. This is a fascinating book that describes the Chinese fleet that in 1434 sailed into the Mediterranean bringing the entire Chinese encyclopedia, maps, drawings of inventions and shared them. The author states that both Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci as well as Portuguese navigators had the Chinese maps and that the Chinese inventions led to the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci and others. This history was all new to me and astonishing. This was not an easy read for me, but it was worth t [...]

    22. Another compelling book from Menzies. His first book, "1421" was for me one of the best books I've read so this sequel needed to really deliver. The information was just as exciting, well documented and just as ground breaking, however it was somewhat more burdensome to read. I felt that Menzies put more of his research in the body of the work rather that pushing it to footnotes. Since I read footnotes, it meant less flipping for me, but it also took away some readability. I would give it a 3.5 [...]

    23. More compelling evidence that the Chinese traversed the globe first. Not as exciting of a read as 1421, but plenty of sources from which to depart and study further. I certainly think Menzies has a better grasp of the way things happened than most historians and scholars. Wish his work were more widely acknowledged.

    24. A good sequel to the author's '1421', this book debunks many of the myths taught as 'history' in western euro-centric school systems. If you doubt what the author is saying in these books, have a talk with someone who grew up in China. They already know a lot of this information.

    25. Former British naval officer Menzies, contends that Chinese admiral Zheng He's fleet sailed west as far as Florence causing a major transfer of knowledge from China to the 'west'(including technology) and stimulating the renaissance.

    26. not sure about this yet. Stalled on this one - not really scholarly in style, and seems more like a junior school book review than a history book.Yes, I'm being harsh. I suppose because the author really isn't carrying off his intentions as far as I'm concerned.

    27. As with any controversial argument, you need to look at the proof supporting it (shown in this book) and the proof against it (shown on the website 1421debunked). After I looked at both, it's pretty clear that the book's argument doesn't stand. The main argument presented is that Chinese ships entered a canal linking the Nile to the Red Sea to sail to Italy. "They had reached Cairo through the shallow Red Sea-Nile canal, which Zheng He's smaller junks would have used as well. From Cairo, the Med [...]

    28. I am angry that I spent money on this book. I am only consoled slightly that I bought it used and none of that money went directly to the author.I hastily picked up this book during one of my rare visits to the English used book store since it is so far from my house. From my quick skim of the cover, I thought it would be an interesting piece about how Chinese technology influenced Europe during the Renaissance. I was gravely mistaken.The crux to Gavin Menzies theory is that Chinese books from t [...]

    29. There are a lot of intriguing ideas in this book, and a little bit of evidence. But mostly, there is a lot of speculation and stringing together bits and pieces to fit the hypothesis rather than examining the actual evidence. Mr. Menzies even points out that there was contact between Italy and China for around four hundred years before 1434, and yet he insists on suggesting that all sorts of technological and artistic advances were all the result of a fleet visit. The actual evidence is interest [...]

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