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China's Maritime History...

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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: China's Maritime History...
    Posted: 14-Aug-2006 at 20:09
(NOTE: I've already posted this same thread in CHF, ChinaHistoryForum)...
 
Here's a long laundry list for you guys to enjoy, because I've found these online timelines and couldn't resist sharing them with you guys here! Here it goes, I hope you're ready to read, cuz it's a lot to swallow...

I'm just going to assume you guys know about early Chinese maritime history with the development of barge-like castle-ships meant for riverine and calm-lake-water travel, until the Han Dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD) innovation of the "junk" and the first Chinese voyages out beyond Zhongguo into places such as Vietnam during the Qin era (221 - 207 BC). Anyways, starting with China's exploration and venture into the Indian Ocean...

414 CE: The Chinese monk Fa Xian returned home from India by sea, after visiting Sri Lanka.
A Record of Buddhist Kingdoms, Fa-Xian/Legge, p100; see www.maritimeasia.ws/topic/Malaysia_crossroads.html#FaXian for description of sea journey, http://faculty.washington.edu/dwaugh/CA/texts/faxian.html for his prior travels on land, and http://www.lankalibrary.com/geo/ancient/trade.htm for his vist to Anuradhapura.

Fǎxiǎn (pinyin, Chinese characters: 法顯, also romanized as Fa-Hien or Fa-hsien) (ca. 337 - ca. 422) was a Chinese Buddhist monk, who, between 399 and 412 travelled to India and Sri Lanka to bring Buddhist scriptures. His journey is described in his work A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms, Being an Account by the Chinese Monk Fa-Hien of his Travels in India and Ceylon in Search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline.

On Faxian's return to China he landed at Laoshan in modern Shandong province, 30km east of the city of Qingdao. After landing, he proceeded to Shandong's then-capital, Qingzhou, where he remained for a year translating and editing the scriptures he had collected.

His work is not only one of the world's greatest travel books, but is filled with invaluable accounts of early Buddhism, and the geography and history of numerous countries along the so-called Silk Roads at the turn of the 5th century CE.

C1st CE: The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, written by a Greek, describes trade in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, including the harbours of Sri Lanka and the west coast of India, the customs regime imposed by Rome in the Red Sea, and the difficult possibility of reaching China by sea (China had been known to Greeks since the C5th BCE, but the land route was better known). It also describes the flourishing trade through Adulis, the Red Sea port of the Aksumite civilisation in Ethiopia, which flourished C1st-7th.
Kenneth Hall, Maritime trade and state development in early Southeast Asia, p.29-34, citing W. Schoff's translation of The Periplus, New York, 1912, and dating it to 40-75AD;
background http://lrrc3.plc.upenn.edu/indianocean/group5/penny01.html; e-text http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/periplus.html;
Aksum summary http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/aksu/hd_aksu_1.htm; Stuart Munro Hay, Aksum: an African civilisation of late antiquity, ch.8-4, http://users.vnet.net/alight/aksum/mhak3.html#c8-4.

52 CE: The Roman chronicler Pliny complained about India's trade surplus. He also described a kingdom in the south of Sri Lanka, probably Tissamaharama.
India: Pliny, Natural History 6.96-111 e-text http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/pliny-india.html; trade balance http://jigyasa0.tripod.com/trade.html; A. Denis N. Fernando, http://www.island.lk/2001/12/12/midwee03.html (Fernando says Pliny visited Sri Lanka personally); Kenneth Hall, Maritime trade and state development in early Southeast Asia, p.29, citing H. Rackham, The natural history of Pliny the Elder, Cambridge, 1960, 6.26, 6.1 (Hall says Pliny's info on Sri Lanka was based on the envoys' visit to Claudius).

C7th: Some 200,000 Persians, Arabs, Indians, Malays, and other foreigners lived in Guangzhou as traders, artisans and metalworkers.
Louise Levathes, When China Ruled the seas, p.39

c.616 CE: The maternal uncle of the prophet Muhammad, Abu Waqqas, joined a trading voyage from Ethiopia to Guangzhou. He then returned to Arabia, and came back to Guangzhou 21 years later with a copy of the Koran. He founded the Mosque of Remembrance, near the Kwang Ta (Smooth Minaret) built by the Arabs as a lighthouse. His tomb is in the Muslim cemetery in Guangzhou.
Liu Chih, The Life of the Prophet (12 vols), 1721, quoted by the Islamic Council of Victoria, http://www.icv.org.au/history2.shtml
Four missionaries were sent to China by the prophet Mohammad, and two died in Quanzhou. They were buried as honoured guests, and the tombs repeatedly repaired and embellished until the present.
Wang Lianmao (ed), Return to the City of Light, p.99, and Quanzhou site captions, citing Ming Shu, 'A history of Fujian province'.

748 CE: Chinese monk Jian Zhen (Jianzhou, of Daming monastery in Yangzhou), failed in his fifth attempt to sail to Japan, and drifted to Guangzhou where 'many big ships came from Borneo, Persia, Qunglun [Indonesia/Java]... with... spices, pearls and jade piled up mountain high'. The largest ship looked like a mansion, with sails many zhangs high. [1 zhang = 3.11 metres.] Sri Lanka was by now the major shipping centre, with ships visiting from India, Persia and Ethiopia; Sri Lankan ships had gangways many zhangs high.
Tang Zhiba, 'The influence of the sail on the development of the ancient navy', p.61

758 CE: Arabs looted and burned Guangzhou.
Michael L.Bosworth, http://www.cronab.demon.co.uk/china.htm, citing Joseph Needham, Science & Civilization in China, Vol.1, p.179 - Cambridge Univ Press 1954.
The emperor then closed Guangzhou to foreigners for fifty years.
Louise Levathes, When China Ruled the seas, p.39.

766-804 CE: China had very large river and canal boats, estimated at 700 tons. 'The crews of these ships lived on board; they were born, married and died there. The ships had... lanes (between the dwellings), and even gardens. Each one had several hundred sailors... South to Chiangsi and north to Huainan they made one journey in each direction every year, with great profit..... The sea-going junks (hai-po) are foreign ships. Every year they come to Canton and An-i. Those from Ceylon are the largest...When these ships go to sea, they take with them white pigeons, so that in case of shipwreck the birds can return with messages.'
Michael L.Bosworth, http://www.cronab.demon.co.uk/china.htm, citing Joseph Needham Vol. 4 Part III, p.452-3 (Cambridge Univ Press, 1971), which in turn quotes Tang Yu Lin's Tang Yu Lin (Miscellanea of the Tang Dynasty), compiled in the Song dynasty.

785-805 CE: Chinese merchant ships sailing from Guangzhou were calling regularly at Sufala on the east African coast, to cut out Arab middlemen.
Shen Fuwei, Cultural flow between China and the outside world, p.155,

851 CE: Arab merchant Suleiman al Tajir saw the manufacture of Chinese porcelain, and marvelled at its transparency.
Shen Fuwei, Cultural flow between China and the outside world, p.163.
He also described the port of Guangzhou and its mosque, public granaries and dispensaries, complex administration, written records, treatment of travellers, and the use of ceramics, rice-wine and tea.
Frances Wood, Did Marco Polo go to China?, p.143, citing Abb Renaud, Anciennes Relations de l'Inde et de la Chine de deux voyageurs Mahoumetans qui y allrent dans le IXe sicle, 1718, per Col. Sir Henry Yule, Cathay and the way thither, London 1916.

