1 Zheng He

1 Zheng He - Zheng He's Inscription This inscription was...

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Zheng He's Inscription This inscription was carved on a stele erected at a temple to the goddess the Celestial Spouse at Changle in Fujian province in 1431. Zheng He was the admiral in charge of the enormous “treasure fleets” sent into the Indian Ocean between 1405 and 1433. The main fleets sailed as far as southeast Iran, and smaller expeditions reached Tanzania and Mecca. (One writer has recently claimed that Zheng’s lieutenants circumnavigated the world in 1421, and that his ships sailed into the San Francisco Bay and up the Sacramento River; there is, however, no believable evidence for this.) The largest of the treasure fleets contained 317 ships, manned by 27,870 sailors. Zheng himself was a Muslim, born around 1371 in Yunnan in southwest China. Most of his relatives were killed in the wars following the collapse of the Yuan dynasty. Zheng was captured, castrated, and sent to work for Zhu Di, fourth son of the Ming emperor Hongwu. After winning a civil war and established himself as the emperor Yongle in 1403, Zhu Di turned Nanjing into the world’s biggest port and sent Zheng on his first great voyage to the Indian Ocean. Record of the miraculous answer (to the prayer) of the goddess, the Celestial Spouse: The Imperial Ming Dynasty unifying seas and continents, surpassing the three dynasties even goes beyond the Han and Tang dynasties. The countries beyond the horizon and from the ends of the earth have all become subjects and to the most western of the western or the most northern of the northern countries, however far they may be, the distance and the routes may be calculated. Thus the barbarians from beyond the seas, though their countries are truly distant, "with double translation" have come to audience bearing precious objects and presents. The Emperor, approving of their loyalty and sincerity, has ordered us (Zheng) He and others at the head of several tens of thousands of officers and flag-troops to ascend more than one hundred large ships to go and confer presents on them in order to make manifest the transforming power of the (imperial) virtue and to treat distant people with kindness. From the third year of the Yongle Emperor (1405) till now we have seven times received
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1 Zheng He - Zheng He's Inscription This inscription was...

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