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On March 8, 1421, the world's largest fleet set sail from China. When the fleet returned home in October 1423, the emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and economic chaos. The great ships were left to rot at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost in the long, self-imposed isolation that followed was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America seventy years before Columbus and had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan.
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.
The astonishing true story of Atlantis. In 1500 B.C. a supervolcano beneath the Greek island of Santorini exploded in a near-apocalyptic eruption. Buried beneath the rubble and waves was the world's most remarkable lost civilization. . . . New York Times bestselling historian Gavin Menzies presents newly uncovered evidence revealing, conclusively, that "the lost city of Atlantis" was not only real but also at the heart of a highly advanced global empire that reached the shores of America before being violently wiped from the earth. For three millennia, the legend of Atlantis has gripped the imaginations of explorers, philosophers, occultists, treasure hunters, historians, and archaeologists. Until now, it has remained shrouded in myth. Yet, like ancient Troy, is it possible that this fabled city actually existed? If so, what happened to it and what are its secrets? The fascinating reality of Atlantis's epic glory and destruction are uncovered, finally, in these pages in thrilling detail by the iconoclastic historian Gavin Menzies-father of some of "the most revolutionary ideas in the history of history" (New York Times). Meticulously analyzing exciting new geologic research, recently unearthed archaeological artifacts, and cutting-edge DNA evidence, Menzies has made a jaw-dropping discovery: Atlantis truly did exist, and was part of the incredibly advanced Minoan civilization that extended from its Mediterranean base to England, India, and even America. In The Lost Empire of Atlantis, he constructs a vivid portrait of this legendary civilization and shares his remarkable findings. As riveting as an Indiana Jones adventure, The Lost Empire of Atlantis is a revolutionary work of popular history that will forever change our understanding of the past.
A groundbreaking new book that upends our understanding of ancient AmericaConventional history tells us humans migrated on foot across present-day Alaska, populating the Americas far later than other continents. However, emerging new evidence suggests seafarers reached the continents thousands of years earlier and developed far more sophisticated civilizations than previously imagined. . . . From "distinguished historian" (BBC World Service) Gavin Menzies, the author of the blockbuster New York Times bestseller 1421, comes a revolutionary new account of how the first humans came to North and South America. Menzies reveals that ancient peoples used the oceans' natural currents and prevailing winds to make voyages across both the Atlantic and Pacific. What's more, we now must accept that they had time to develop remarkably advanced cultures. Armed with cutting-edge DNA evidence, newly unearthed artifacts, and astonishing linguistic and archaeological discoveries, Menzies shows humans have been making transoceanic voyages as far back as 100,000 years ago, vastly predating the supposed overland migration to the Americas during the last Ice Age; the ancient South American civilizations of the Olmec and Maya in Central and South America may have had direct origins and influences from Asia; ancient maps held in the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C. , show there must have been sustained and dedicated voyages to the Western Hemisphere by Chinese explorers as early as 2200 B. C. ; huge Chinese settlements occupied (and made exploratory journeys from) Nova Scotia; Japanese, Korean, and even earlier European voyages likewise predated the explorations currently recorded by history. A maverick scholar, Menzies has made a riveting new contribution to the story of humanity's earliest explorers, revealing the truth behind one of history's most fascinating questions: Who discovered America?