863 CE: Chinese author Duan Chengshi described the slave trade and production of ivory and ambergris in the country of Bobali, thought to be Berbera in Somalia. From the C9th onwards, Chinese sources have good descriptions of Africa.
Louise Levathes, When China Ruled the seas, p.38, citing Duan Chengshi, d.863AD, Yuyang za zu (Miscellany of Yuyang moutains), transl. G.S.P. Freeman-Grenville, The East African coast, select documents C1-19th, London 1975 [863].

878 CE: Chinese rebel forces under Huang Chao, who sacked Guangzhou, killed an estimated 120,000 Jews, Christians, Muslims and other foreigners, in addition to local residents.
Louise Levathes, When China Ruled the seas, p.39, citing the C10th Arab writer Abu-Zayd of Siraf, and George F. Hourani, Arab seafaring, Princeton, 1951, p.76-78.

Tang dynasty [618-907 CE]: Arab merchant Shulama praised the seaworthiness of large Chinese-built ships, but noted that the draft was too deep to enter the Euphrates, necessitating small boats to land passengers and cargo. Ships crossing the Indian ocean were about 20 zhang long and could carry 6-700 passengers.
Liu Pean, 'Viewing Chinese ancient navigation and shipbuilding through Zheng He's ocean expeditions', p.178
Abbasid pottery imitations of Tang white ware, made in Mesopotamia, have been found at Mantai and Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka alongside the Chinese originals.
John Carswell, Blue & White, p.59.
Fustat (old Cairo) was a major destination for Chinese ceramic exports for 500 years, starting in the Tang dynasty.
John Carswell, Blue & White, p.65-67. citing Tsugio Mikami, 'China and Egypt: Fustat', Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society 1980-81, vol 45, London, 1982, p.67-89.

993 CE: The Yemeni captain Abu Himyarite, a frequent visitor to China, toured Guangzhou port.
Shen Fuwei, Cultural flow between China and the outside world, p.157-8.

1008 CE: Egyptian sea captain Domiyat, a frequent visitor to China, joined an imperial pilgrimage to a Buddhist site in Shandong, presented the Song emperor Zhenzong with gifts from the Egyption king, and established diplomatic relations.
Shen Fuwei, Cultural flow between China and the outside world, p.158.

1025 CE: Rajendra Chola, the king of Coromandel in India, launched a massive raid on Srivijayan ports on both sides of the Straits of Malacca. The Tamil inscription suggests total conquest; however a new king of Srivijaya sent tribute to China in 1028.
Kenneth Hall, Maritime trade and state development in early Southeast Asia, p.23, 85-86, 102, 194, citing a Chola inscription from Tanjavur in south India dated 1030-1031, Nilakanta Sastri, The history of Srivijaya, Madras, 1949, p.80, and George W. Spencer, The politics of expansion, the Chola conquest of Sri Lanka and Sri Vijaya, Madras, 1983, p.100-150; ports attacked on the Malay peninsula named in the Tanjavur inscription of 1030, South Indian Inscriptions, 2:105-109. Possibility conquest exaggerated: Stuart Munro-Hay, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, 1.8.

1068-1077 [Xining reign]: Chinese official Huang Huaixin outlined a plan involving a drydock for the repair of imperial dragon boats.
Louise Levathes, When China Ruled the seas, p.77, citing Shen Kuo, Mengxi bi tan, bu bi tan ('Supplement to notes taken in Mengxi') written 1086-1093, annotated by Hu Daojing, Hong Kong, Zhonghua shuju, 1975, 313.

1087 CE: The Song government established an office in Quanzhou to regulate maritime trade. Commercial tax receipts soon matched or exceeded those of South China's largest port, Guangzhou. The rapid development of foreign trade stimulated advances in shipbuilding, ceramics, textiles, metallurgy, and agricultural processing.
Wang Lianmao (ed), Return to the City of Light, p.14

C11th-C12th: Fortified Chinese trade bases were established in the Philippines, to gather forest products and distribute imports, and the archaeological sites of Laguna, Mindoro and Cebu show significant social change.
Kenneth Hall, Maritime trade and state development in early Southeast Asia, p.24, citing Karl L.Hutterer, 'The evolution of Philippine lowland societies', Mankind, 9 (1974): 287-299, and An archaeological picture of a pre-Spanish Cebuan community, Cebu, 1973.

1129: Gaozong, who had declared himself emperor of China after the fall of Kaifeng and spent the first eight years on the run, escaped in 1129 only after taking to sea. He went on to establish the southern Song dynasty with its capital at Hangzhou - and with half his land gone, to encourage maritime trade and the resultant revenues. The government funded harbour improvements, warehouse construction and navigation beacons. In 1132, the emperor ordered the establishment of China's first permanent navy, and offered rewards for innovative ship design. Chinese scholars studied and extended Arab and Hindu knowledge of geography and navigation.
Ann Paludan, Chronicle of the Chinese emperors, p136; Louise Levathes, When China Ruled the seas, p.41-42.

1154: Al-Idrisi, a Moroccan geographer, published his Geography, which contained a world map, and described Chinese merchant ships carrying iron, swords, leather, silk, velvet and other textiles to Aden, the Indus and Euphrates. He commented that Quanzhou's silk was unparalleled, and Hangzhou renowned for both glassware and silk.
http://lrrc3.plc.upenn.edu/indianocean/group5/penny05.html; Shen Fuwei, Cultural flow between China and the outside world, p.159-161.

1161: The invading Jin attacked Hangzhou with 600 warships and 70,000 men, and simultaneous land assaults, but were repulsed with grenades launched by catapult; possibly the first time that gunpowder was used in battle. The Song navy, with only 120 warships and 3,000 men, then defeated a huge Jin armada off the Shandong peninsula.
Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas, p.43-47

1178: Champa attacked the Khmers by water, having attacked by land in the previous year. A Chinese pilot guided the invaders up the Mekong and the Siem Reap river; they pillaged the capital and killed the king. Jayavarman VII counter-attacked, defeated the Chams in another naval battle, and killed their king.
David Chandler, A history of Cambodia, p.59, citing G.Maspero, Le Royaume de Champa (Paris, 1928) p.164 & K.485, stele from Phimeanakas, Inscriptions de Cambodge, vol.2 p.171
Guangzhou customs officer Zhou Qufei wrote of an island in the west (Madagascar?) from which people 'black as lacquer' with frizzy hair were captured and sold as slaves to Arab countries.
Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas, p.37, citing Zhou Qufei, Ling wai dai da (about regions beyond the mountain passes), 1178, per J.J.L. Duyvendak, China's discovery of Africa, London Univ, 1949, p. 22.
Zhou Qufei also wrote that Srivijaya now had few goods of its own to sell, and relied on force to compel passing ships to stop at its ports.
Kenneth Hall, Maritime trade and state development in early Southeast Asia, p.102, citing Chou Ch'u-fei, Ling wai tai ta, noted by Chao Ju-kua and transl. O.W. Wolters, 'A few miscellaneous Pi-chi jottings on early Indonesia', Indonesia 36 (oct 1983): 56.

1163-1190: During the reign of Xiaozong, the southern Song took to seaborne trade, previously dominated by Arabs and others. Chinese ships sailed east to Korea & Japan, and west to India, the Persian gulf and the Red Sea. China imported raw materials and luxuries (rare woods, precious metals, gems, spices and ivory), and exported manufactured goods (silk and other cloths, ceramics, lacquerware, copper cash, dyes, books and stationery).
Ann Paludan, Chronicle of the Chinese emperors, p142.



NEXT UP: The Yuan and Ming Eras...

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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2006 at 15:56
(Continuation of the timeline)...

