1434 by Gavin Menzies
The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance

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Synopsis

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.

 

About Gavin Menzies

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Gavin Menzies is the bestselling author of 1421: The Year China Discovered America and 1434: The Year A Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance and The Lost Empire of Atlantis. He served in the Royal Navy between 1953 and 1970. He lives in London, England.
 
Published June 9, 2009 by Harper Perennial. 416 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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In Menzies's 1421, the amateur historian advanced a highly controversial hypothesis, that the Chinese discovered America; in this follow-up, he credits the Renaissance not to classical Greek and Roman

Jun 02 2008 | Read Full Review of 1434: The Year a Magnificent ...

Publishers Weekly

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In Menzies's 1421, the amateur historian advanced a highly controversial hypothesis, that the Chinese discovered America;

| Read Full Review of 1434: The Year a Magnificent ...

The Telegraph

When Elizabeth Grice interviewed him in these pages recently, he seemed untroubled by the fact that when he published his previous book 1421 – which told the story of the Chinese "discovery" of America, New Zealand and Greenland – he had "boiling oil poured on him from the ramparts of academe".

Sep 08 2008 | Read Full Review of 1434: The Year a Magnificent ...

Tampa Bay Times

Menzies calls Leonardo da Vinci more illustrator than inventor and spends quite some time trying to prove that da Vinci had access to Chinese documents presaging his own accomplishments.

Jul 26 2008 | Read Full Review of 1434: The Year a Magnificent ...

Bookmarks Magazine

By jonSun, 07/27/2008 - 19:18.

Jul 27 2008 | Read Full Review of 1434: The Year a Magnificent ...

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