Zheng He(both: jŭng` ho͝o`), 1371–c.1433, admiral, diplomat, and explorer during China's MingMing
, dynasty of China that ruled from 1368 to 1644. The first Ming emperor, Chu Yüan-chang (ruled 1368–98), a former Buddhist monk, joined a rebellion in progress, gained control of it, overthrew the Mongol Yüan dynasty, and unified all of China proper.
..... Click the link for more information. dynasty. At 10 he was captured by Chinese troops in Yunnan, castrated, and sent into the army. He rose in the ranks, became an officer, and in 1404 was named Grand Eunuch by Emperor Yung-loYung-lo
, 1359–1424, reign title of the 3d emperor (1403–24) of the Chinese Ming dynasty, whose personal name was Chu Ti. He rose to power in N China after being delegated by his father, the Ming founding emperor Hung Wu (reigned 1368–98), to lead the fight
..... Click the link for more information. . The following year the emperor selected him to lead the first of seven epic expeditions (1405–33) that served to expand Chinese political influence and increase its tribute and trade. Sailing to SE Asia (1405–07), he commanded 62 ships laden with porcelain, lacquer, silk, gems, and other luxury goods. Subsequently commanding treasure fleets ranging from about 50 to more than 100 vessels, some of which were 500 ft (153 m) long, he also later sailed to India, Sri Lanka, Arabia, E Africa, and Egypt. On his fourth voyage (1413–15), Cheng returned with envoys from 30 foreign states who rendered homage to the emperor and sailed home on his sixth voyage (1421–23). Although China returned to an isolationist policy after the emperor's death (1424), Cheng made one last voyage (1431–33). A controversial theory posits that Cheng discovered the New World during his 1420s voyage, some 70 years before Columbus.
See L. Levathes, When China Ruled the Seas (1994); G. Menzies, 1421: The Year China Discovered America (2003).
Born 1371; died circa 1434. Chinese traveler, naval commander, and diplomat.
Cheng Ho led military and commercial maritime expeditions (1405–07, 1407–09, 1409–11, 1413–15, 1417–19, 1421–22, and 1431–33) to Indochina, Hindustan, the Arabian Peninsula, and East Africa.
REFERENCESBokshchanin, A. A. Kitai i strany iuzhnykh morei v XIV–XVI vv. Moscow, 1968.
Svet, Ia. M. Za kormo isto tysiach li. Moscow, I960.