1190: Compass first mentioned by a European, Alexander Neckam in De Naturis Rerum. The first mention in Arabic writings is approximately 1232.
Robert Temple, The Genius of China (from Needham), p.149

C12th: A ship sent by the Burmese king arrived at Weligama in Sri Lanka.
Prof Sia, http://members.tripod.com/~hettiarachchi/port.html

early C13th: The Song navy controlled the seas from Fujian to Japan & Korea, and patrolled China's main rivers. The total number of ships reached 600, the largest of which were 24 feet wide with a crew of 42. All warships had battering rams, catapults, incendiary weapons, protective screens, and fire equipment.
Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas, p.43

1225: Quanzhou's commissioner of foreign trade noted a Chinese court order banning trade with Java, as the import of pepper was causing excessive outflow of copper cash; Javanese traders avoided the ban by calling their country Sukadana (Su-ki-tan).
Kenneth Hall, Maritime trade and state development in early Southeast Asia, p.244, citing F. Hirth & W.W. Rockhill, Chau Ju-kua: his work on the Chinese and Arab trade in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, entitled Chu-fan-chi, St Petersburg, 1911.

1245: Joannes de Plano Carpini was the first of several Franciscan monks to chronicle their China travels. William of Rubruck followed in 1253, Giovanni di Monte Corvino in 1294, and Odoric of Pordenone in 1318.
Donald Wigal, Historic Maritime Maps, p38-39; John of Monte Corvino, Report from China 1305, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/corvino1.html; Charles Carlson http://atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/EH28Ag02.html

1247: A fleet from Ligor under Candrabhanu attacked Sri Lanka from Kedah (and again in 1270).
http://www.sabrizain.demon.co.uk/malaya/hindu.htm

from mid C13th: Japanese became notorious for smuggling and piracy around Korea.
K.Nomoto & K.Ishii, 'A historical review on ships of Japanese tradition', p.100

Song dynasty (960-1279): reported date of the merchant ship referred to as 'Nanhai-1', found in the Yangjiang river in Guangdong province, with a cargo estimated at 60-80,000 items including high-quality ceramics, and thought to have been destined for the Middle East. Finds included a golden belt.
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200303/0...6_112821.shtml; http://www.chinaheritagenewsletter.org/art...&issue=001; Zhang Wei, 'L'Archologie sous-marine en Chine', Taoci, 2001.
Guangzhou was China's largest foreign trade port during the Song dynasty; many copper coins were exported.
Guangzhou museum caption.
Song records describe detailed customs inspections at Cham ports, where one fifth of each commodity was collected for the Cham king before remaining goods could be sold. Concealed goods were confiscated.
Kenneth Hall, Maritime trade and state development in early Southeast Asia, p.183, citing Georges Maspero, Le royaume de Champa, Paris, 1928, p.29.

c.1272: An Odd Ball was made at the Chinese court, with representations of land, rivers, oceans, and a grid of lines... latitude & longitude?
http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrowse.pl?...mp;user=&pw, citing the Yuan shi 48:999

1273: Yuan China sent the first of four missions to Sri Lanka (Kublai Khan declared himself emperor of China in 1271, although the southern Song were finally defeated only in 1279); the dates were 1273, 1284, 1291 and 1293. In 1293, Sri Lanka sent one mission back.
Prof W.I. Siriweera, http://lakdiva.net/coins/media/cdn_1998.06...china_trade.htm

1274: Kublai Khan sent a fleet with 23-28,000 men from Korea to attack Japan, after earlier requests for tribute were refused. The fleet looted Hakata (Fukuoka), but withdrew with heavy losses after a great storm. The locals then built a 20km defensive wall, parts of which have been excavated.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,61-545301,00.html; defensive wall http://www.seinan-gu.ac.jp/university/engl...ongol/genko.htm

1275-76: The Mongols, with unbeatable cavalry but initially inferior seapower, recruited Song traitors to help them capture port towns. By 1275 they controlled the Yangzi and had confiscated 3,000 boats. Two opportunistic Song merchants supplied a further 500 boats and several thousand crew for the assault on Hangzhou, which fell in 1276; the boy emperor Gongzong was captured.
Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas, p.48

1275-76: The Mongols, with unbeatable cavalry but initially inferior seapower, recruited Song traitors to help them capture port towns. By 1275 they controlled the Yangzi and had confiscated 3,000 boats. Two opportunistic Song merchants supplied a further 500 boats and several thousand crew for the assault on Hangzhou, which fell in 1276; the boy emperor Gongzong was captured.
Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas, p.48

1276-1279: The Song emperor was dethroned and captured, and replaced by his half brother Duanzong who had been sent to Fujian for safety. The entire court took to the sea, moving gradually southwards as the Mongols advanced. After capturing Guangzhou, the Mongols launched a naval attack, forcing the court further out to sea. The emperor's ship sank in a hurricane; Duanzong was rescued, but died after a further attack (possibly at Lantau island, home to Hong Kong airport); his younger brother became the emperor Bing Di. In 1279 the Mongols again attacked and drove the court to sea. A three week battle ensued. More than 1000 Chinese ships had been chained together line-abreast; over 800 were captured, and 100,000 men died. Bing Di was drowned. 16 Chinese ships escaped, carrying the dowager empress Yang, who drowned herself from grief and was later worshipped as a goddess.
Ann Paludan, Chronicle of the Chinese emperors, p146-7.

1274-77: tentative date of the Song dynasty ship found at Quanzhou, a three-masted compartmentalized 34-metre vessel with bamboo sails and rope made of palm, bamboo, rattan and flax. She was returning from Southeast Asia with sandalwood and other fragrant woods, medicinal products (2.4 tonnes in these categories), jewellery, peppercorns, areca nuts, frankincense, ambergris, tortoise shell, coral, copper coins, money cowries, bamboo, and wooden tags tied to the cargo with the name & address of each merchant, including one 'Ali'.
www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sultan/archeology.html; Wang Lianmao (ed), Return to the City of Light, p.74-80; Quanzhou ship museum artefacts & captions.

1280s: After capturing Quanzhou, the Yuan emperor despatched envoys overseas ten times. Yang Tingbi was sent in 1280 and 1282 to Quilon in Malabar, receiving promises of support from Egyptian traders and Muslim chieftains, and went on to Kenya. By 1286, ten states in Malaya, Sumatra, India and Africa had sent envoys back.
Shen Fuwei, Cultural flow between China and the outside world, p.158.

1281: Kublai Khan launched a second attack on Japan, with fleets from Korea and China: thousands of ships and 100-140,000 men. A typhoon destroyed most of the invaders. The Japanese named the storms 'winds of god', or 'kamikaze', and assumed they were under divine protection. The Takashima ship, one of hundreds sunk in Imari Bay in Kyushu, has been excavated. She was estimated to be 70m long, and the wood and granite used in her 7m anchor both come from Fujian. Finds include red leather armour, a commander's bronze seal engraved in Chinese and Mongolian, helmets and weapons, mortars for pounding gunpowder, and shrapnel-filled ceramic grenades.
James Delgado, Relics of the Kamikaze, http://www.archaeology.org/magazine.php?pa...1/etc/kamikaze; http://www.h3.dion.ne.jp/~uwarchae/project%20takashima.htm; Takashima museum captions.
Muslims from Jambi (in Sumatra) sent an embassy to Kublai Khan.
http://home.iae.nl/users/arcengel/Indonesia/100.htm

1282: Mongol general Toa Do (Gogetu) landed in Champa; he seized the capital in 1283, but encountered fierce resistance. In 1285 Mongols took control of the Red River delta, but were evicted.
Nguyen Khac Vien, Vietnam: a long history, p.45-48.

