Origin and Travels 1 Kunyang, birthplace of Zheng he
Origin and Travels 2 Was born named Ma He in Kunyang, present day Jinning His fleets visited Arabia, East Africa, India, Indonesia and Thailand (at the time called Siam) He gave and received goods along the way He brought gifts of gold, silver, porcelain and silk In return, China received such exotic gifts as ostriches, zebras, camels ivory, and giraffes Was said to prefer diplomacy, but any enemy his huge army didn’t scare into hiding he dealt with quickly and efficiently, he was said to “walk like a tiger” in this respect He dealt with pirates who had long plagued Chinese and southeast Asian waters and trade routes He also fought a ground war against the kingdom of Kotte in Ceylon, and made displays of military force when local officials posed a threat to his fleet in Arabia and East Africa brought envoys from thirty states who traveled to China and paid their respects at the Ming court.
Timeline 1371/1375: Born as Ma He in Kunyang 1382: Ming armies put down Mongol rebel Basalawarmi, Ma He is captured and taken back to serve as a eunuch 1403: Assists the Yongle Emperor in overthrowing his predecessor after becoming his trusted advisor, and receives the name Zheng He for his meritous service 1425: The Hongxi emperor declares Zheng He defender of Nanjing 1428: The Xuande emperor tasks Zheng He with finishing the 9 story Buddhist Da Baoen temple in Nanjing 1430-1433: Zheng He’s final voyage took place 1405-1422: The majority of Zheng He’s Voyages take place 1405-1407: 1 st Voyage 1407-1409: 2 nd Voyage 1409-1411: 3 rd Voyage 1413-1415: 4 th Voyage 1416-1419 5 th Voyage 1421-1422: 6 th Voyage 1433: Zheng He dies on the returning trip as his fleet reaches Hormuz
History Zheng He lived in was a prosperous time period for China He was born in the city Kunyang in Southwest China with the name Ma He, in an area under the control of Basalawarmi When Ma He was only 11 years old, A ming army was sent to crush Basalawarmi, as he was a mongol rebel Ma He was captured by the ming army in this conflict, and brought back to the imperial court where he was made a eunuch, after being castrated as is customary Became a trusted advisor to the Yongle emperor, and helped him overthrow his predecssor, the Jianwen emperor Was renamed Zheng He for his honourable deeds The Yongle emperor made him an admiral in charge of a massive fleet of treasure ships, and he was sent on several voyages that explored much of the seas around China Appointed defender of Nanjing by the next leader, the Honxi emperor The next leader, the Xuande emperor, sent him on one last voyage, in which he died on the return trip He was laid to rest at sea, like a true admiral and a tomb was made in his honour back in Nanjing, along with museums and Statues
Impacts 2 Zheng He’s treasure fleets brought many exotic trade goods and influences back to China, and not only revealed the rest of the world to China, but also China to the rest of the world. Some believe he even discovered the americas before the Europeans, but there is not enough solid proof he did so to convince leading scientists, and this is said to be a false claim. Either way, he was a great admiral that opened China to the world, and showcased its power as a nation with his massive fleet of ships, bringing home treasures from abroad.
Fleet Zheng He was said to have the largest fleet in the world in his time. Though it cannot be confirmed, ancient accounts of his ships placed the largest ships in his fleet, the treasure ships, at 126.73m (416 feet) long. These gargantuan vessels were several times bigger then any other ship in the world at the time.
Status It is interesting to note that Zheng He was not only a eunuch, who should have found it impossible to rise to the rank and greatness he did due to their status, and castration, but he is also Muslim. Muslim was not a major religion in China, and it was usually frowned upon not to follow the Imperial condoned religon, though he never made the pilgrimage to Mecca on record, both his father and Grandfather had done so. He must have been a great man indeed to rise past these differences and become one of the greatest Chinese admirals in history
Tomb Zheng He’s Tomb is situated in Nanjing. It contains his sword and other possessions, but his body was laid to rest at sea, like a true admiral. There are museums showcasing his life, and one named after him to continue his legacy.
Bibliography Wikipedia Google and Google Images www.chinaculture.orgwww.chinaculture.org http://www.islamfortoday.com/zhenghe.htm http://www.islamfortoday.com/zhenghe.htm