Monday, October 19, 2009

The Chinese General

The man whom some claim discovered America. The recent novel The Map Thief discusses this as well. Share

7 comments:

MadMonarchist said...

The claim that Admiral Zheng He (a Muslim eunuch) "discovered" America has caused quite a bit of controversy. So far, most scholars completely discount the idea. However, I would say it is remotely possible but what I most dispute is that, if true, it should in some way displace Columbus. We already know that the Vikings came to America long before either voyage, the ancestors of the Native Americans came from Asia long before that and even if Zheng He did reach America first it was still the voyage of Columbus that sparked the European colonization of America and changed the course of history.

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

Vikings discovered Iceland then later Greenland (Erik the Red) then Vinland (Wineland, his son Leif Eriksson), and it is believed the latter area is Labrador Bay or something. And that was before 1418, the year of that Chinese General.

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks for the additional information and feedback. Of course, St. Brendan the Navigator probably found North America before the lot of them! However, the discovery by Columbus is in a category by itself, since his explorations opened up the New World to vast colonization, which the other discoveries did not.

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

Sure it was America St Brendan found? Seems to have been islands that were rather, as some places in The Quest of the Holy Grail, spiritual places. Places, that like Eden cannot be found again. Which neither precludes, but nor indeed implies America.

As for America, what think ye of Thor Heyerdahl's theory that bearded and red haired people (presumably Phenicians) from Heliopolis came to 1 Central America, 2 lake Titicaca, 3 Easter Island?

elena maria vidal said...

Hans, have you ever read Tim Severin's book called The Brendan Voyage? It is very enlightening. I did a post on it a few years back.

http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2007/11/how-irish-discovered-america.html

I don't know enough about Heyerdahl's theory in order to comment on it but it sounds interesting.

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

Phenician looking people were arguably a minority anywhere in the New World, but they were there.

Thor Heyerdahl first traced possible artisanal influences on style between S America and Polynesia by the Kon Tiki expedition (getting in a raft from Peru to Polynesia).

Then he traced the Phenician looking people on Easter Island (long ears/orejones because they used to extend their ear nibs like some African peoples do) in the Aku Aku expedition (interviews, diggings, participation in pagan rites - Th H was an apostate since youth or childhood - reconstruction of long ear knowhow of making an "aku aku") and he noted their similarity with a people formerly known in Titicaca area.

Then he tried to prove, in parallel of reaching Polynesia in a Peruvian raft, that people could have got to S America in Egyptian reed boats. Ra I failed, Ra II followed.

elena maria vidal said...

That's fascinating! Thanks!