-1284: A Chinese celadon bowl and two white Ding bowls were found at Yapahuwa in Sri Lanka, which was destroyed and abandoned in 1284.
John Carswell, Blue & White: Chinese porcelain around the world, p.63, citing Carswell, 'China & Islam in the Maldive islands', Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, London, 1978, p.128.

1288: A new Mongol fleet was defeated in the Bach Dang river by Tran Hung Dao, using metal-tipped stakes just as 350 years earlier. 30,000 Mongols died; 100 of their ships were destroyed, and 400 captured. Archaeologists have found wooden stakes of both periods, but no ships.
Nguyen Khac Vien, Vietnam: a long history, p.49-50; Hanoi History Museum captions; Dr Trinh Cao Tuong, Institute of Archaeology, personal conversation

1291-1292: Kublai Khan despatched a princess as replacement bride for the Persian king Arghun, by sea since she had encountered problems on the land journey - escorted by the three Polos, returning home after almost two decades, with messages from the khan for the pope and the kings of Christendom.
Marco Polo, The Travels, p.42-43. (See also Frances Wood, Did Marco Polo go to China? She argues that the whole account, supposedly dictated in Genoa in 1298, was largely invented. In any case a lot of information came into European circulation, albeit partially garbled.)

1292-1293: Kublai Khan sent 1000 ships to attack Java. Hit by a typhoon, and refused permission to land in Champa, the fleet arrived enfeebled. Vijaya, the ruler of Majapahit, joined the Mongols to attack Kediri, and then launched a surprise attack on the Mongols, who withdrew.
http://home.iae.nl/users/arcengel/Indonesia/100.htm

C13th: tentative date of wreck found in the Java Sea with Chinese ceramics, cast iron pots and wrought iron bars, thought to have been an Indonesian lash-lugged ship travelling from China to Java.
Michael Flecker, http://maritime-explorations.com/java%20sea.htm

C13th: Vietnam's external trade was tightly controlled; goods were exchanged in designated places at ports and border towns. Chinese fabrics were traded for essential oils, ivory, salt and minerals. Javanese and Siamese vessels called at Van Don port. The shipbuilding industry was growing, producing ships with up to 100 oars.
Nguyen Khac Vien, Vietnam: a long history, p.36-38.

late C13th: tentative date of Investigador Shoal Junk wreck, at Kalayaan, Palawan, Philippines. The cargo included celadon and qingbai ceramics, and a large jar with 54kg bronze bracelets under a layer of tea, suggesting illicit trade. China had banned export of all metal.
National Museum of the Filipino People, Manila, artefacts and caption.

1309: the gates of the Qingjing mosque in Quanzhou repaired by Ahmad of Jerusalem.
Wang Lianmao (ed), Return to the City of Light, p.101

1313: the Italian Andrew of Perugia was despatched by the pope to be third bishop of Quanzhou; he died in 1332.
Wang Lianmao (ed), Return to the City of Light, p.115; Quanzhou museum caption.

1323: a two-masted Chinese ship sank off Shinan in SW Korea. She was 32-36 metres long, 11m wide, about 200 tons, carrying large quantities of Song and Yuan dynasty ceramics and copper coins. Finds included nickel ingots, wooden clogs, and wooden pieces for 'Japanese chess', as well as many wooden cargo tags. The ship was compartmentalised, with wooden water-tanks on both sides amidships. A wooden tag shows that the ship was built in China, by order of the Tofukuji temple in Kyoto (also mentioned is the subordinate Jotenji Tacchu temple in Hakata), left Ningbo in 1323 (3rd year of Shiji), and was bound for Hakata (Fukuoka).
http://www.mm.wa.gov.au/Museum/march/department/oseas.html; Lee Chang-Euk, 'A study on the structural and fluid characteristics of a rabbetted clinker type ship (the sunken ship salvaged off Shinan)'; John Carswell, Blue & White, p.17 (discussing absence of blue and white on the ship, among 5,000 pieces from Jingdezhen, and arguing that production probably started later); F ukuoka City Museum captions.
Celadon shards found at Nilaveli in northeast Sri Lanka, and thought to be from a ship wreck, are similar to those from Shinan.
John Carswell, 'Two unexplored wrecks of the 14th century in the Red Sea and off Sri Lanka', Taoci, 2001

1316-1330: Franciscan monk Odoric of Pordenone travelled from Venice via Persia and South India to China, and stayed for several years, keeping a diary. Yangzhou was still flourishing (it later silted up). He visited Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan in the 1320s.
Kevin Bishop, China's Imperial Way, p.123 & 225; http://home.iae.nl/users/arcengel/Indonesia/100.htm

1328-1339: Wang Dayuan made two trips from Quanzhou on Chinese ships. In 1328-1333 he visited Luzon & Mindanao in the Philippines, many places in Southeast Asia, Sir Lanka and India, and reached Dhofar and Aden. In 1334-1339 he went to Aden, and joined Arab ships to visit north Africa (reaching the Atlantic coast of Morocco) and East Africa (including Mogadishu, and Kilwa in Tanzania). His book includes details on cultures, navigation, and commerce. Indian cotton fabrics were popular in Southeast Asia and Africa. Chinese ships were delivering coloured satin, blue and white ceramics, and ironware to Quilon and Mogadishu; Suzhou and Hangzhou silks to Aden, etc, and were also engaged in entrepot trade of sappanwood, rice, cloves, cardamon, cotton fabrics, ironware etc. A flourishing entrepot trade between India and the Mediterranean was run by merchants from Karami in Egypt, and Muslims dominated an East African trade in gold, ivory and slaves. Promising import items included Aceh horses, cheap Malabar rice, Calicut pepper, ambergris and gold ore from Malindi, and cobalt ore from Mogadishu.
Shen Fuwei, Cultural flow between China and the outside world, p.180-187, citing Wang Dayuan's brief account published as a supplement to Qing Yuan Xu Zhi in Quanzhou in 1349, and the full version Dao Yi Zhi Le published in Nanchang in 1350.

1341-49: Ibn Battuta, who had left Morocco in 1325, spent a few years in India from 1334-41, then travelled on to the Maldives and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Sumatra and China. He arrived in Zaiton (Quanzhou) in 1345, and reckoned it one of the five largest ports in the world, along with Calicut and Quilon in India, Sudak in the Crimea, and Alexandria in Egypt. He later visited Fuzhou, Hangzhou and Guangzhou. His travel account was apparently written in 1355.
http://www.sfusd.k12.ca.us/schwww/sch618/I...Trip_Eight.html & ensuing pages; Frances Wood, Did Marco Polo go to China?, p.145; http://home.iae.nl/users/arcengel/Indonesia/100.htm; Shen Fuwei, Cultural flow between China and the outside world, p.179-180 & 186.

1351: Wu Jian recorded seven mosques in Quanzhou, indicating a sizeable Muslim population.
Quanzhou Maritime Museum caption
Song & Yuan dynasties [960-1368]: From this period, Quanzhou not only has numerous large mosques, important Buddhist temples and Daoist sites, but also the remains of large and exquisitely decorated Hindu temples. It had become a major centre of the Manichaean religion, which originated in Persia in the C3rd and spread along the land silk road. There are many tombstones from the several Muslim cemeteries. There are inscriptions in Arabic, Syrian, Tamil and other languages - and they record embassies to Persia, visitors from Sri Lanka, high official positions held by Muslim residents, etc. The museum has a spectacular large peacock-blue vase from C11-12th Persia. The port was busy, and cosmopolitan.
Wang Lianmao (ed), Return to the City of Light, p.103-140; Quanzhou museum artefacts and captions.

