Have a look at this map

A possiblity. through trade–with the Jesuits or people before–maps could have gone around. The Chinese don’t need to travel there to get the information; it could have been brought to them.[/quote]

Right, this is how much of the eighteenth-century information would have been gathered. I’m not disputing it’s from that time. What is highly dubious however is that this is a copy of a fifteenth century map. I don’t think anyone had that great a knowledge of the world at that time.

Incidentally, I’ve just been reading up on Antarctica. Apparently the first sighting of it was in 1820, but the existence of the continent had been postulated as necessary for many centuries as a “counterweight” to the northern continents. Doesn’t make sense scientifically now, but it was a commonly held opinion at the time, it seems. So although no-one had ever seen it or knew for sure that it existed, it was popular to draw it on world maps in the eighteenth century.

It’s not impossible for it to be a 15th century map. Of course this map just didn’t appear in the 15th. They had other maps before and people helped to revise it. European, African, and American maps surely traveled to China. Europe had all that knowledge. Europeans were in China in the 15th century. It makes sense once Europe had the knowledge, it easily made its way to Asia.

With a nasty-looking rash. You’re strange, Taffy.[/quote]

It’s a birthmark. Don’t you know it’s rude to stare? :raspberry:[/quote]
No, no, no, you people have got it all wrong. This is just one more of the many Chinese tattoos that people are getting these days. The reason why the map is so inaccurate is that the person couldn’t keep his ass still long enough for the tattoo artist to finish. Gavin Menzies has been taken by some dope smoking 20 year old’s Chinese ass map of the world.

:bravo: That explains a lot!

I think there are some features which preclude the possibility of it really being a fifteenth century map. Let’s say that the information about the American landmass, Europe and Africa’s western and northern coast came from Europe. Even then the evidence just doesn’t add up.

[quote=“Wikipedia”]A number of authorities on Chinese history have questioned the authenticity of the map. Some point to the use of the Mercator-style projection, its accurate reckoning of longitude and its North-based orientation. None of these features was used in the best maps made in either Asia or Europe during this period (for example see the Kangnido map (1410) and the Fra Mauro (1459). Also mentioned is the depiction of the erroneous Island of California, a mistake commonly repeated in European maps from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

Geoff Wade of the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore has strongly disputed the authenticity of the map and has suggested that it is either an 18th or 21st-century fake. He has pointed out a number of anachronisms that appear in the map and its text annotations. For example, in the text next to Eastern Europe, which has been translated as “People here mostly believe in God and their religion is called ‘Jing’”, Wade notes that the Chinese word for the Christian God is given as “Shang-di”, which is a usage that was first coined by Jesuit missionaries in the 16th century.[/quote]

Add to this the fact that the first European sighting of Australia wasn’t until 1606 and that there is absolutely no evidence that the Chinese ever visited Australia or knew of it’s existence. This makes a little strange that a map supposedly drawn a hundred and fifty years earlier should represent the continent, let alone describe the natives as “black-skinned, unclothed, bone-tool using cannibals” (as it does).

By the way, there is a high-resolution image of the map available here which is large enough to make out most of the writing (like 卧龍地 Wòlóngdì - the “Land of the Crouching Dragon” for what could be Greenland).

It’s also worth noting that this map was ‘discovered’ in 2001 - around the time that Menzies was trying to find a publisher for his bizarro ideas. Things that make you go hmmmm :ponder:

There’s plenty of sites from reputable historians debunking the whole thing (Menzies isn’t a historian - he was a submarine commander whose main claim to fame was that he once rammed a docked US Navy minesweeper with his submarine). For example:
1421exposed.com/html/wade_challenge.html

Oh, Menzies also believes that all Maoris are descendents of Chinese prostitutes :loco:

While we’re on this topic, there is a brutal footnote-by-footnote examination of Menzies’ book on The Hall of Ma’at (geeky-but-cool archaelogy website). Author’s opinion of Menzies: charlatan.

Of course, all this doesn’t necessarily mean the map (as opposed to Gavin Menzies) is a fake. But it is highly suggestive.

Any of the mistakes or attributes listed above, it’s possible they existed on some map some where during the 1500s. People always have hunches; they can guess; they can invent. There’s lots of examples where someone invented something someone else already had, without knowledge of it.

[quote=“Taffy”]
Wade notes that the Chinese word for the Christian God is given as “Shang-di”, which is a usage that was first coined by Jesuit missionaries in the 16th century.[/quote]

People can invent words at anytime. At least with English, we have the OED. When we had it first, we had our ideas of this or that word and it’s first use. But people do find earlier usages.

[quote=“Taffy”]
Add to this the fact that the first European sighting of Australia wasn’t until 1606 and that there is absolutely no evidence that the Chinese ever visited Australia or knew of it’s existence.
[/quote][/quote]

Did anyone outside of Australia visit it during the 1500s? Anyone in South East asia? Possible? Possible for them to have gone to China?

I’m not saying it is from the 1500s or 1600s but I’m continuing to say it’s possible. When it comes to reconstructing history, ever read Flaubert’s Bouvard and Pecuchet?

[quote=“gary”]…a lot of reasonable stuff…

I’m not saying it is from the 1500s or 1600s but I’m continuing to say it’s possible. [/quote]

It’s possible, but highly improbable. Many, many things are technically possible but highly unlikely. So would you trust one map, purporting to be an eighteenth century copy of a fifteenth century document, which magically appeared in a dealer’s shop in Shanghai in 2001 (as david says, conveniently around the time Menzies was looking for a publisher), when this map disputes everything we otherwise know about cartography, exploration, contact between civilisations etc.? Might there not be at least one record in Chinese (or any other language) that corroborates this? This map has no evidence to support itself apart from the fact that it looks old and fits one crackpot ex-submarine captain’s wild and baseless theory.

Occam’s Razor: Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem (entities should not be multiplied without necessity) - essentially a theory of parsimony, the effect being that the theory with the least holes, assumptions and diversions is usually the right one.

For this map to be exactly what it says it is, it requires a whole load of complications, assumptions and invalidations of current theory in many different disciplines. That’s why I believe it to be a load of crap.

No, I haven’t. Worth reading?

On c’mon. You can come up with something better than that. :slight_smile:

[quote=“Taffy”]

No, I haven’t. Worth reading?[/quote]

I think so. It’s amazing. Here’s an interview of Barthes that got me to read it–in French.