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Goodbye Columbus, So Long Leonardo

After all the negative press, China is finally getting a little love from a British amateur historian, Gavin Menzies, who posits that the West owes more to the Chinese than we thought. In 2002, Menzies contended that Chinese explorers touched upon America's shores nearly 70 years before Columbus.His..




After all the negative press, China is finally getting a little love from a British amateur historian, Gavin Menzies, who posits that the West owes more to the Chinese than we thought. In 2002, Menzies contended that Chinese explorers touched upon America's shores nearly 70 years before Columbus.

His latest and more controversial idée fixe revolves around Leonardo da Vinci's machine drawings and their apparent resemblance to Chinese designs brought to Venice in 1434 by four ships from the aforementioned American expedition. In his just-released book, 1434, the sinophile ups the ante by arguing that "this was the spark that really ignited the renaissance and that Leonardo and (Italian astronomer) Galileo built on what was brought to them by the Chinese."

Most academics are obviously crying bullocks, and one declares that "he says something is a copy just because they look similar. He says two things are almost identical when they are not." Nonetheless, a coterie of conspiracy theorists around the world support Menzies' arguments: his first book sold over a million copies and this one probably won't do too poorly given Da Vinci's current pop renaissance.

Thanks, Brandon!







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