Admittedly, they did not, like similar voyages of European merchant-adventurers, lead to the establishment of trading empires. He was also a Inquirer when he was determined to find places which were not discovered and was determined to go onto the voyages to trade with others. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. After the death of my dear friend, the Yongle Emperor, our voyages have momentarily paused. Traditionally, Tribute from abroad had confirmed the Chinese vanity that their own culture was superior to all others. Biography >> Explorers for Kids. Soon after he ascended the throne, the emperor conferred on Ma the surname Zheng, and he was henceforth known as Zheng He. Together, Zheng He and his armada made seven epic voyages from the port at Nanjing to India, Arabia, and even East Africa. In their wake, Chinese emigration increased, resulting in Chinese colonization in Southeast Asia and the accompanying tributary trade, which lasted until the 19th century. Zheng defeated Alagonakkara’s forces and took the king back to Nanjing as a captive. Solved: How did Zheng He travel? The young Ma Sanbao (later Ma He), as he was then known, was among the boys who were captured, castrated, and sent into the army as orderlies. The junks Zheng had in his fleet would not have been significantly different from those described as follows by the famed Muslim traveller from Tangier Ibn Battuta (1304 - c. 1368 CE): The large ships have anything from twelve down to three sails made of bamboo rods plaited like mats. Web. Zheng He (or Ma Sanbao) (1371-1433 AD) was a court eunuch, marine explorer and fleet admiral, born into an adventurous Muslim family in Kunyang of Yunnan Province. These Chinese junks, also known as ‘treasure ships’, were perhaps up to 55 metres (180 ft) in length and 8.5 metres (28 ft) wide (although the exact dimensions are disputed amongst historians). Zheng He was appointed garrison commander in Nanjing, with the task of disbanding his troops. This is known history. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Zheng He returned to China in 1407. Zheng He’s initial trip took him from the South China Sea through the Indian Ocean to Calicut, India, and back. Books It has been quite a while since I have written, and even longer since I have traveled. Zheng He and his 317 ship and nearly 30,000 crew fleet set sail from the Liujiagan Port in the Jiangsu Province in China, and they sailed as far as... See full answer below. The Ming Dynasty fell to invaders who began the Qing Dynasty. Another possible motive, at least for the earlier voyages to Southeast Asia, may have been to discover the whereabouts of the deposed emperor Jianwen (r. 1398-1402) and so ensure he did not stir up a rebellion to take back his throne from his usurper Yongle. The emperor even went so far as to ban the construction of any ocean-going ships and prohibit those that existed from being used for voyages beyond Chinese coastal waters. He was then conscripted into the army commanded by a Ming prince, none other than the future emperor Yongle. China was introduced to glass by Arabian artisans who sailed back with Zheng He. Again he visited Southeast Asia, India, Arabia, and Africa. Traditional and popular accounts of Zheng He's voyages have described a great fleet of gigantic ships far larger than any other wooden ships in history. Giraffe Tribute to Emperor Yongleby Shen Du (Public Domain). After his voyages ended, China turned inwards once again ended its brief … There would be no more great maritime expeditions as the Chinese closed the door on the outside world and returned to its isolationist foreign policy of old. Zheng He is renowned today as a great explorer, honoured by both Chinese and Muslims throughout South East Asia. Some rulers were not so keen, of course, notably Alagakkonara, the king of Sri Lanka, who turned out less than welcoming to these strange visitors and tried to plunder Zheng He’s ships. This time he also found time to stop off at the Maldive Islands, before crossing the Arabian Sea and reaching Hormuz on the Persian Gulf. Zheng He's Travel Journal: Blog Bibliography Top Moments Seventh Voyage. The fleet visited towns along the east coast of Africa of what are now Somalia and Kenya and almost reached the Mozambique Channel. He traveled with over 60 other ships, some of which were over 400 feet long, known as treasure ships.
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