1274-1376: tentative date of a narrow 28-metre ship found at Dengzhou in Penglai county, Shandong province, and thought to have been a fast naval patrol vessel of 'anchovy' class (named for the shape). Artefacts included a copper blunderbuss, fire-bottles, and other firearms.
Yuan Xiaochun & Wu Songgao, 'On the construction of Penglai fighting sailship of Yuan dynasty'; Xi Longfei and Xin Yuanou, 'Preliminary research on the historical period and restoration design of the ancient ship unearthed in Penglai'.

Yuan dynasty [1279-1368]: Appreciation of Chinese ceramics spread dramatically. The Safavid shahs of Persia and the Ottoman sultans acquired large quantities of Yuan (and later Ming) blue-and-white; large quantities have also been found in Damascus and Fustat (old Cairo), and archaeological evidence of the trade is to be found throughout Asia, the middle East, and east Africa, with a growing number of shipwreck sites supplementing finds on land. In 1349, Wang Dayuan in the DaoYi Zhi Lue ('A brief description of the island foreigners') listed 45 destinations where Chinese ceramics were in demand, including 18 which preferred blue-and-white to celadon and other types. Recent finds in the Red Sea, apparently from a shipwreck, include Yuan blue-and-white, including large dishes of up to 50cm diameter. Trade and other contacts with Japan continued even during the hostilities: over 220 Japanese monks visited China during the last 75 years of the Yuan dynasty, taking passage on merchant ships; Japanese temples & shrines funded commercial voyages to raise funds for building works.
John Carswell, Blue & White: Chinese porcelain around the world, p.13-14, 17, & 62 [citing Grace Wong, 'Chinese blue & white porcelain and its place in the maritime trade of China', in ST Yeo & Jean Martin, Chinese blue & white ceramics, Southeast Asian Ceramic Society, Singapore 1978]; & re Red Sea shipwreck p.175-182.; Fukuoka City Museum captions.

1371: The new Ming emperor, Hongwu, banned private overseas trade, after earlier rumblings from 1369.
www.maritimeasia.ws/turiang/ceramicissues.htm#mingban

1377: The kingdom of Majapahit, in Java, sent a navy against Palembang, in Sumatra, and conquered it. The ruler of Palembang had requested protection from China - which the emperor promised, but his officials arrived too late, and were executed.
http://home.iae.nl/users/arcengel/Indonesia/100.htm

c.1380: tentative date of the 'Nanyang' wreck, a South-China-Sea ship sunk off the east coast of the Malay peninsula, with Thai & Chinese ceramics, including Thai celadon.
Sten Sjostrand, Roxanna Brown, Claire Barnes: www.maritimeasia.ws/exhib01/pages/p013.html

1383: One of several official missions sent to Southeast Asia by emperor Hongwu carried 13,000 pieces of porcelain as diplomatic gifts.
John Carswell, Blue & White: Chinese porcelain around the world, p.79.

1377-1400: tentative date of the 28-metre canal boat found at Liangshan in Shandong province, with swords, arrows, and armour.
He Gouwei, 'Measurement and research of the ancient Ming dynasty ship unearthed in Liangshan'.

1405: The Commission of Maritime Affairs in Guangzhou authorized construction of the Huaiyuanyi, with 120 rooms to accommodate foreign envoys and merchants.
Maritime Silk Route 1996, p.130, citing the 'livelihood & economy' section of the Ming shi (history of the Ming dynasty).

1405-1407: The first naval expedition under admiral Zheng He, on the orders of emperor Yongle, comprised 317 ships with 27,870 men. It sailed to Java, Semudera, Lambri (Aceh), Sri Lanka and Calicut, bearing gifts for local rulers. It routed the forces of pirate chief Chen Zuyi at Palembang. The fleet returned with envoys from Calicut, Quilon, the Sumatran states of Semudera and Aru (Deli), and Melaka - as well as Chen Zuyi, who was beheaded in Nanjing. The expeditions were to be chronicled by Fei Xin, Ma Huan, and others.
J.V.G.Mills, introduction, p.8-11, to Ma Huan, Ying-yai Sheng Lan; Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas, p.75-103.
Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/entry/533 & entry/1048.

1407: Siam sent envoys to the Ming court with gifts of elephants, parrots and peacocks.
Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/entry/1070; Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas, p.105.

1407-1409: The second Ming expedition, with 249 ships and commanded by Zheng He's subordinates, visited Thailand, Java, Aru, Lambri, Coimbatore, Cochin and Calicut, where it was present for the installation of a new king. A commemorative stone tablet was erected in Calicut. During this voyage, the sultan of Brunei visited the emperor, died in Nanjing, and was buried with imperial honours.
J.V.G.Mills, introduction, p.11, to Ma Huan, Ying-yai Sheng Lan; Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas, p.103-6; Ma Huan, Ying-yai Sheng Lan.

1409-1411: The third Ming expedition involved 48 ships and 30,000 men, commanded by Zheng He. It visited Champa, Java, Melaka, Semudera, Sri Lanka, Quilon, Cochin and Calicut. A trilingual stone tablet was erected in Galle. The Sinhalese ruler Alakeswara was captured and taken with his entourage to China, where the emperor ordered their release.
J.V.G.Mills, introduction, p.11-12, to Ma Huan, Ying-yai Sheng Lan; John Carswell, Blue & White, p.87; Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas, p.107-118; Ma Huan, Ying-yai Sheng Lan. Inscription in Galle: http://www.hum.uva.nl/galle/galle/trilingual.htm
Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/entry/605 & entry/1776 & 1778.

1411: The rulers of Calicut, Cochin, Java and Melaka visited the Ming court.
Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/entry/1781 & entry/1783, 1784, 1787; Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas, p.118.

1413-1415: The fourth Ming expedition under Zheng He reached the Persian Gulf. With 63 ships and 28,560 men, it visited Champa, Kelantan, Pahang, Java, Palembang, Melaka, Aru, Semudera, Lambri, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Cochin, Calicut and Hormuz. A splinter group under Yang Min went to Bengal, and returned to China with the new king of Bengal, who presented to the emperor a giraffe which he had received from the ruler of Malindi (in Kenya). The giraffe was thought to be a mythical qilin, and auspicious. On imperial orders to restore the rightful king of Semudera, Zheng He routed the usurper Sekandar, who was taken to China and executed. This was the first of three voyages in which chronicler Ma Huan participated.
J.V.G.Mills, introduction, p.12-13, to Ma Huan, Ying-yai Sheng Lan; Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas, p.137-142
Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/entry/1902 & entry/2261 & 2229.

1417-1419: The fifth Ming expedition reached Africa. It carried envoys returning home from China, and visited Champa, Pahang, Java, Palembang, Melaka, Semudera, Lambri, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Cochin, Calicut, Hormuz, Aden, Mogadishu (in Somalia), and Malindi.
J.V.G.Mills, introduction, p.13, to Ma Huan, Ying-yai Sheng Lan.
Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/entry/2336.

1421-1422: The sixth Ming expedition, with 41 ships, returned envoys from Hormuz and elsewhere. It probably visited Melaka, Aru, Semudera, Lambri, Coimbatore, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Cochin, Calicut, Hormuz, Dhofar, Aden, Mogadishu, Brava and Thailand.
J.V.G.Mills, introduction, p.14, to Ma Huan, Ying-yai Sheng Lan; Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas, p.151.
Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/entry/2768 & 2846.

