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21 July
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Prince Henry of Portugal vs. Zheng He

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Zheng He

Prince Henry of Portugul is know as ‘Henry the Navigator’, but why? Why not Zheng He? Zheng who? Exactly! He is listed as the 14th most important person in the last 1,000 years by Life magazine. Zheng He was a Chinese mariner and explorer. He made the voyages collectively known as “Zheng He to the Western Ocean’. Known more for being a eunuch (castrated male) then his spectacular voyages.

UPDATE: Tom sent an interesting article that challenges the ideas brought fourth by Gavin Menzies in 1421: The Year China Discovered America (see article information below). Robert Finlay asserts that: “It is impossible to keep track of how many self-confirming assumptions are at work in such citations of alleged evidence. Piling supposition upon supposition, Menzies never considers a question that he does not beg: every argument in 1421 springs from the fallacy of petitio principii. The author’s “trail of evidence” is actually a feedback loop that makes no distinction between premise and proof, conjecture and confirmation, bizarre guess and proven fact.”

Journal of World History, Volume 15, 2004
Finlay, Robert, How Not to (Re)Write World History: Gavin Menzies and the Chinese Discovery of America

08_HistoryPodcast.mp3

Links:

Personalities & Problems: Interpretive Essays in World Civilization, Vol II

When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405-1433

Survey Ocean Shores (Hakluyt Society S.)

Henry the Navigator: The Story of a Great Prince and His Times

1421 : The Year China Discovered America (historical facts questionable)

History related podcast:

http://www.historydaily.com

http://www.opaquelucidity.com

http://speakingofhistory.blogspot.com

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