Gavin Menzies' Voyages

Topics: Chinese language, North America, Ming Dynasty Pages: 2 (542 words) Published: November 18, 2012
Gavin Menzies Essay

Gavin Menzies was a royal navy submarine captain that worked for the British government and now is trying to let the world know his opinion on the discovery of the Americas: did the Chinese discover the Americas before Columbus? Menzies takes on a voyage where he tries to find evidence to support his thesis and comes up with several different theories; his first stop: Calicut. Menzies claims that the Ming dynasty's famous navigator Zheng He managed to reach the cape of good hope and from there he should have reached the Americas too. Gavin also claims that a famous Italian writer of the time, Nicolo ' Di Conti, might have made contact with Zheng 's fleet in Calicut and might have also left with them for the New World; Unfortunately for Menzies this idea was quickly discarded for there are historical records that suggest that Di Conti immediately returned back to Italy after his trip to Calicut ( he might have also carried some Chinese maps of their voyages with him). Menzies then pulls out some more evidence that a map found was possibly a Chinese map that led to the islands of the Antilles, but according to a few historians and cartographers, the maps were confusing inaccurate and the islands were displaced in random places. The possibility of a slipway on one of the tropical islands was rejected by many geologists that state that those rocks where there for no peculiar reason. Still not giving up on his quest, Gavin Menzies slightly alters his theory: he affirms that an Italian, Verazzano, went on a voyage with the Chinese and stating that he saw "people running like Chinese"; but as we already know, even Columbus, thought that the people he thought were Chinese but they were just the Native American tribes that lived on the coastline. It was also verified that Indigenous people were descendants of other Asian tribes that might have reached the Americas by crossing an icy passage in North America. There is no concrete information or...
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