1431-33: The seventh Zheng He expedition was despatched by emperor Xuande. With over 100 ships and 27,550 men, it went to Champa, Surabaya, Palembang, Melaka, Semudera, Sri Lanka, Calicut, Hormuz, Aden, and Jeddah; some participants visited Mecca. Zheng He died on the return voyage.
J.V.G.Mills, introduction, p.14-19, to Ma Huan, Ying-yai Sheng Lan; Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas, p.168-173;
Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/entry/1131 & 1296.

1419-1444: Venetian nobleman Nicol de Conti left Italy in 1419, lived for a time in Damascus, travelled in South Asia, returned home in 1444, and dictated an account to the papal secretary. He describes five-masted, triple-planked ships 'of twoo thousande Tunnes' with watertight compartments.
J.V.G. Mills, introduction to Ma Huan, 'Ying-yai Sheng Lan' (The overall survey of the Ocean's shores), p.64-66.

early C15th: Coins of the Yongle reign (1403-1424) fix the earliest date of the Bakau wreck, a Chinese ship wrecked between Sumatra and Borneo with Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese ceramics.
Michael Flecker, 'The Bakau wreck: an early example of Chinese shipping in Southeast Asia', The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology (2001) 30.2: 221-230; http://maritime-explorations.com/bakau.htm

1456: Thais attacked Melaka by sea, and were repulsed (off Batu Pahat).
http://home.iae.nl/users/arcengel/Indonesia/100.htm, http://www.sabrizain.demon.co.uk/malaya/melaka1.htm

1456: Raja Abdullah of Melaka took Kedah and Pahang from the Thais.
http://home.iae.nl/users/arcengel/Indonesia/100.htm

c.1460: tentative date of the 'Royal Nanhai' wreck, a hardwood South-China-Sea ship wrecked close to the east coast of the Malay peninsula, carrying Thai ceramics and supposed 'diplomatic gifts'.
Sten Sjostrand, Roxanna Brown, Claire Barnes: www.maritimeasia.ws/exhib01/pages/p015.html

1487-1513: The Portuguese rounded the Cape in 1487-88, reached India in 1498, Sri Lanka by 1506, Melaka in 1509, and China in 1513. Knowledge preceded physical contact: the Cantino Map drawn in Lisbon in 1502 shows the Malay peninsula, Melaka, and the coast of China.
Luis Filipe Barreto, Cartography of the West-East encounter, p29,115; Vasco da Gama's account of 1487-8, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1497degama.html

Late C15th / early C16th: tentative date of the wreck found off Cham island near Hoi An in central Vietnam, a South East Asian ship (Thai?) with a large cargo of fine Vietnamese ceramics.
John Guy, 'Vietnamese ceramics from the Hoi An excavation: the Chu Lao Cham ship cargo', Orientations, Sept 2000, p125-8.

1508: The Portuguese ship Santa Cruz sank in the Maldives, the first of many European ships to be lost in Asia.
Claudio Bonifacio, Historical list of Spanish & Portuguese shipwrecks in Asia, http://www.arrakis.es/~histres/asia.htm

1509: A Portuguese squadron of five ships under Diego Lopez de Sequeira arrived in Melaka, the first contact of a major European power with the Malay peninsula.
http://www.sabrizain.demon.co.uk/malaya/port.htm

1511: Portuguese capture Melaka.
http://www.sabrizain.demon.co.uk/malaya/port1.htm

1512-1515: The Portuguese traveller Tome Pires recorded restrictions on Chinese merchants, and the system of tribute to China by Asian kingdoms.
The Suma Oriental of Tome Pires, Cortesao, p118-119 & 268.

c.1519: The king of Arakan wrote a letter to the Portuguese king inviting trade.
Jacques Leider, 'Elephants slaves and rubies: Arakan's place in the trade network of the Bay of Bengal', http://www.rakhapura.com/scolumns/arakan_i...etworkofbob.asp

1521: Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese in the service of the Spanish king, reached Guam and the Philippines having sailed westwards from South America, and was killed, but shipmates completed the circumnavigation.
Donald Wigal, Historic Maritime Maps, p107-114; account by a Genoese pilot http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1519magellan.html. See also 'Was the first man to sail around the world a Malay?' on Sejarah Melayu, http://malaya.org.uk.

1533: China opened somewhat to Portuguese trade; settlements were precarious until 1557, when a more stable community was organised at Macau.
Joaquim Romero Magalhes, The Portuguese in the 16th century, p79-80

1539: A fleet of 160 vessels from Aceh invaded Aru, but was destroyed by Johor, with allies from Perak and Siak, at the battle of Sungei Paneh.
http://www.sabrizain.demon.co.uk/malaya/johor1.htm

c.1540: tentative date of the 'Xuande' wreck, sunk off the east coast of the Malay peninsula with Chinese and Thai ceramics, and small bronze cannon.
Sten Sjostrand, Roxanna Brown, Claire Barnes: www.maritimeasia.ws/exhib01/pages/p016.html

1543: Portuguese arrived in Japan. They established a trading enclave at Hirado.
Joaquim Romero Magalhes, The Portuguese in the 16th century, p.81; http://www.hendrick-hamel.henny-savenije.pe.kr/holland3.htm

1544: Chen Kan was despatched as a Ming envoy to Ryukyu. The 5-masted, 15 zhang (46.65 metre) ship had been built in Fuzhou. She had 23 compartments, four anchors, four rudders (3 spare), and two boats. She had over 140 crew, and carried over 200 officers, craftsmen and soldiers.
Wang Guanzhou, 'A study of drawings of ancient Chinese ships preserved in Japan', p.122, citing Chen Kan, 'Shi Liu Qiu Lu' (record of diplomatic mission to Ryukyu) [in Chinese].

c.1550: tentative date of the 'Singtai' wreck, sunk off the east coast of the Malay peninsula; Thai ceramics similar to those on the 'Xuande' wreck.
Sten Sjostrand, Roxanna Brown, Claire Barnes: www.maritimeasia.ws/exhib01/pages/p017.html

mid C16th: tentative date of the San Isidro junk wreck on the Zambales coast of the Philippines.
National Museum of the Filipino People, Manila, caption

from mid C16th: Japanese smuggling and piracy became a problem in the Yangtze estuary and southern China.
K.Nomoto & K.Ishii, 'A historical review on ships of Japanese tradition', p.100-101.

1552: The So Joo, one of the largest Portuguese ships of the time, was wrecked off Natal in South Africa. Survivors trekked north, and a few were rescued. Cargo included Chinese ceramics, and carnelian beads from India.
Tim Maggs, 'The Great Galleon So Joo: remains from a mid-sixteenth century wreck on the Natal South Coast', Annals of the Natal Museum 26.1: 173-186 (Dec 1984); Laura Valerie Esterhuizen, 'History written in porcelain sherds', Taoci, 2001.

1554: The Portuguese ship So Bento was wrecked off Natal; survivors found the remains of the So Joo. Cargo included similar ceramics, mostly blue-and-white, carnelian beads, gold jewellery set with Sri Lankan rubies, and money cowries.
Chris Auret & Tim Maggs, 'The Great Galleon SoBento: remains from a mid-sixteenth century Portuguese wreck on the Pondoland coast', Annals of the Natal Museum 25.1: 1-39 (Oct 1982); Laura Valerie Esterhuizen, 'History written in porcelain sherds', Taoci, 2001.

1571: Spanish soldiers and merchants established themselves at Manila. They also rescued the crew of a sinking Chinese junk and repatriated the crew. In 1572 the rescued merchants returned to Manila and established a long-term trading relationship with the Spaniards. 'Manila galleons' were Spanish ships sailing from Manila to Acapulco. Galleons sailed in 1572, but returned to Manila in distress; the galleons of 1573 reached Mexico safely.
Edward von der Porten, 'Manila galleon porcelains on the American West Coast', Taoci, 2001.

1574-76: Tentative date of a Manila galleon site off the west coast of America, based on 600 ceramic shards found & studied in 1999-2000. The shards' variety suggests experimentation by the Chinese merchants, not yet sure of Spanish tastes.
Edward von der Porten, 'Manila galleon porcelains on the American West Coast', Taoci, 2001.

1579: The English seafarer Francis Drake and his ship Golden Hind spent 36 days at Drake's Bay, 50km north of San Francisco, with porcelain on board after the capture of a Spanish ship. Shards of blue-and-white porcelain found at Drake's Bay have been identified with 77 bowls, plates, cups and bottles from this stay.
Edward von der Porten, 'Manila galleon porcelains on the American West Coast', Taoci, 2001.

1587: The Santa Ana, a Manila galleon, was captured by the English privateer Thomas Cavendish off Baja California, with a rich cargo of Chinese goods, jewels and bullion.
http://militarymuseum.org/Expeditions.html ; http://cogweb.ucla.edu/Chumash/California_...Europeans.html; http://math.ucr.edu/ftm/bajaPages/Stories/Coromuel.html

1591: English adventurer Captain James Lancaster visited Penang and the coast of Kedah in the vessel Edward Bonaventure.
Sabri Zain, personal correspondence.

1592: Japan introduced a system of foreign trade licences to prevent smuggling and piracy.
K.Nomoto & K.Ishii, 'A historical review on ships of Japanese tradition', p.101.
Japan, led by Toyotomi Hideyoshi who had decided to conquer Ming China, invaded Korea.
Fukuoka City Museum captions.

1595: The Spanish ship San Agustin sailed from Manila to Acapulco intending to explore the coast of California, and was wrecked off Point Reyes. Survivors reached Mexico. Shards from 158 porcelains of this date have been identified.
http://www.ptreyeslight.com/stories/oct16/wreck.html; Edward von der Porten, 'Manila galleon porcelains on the American West Coast', Taoci, 2001.
The first Dutch fleet to Asia comprised 4 ships: 3 returned after visiting Java and Bali; the Amsterdam was deliberately set on fire near Bawean in Eastern Java.
Menno Leenstra, personal correspondence.

1597: Japan invaded Korea for a second time.
Fukuoka City Museum captions.

1598: Five Dutch fleets sailed for the East Indies via the Cape of Good Hope (eastern route), and two via the Straits of Magellan (western route). Some ships of each fleet returned; collectively they visited Aceh, Banda, Bantam, Ambon, Ternate, Tidore & Manila.
Menno Leenstra, http://maritimeasia.ws/topic/firstdutchfleets.html; http://www.vocshipwrecks.nl/out_voyages/he...k_frederik.html.

C16th: tentative date of wreck found in the Central Gulf of Thailand, with Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese ceramics, and small Chinese hand guns.
Michael Flecker, http://maritime-explorations.com/thailand.htm

1600: The Dutch ship Liefde was lost off Kyushu in Japan. Her pilot was the Englishman William Adams, who came to be trusted by the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, and spent the rest of his life in Japan. The shogun sent Captain Quackernaeck and the merchant Van Santvoort to invite their countrymen to trade in Japan. Quackernaeck reached the Dutch settlement at Patani (Thailand) with this message in 1604.
http://www.vocshipwrecks.nl/out_voyages/liefde.html; http://www.geschiedenis.org/deliefde/English.html
The Dutch arrived in the Philippines. Commander Olivier van Noort heard that 400 Chinese ships a year called at Manila, and that two Japanese ships were due shortly, along with the Spanish galleon San Tomas carrying silver from Acapulco. The Dutch waited off Manila Bay, preying on merchant ships. The Spanish attacked; during a battle with the small Dutch ship Mauritius, which had only 59 men, the San Diego sank with many of her 450-strong crew. Japanese swords found on excavation suggest the presence of Japanese mercenaries.
http://www.vocshipwrecks.nl/out_voyages/he..._frederik.html; http://www.underwaterdiscovery.org/english...idSanDiego.asp; National Museum of the Filipino People, Manila, exhibition



And the rest is well, history...lol
Eric

Hope You Guys Enjoyed the List! There's a lot of cool stuff in there worth reading! Especially the first European contacts with Far East Asia...

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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2006 at 16:30

What, am I the only one on here who thinks that this is one of the greatest timelines for maritime history ever assembled? If I'm wrong, then you can just call me Condoleeza Rice. Wink

Lol.
Eric
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  Quote Timotheus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2006 at 21:28
Do you lend any credence to Menzies' theory about the 1421 expedition?
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2006 at 16:32
Dude, did you even bother to read any of this stuff? No seriously, not even a word of it? Clearly once the timeline gets to the 15th century, after a long centuries old history of Chinese involvement in the Indian Ocean, it clearly states the places Zheng He visited on his 1421 voyage. Almost every other passage in this timeline is friggin amazing, enlightening, and mind-opening, and the only thing you have to say is the most predictable mentioning about a modern-day quack who refused to do his homework about Zheng He or ancient Chinese maritime tributary envoys in the first place. How sad is that! I'm trying to do something credible and gracious here to serve the long and glorious past of Chinese maritime history throughout the East Pacific and Indian Ocean, and then you had to go and bring up Menzies. Personally, I think it's a load of dog excrement, as Menzies is clearly just going for the shock value here to get some money for his book, rather than concerning himself with anything that would be remotely considered a careful analytical or scientifical approach to history, something that I hold dear and something that isn't to be exploited for book sales (sheesh, thanks for blotching Chinese history, Menzies, you jack ass). Zheng He's 15th century voyages were meant for reestablishing sea trade links and tributary collection that already existed long before he arrived in the Indian Ocean and traded in places such as modern day Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Persia, Arabia, and East Africa. He is but one figure in a long history of China venturing out to sea and into the Indian Ocean. Did the Chinese cross the Pacific and reach America? Very, very, very, very, very unlikely, as there is no good amount of evidence to suggest anyone before Zheng He bothered to venture far west into the Pacific where there was no known trading partners, and we know the routes and voyages Zheng He took, because he documented the accounts of the countries he visited, some 30 of them in all. What Menzies did was twist facts and distort truth of actual ancient Chinese documentation, what little of it that survived from it being destroyed by Ming Confucian court officials who wished to silence Eunuch influence within the central capital at Beijing. Please, Timotheus, go back and actually read the timeline this time, it's really, really worth it. I'm so confident that you'll learn something valuable from it that I would bet putting my nuts on a chopping block over it. It won't dissapoint, honest.
 
Lol.
Eric


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 19-Aug-2006 at 19:23
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  Quote Timotheus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2006 at 22:09
Look look, I wasn't saying I was a menzies fanboy, I was just wondering if you thought anything of it...which obviously you don't. I set Menzies in the same camp as Immanuel Velikovsky - "too good to be true, though it just might be"

I assume, in that case, that you lend no credence to the view that Fa Xian reached Central America? Tongue
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2006 at 03:12
Cool...No, it's not that I don't think the Chinese seafaring junk vessels weren't capable of crossing the Pacific during the Ming, it's just that I believe the Chinese of the Han, Sui, Tang, Song, and Ming didn't have the reasoning or motives to do so like the later Renaissance era European explorers who were totally hell-bent on world navigation and colonization of foreign territory, in search of golds and riches of the Eastern world in which they coveted. The Chinese simply had a different mindset than that of Renaissance Europe, when late 15th century Europeans were first able to traverse large spans of ocean beyond the Mediterranean world (the Spanish and the Portuguese leading the way). As for the Buddhist follower Fa Xian, the only thing we can deduce fully is that he sailed to India and back (not as far west as the American continents), which is still a marvelous feat for the 5th century AD considering he came all the way from modern-day China and sailed into the Indian Ocean and then back home. Put credit where credit is due, and until we find conclusive evidence that suggests otherwise, as far as we know, it was only the Norse Vikings who were able to reach the Americas before that of the famed Christopher Columbus (who is hailed throughout Western history, despite the fact that he was not such a great guy, as proven by his journals and accounts). I definitely pay homage to the men of old who contributed to the advances of seafaring and maritime technology for the enitre world over, many of whom were Chinese.
 
Eric
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Sep-2006 at 02:33
I'm reading now in my Modern China History course at school about the worldwide depression of the early 17th century (concurrent with the coldest climate changes on earth since 1000 AD, affecting crop production, agrarian output, and ultimately a dip in world population). Inflation of overabundant silver was a major problem of inflation affecting the Chinese economy in the late Ming, due to tons of silver being imported to China via direct European merchants at Chinese ports (mined from modern-day Mexico and Peru), the Philippines, or from Japan (once again, through intermediaries like Koreans and Europeans). The silver issue was so severe that the Chinese in the last decades of the Ming Dynasty attempted to convert silver currency to a standard of copper-based currency, which could be procurred within the mines of China, not gathered and imported from elsewhere. In the late 16th century, it was recorded that 41 ships a year trekked from China to the Philippines to upload all the necessary silver. By the 1640s, the number of annual Chinese ships visiting the Philippines to import silver had dropped to 6 ships per year.
 
Eric
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2006 at 21:39

Wow, totally forgot that I posted this here. So no one besides me and Timotheus cares about this? Especially in the East Asian Forum? Interesting...

 

Eric

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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2006 at 22:10
All landlubbers here. ;-)

My comment would be that China, while it traded overseas for much of its history, only got truly maritime during Song and early Ming. Otherwise it featured a rather land-based economy.
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  Quote Hellios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2006 at 23:21
Hi Eric,
 
I worked in the maritime shipping industry for about 15 years, so I learned a bit of maritime history from some books the company kept in the lunch room.
 
Some people don't realize how rich China's maritime history is.  The huge country has countless massive, extremely long rivers that they've used for trading for thousands of years.  As far as river shipping goes they were the best in my opinion, maybe still are.  Less for deep sea shipping, but they're still among the best deep sea shipbuilders in the world.  http://www.shipbuilding.com.cn/en/
 
Regards.
 


Edited by Hellios - 08-Oct-2006 at 23:22
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2006 at 00:59
Originally posted by Gun Powder Ma

All landlubbers here. ;-)
 
Lol. LOL
 
Arr, matey! Blistering barnicles and shiver me timbers! To the depths with ye land-lovers! All the way down the blue waters till ye reach the dreaded sanctum of Davey Jones' Locker! Harr-harr-harr!
 
I swear that Johnny Depp made friggin being a Pirate some sort of new fad, very weird,
Eric
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  Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2006 at 10:52

I agree with Gun Power Ma's observation that China was not a particularly strong maritime power by tradition. Most of the maritime activities took place in the South China Sea instead of along China's long east coast.

Some time ago I started a thread on the notable historical naval battles that ancient China had. There were in fact very few of them - or maybe other AE members and I are just not knowledgeable enough in this area?  

 
But Hellios is also right in pointing out that the Chinese actually had a very strong river shipping tradition. As a matter of fact, some historians argue that one of the reasons why the Mongolian navy failed to withstand the kamikaze during its invasion of Japan was that they relied on the skills of Chinese shipbuilders who were accomplished builders of ships for navigating rivers, not seas.

Some Vietnamese historians have pointed out that Vietnam, compared to China, was in fact a more accomplished maritime power. There is quite a lot of "nationalist" sentiment evident in the following link, but it is still quite interesting.   

http://sanvu.tripod.com/vnwaterculture.htm



Edited by flyingzone - 09-Oct-2006 at 10:55
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  Quote Omnipotence Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2006 at 15:15
Some time ago I started a thread on the notable historical naval battles that ancient China had. There were in fact very few of them - or maybe other AE members and I are just not knowledgeable enough in this area?  
 
If you mean naval battle as in battles at open sea, then yes there were few. But there were tons of naval battles as a whole due to China's massive rivers.
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  Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2006 at 17:17
Yes Omni, I mean open sea naval battles. They were very rare in Chinese history, weren't they?  
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  Quote Toluy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2006 at 12:12
Originally posted by Preobrazhenskoe

 it was only the Norse Vikings who were able to reach the Americas before that of the famed Christopher Columbus
 
Have some evidence?
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2006 at 16:41
Originally posted by Toluy

Have some evidence?
 
What, are you joking or something? If so that's a funny joke. If not, apparently you've never heard of the Viking voyages across the north Pacific to Iceland, Greenland, and then hopping right over to the shores of modern-day Newfoundland, Canada, in the Medieval 10th century AD. You've seriously never heard of Leif Ericson?
 
@ Flying Zone
 
The only naval engagements out on the waters of the sea (not rivers or large lakes inside China) that I can think of are the examples of China's involvement in Korea. The Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC) sent a large navy to patrol the waters along the southern coast of modern China, and invaded Vietnam in this way to establish a commandery there. The Sui Dynasty of China sent an enormous naval force against Goguryeo in northern Korea during the early 7th century, but the war failed due to logistical failures and budget constraints. The Yamato Japanese Kingdom had invaded Korea on and off since the 4th century AD, and was finally expelled from the Korean peninsula in the mid 7th century AD when the Tang Dynasty of China aided the rising Silla Kingdom of Korea in a naval affair. The Song Dynasty was a period marked by Chinese naval prowess in the Indian Ocean, sending large merchant fleets escorted by battleships. The early 15th century Treasure Fleet of Zheng He saw some limited naval engagements, shelling enemy towns with artillery and so forth, and engaged in a war on Sinhale (Sri Lanka) using naval support. In the decade of the 1590s, the Japanese warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi invaded Korea with over 100,000 troops in an enormous naval display, while Ming Dynasty China sent naval reinforcements to aid the Korean Admiral Yi Sun Sin in patrolling and defending the coasts of Joseon Korea, and were involved in several sea battles of the war (including the culmination, the Battle of Noryang Point). 
 
Speaking of Chinese naval battles, I can't wait for director John Woo's new film The Battle of Red Cliffs (Chi Bi) to come out in 08, when China hosts the World Olympics. I hear Chow Yun Fatt (Liu Bei), Ken Watanabe (Cao Cao) and several other good actors are already cast for the film.
 
Eric


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 11-Oct-2006 at 16:54
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  Quote Hellios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2006 at 17:00
Originally posted by Toluy

Have some evidence?
 
Toluy, he's right, The Vikings explored north-eastern Canada before the colonialists did.  The Vikings were excellent shipbuilders & navigators, they did it (explore north-eastern Canada) through a combination of coasting & some deep sea/ocean crossings that must've been terrifying for them.  Let me know if you want some material on the subject.
 
I'll check precisely how far down our east coast they explored, and let you know here.  I also want to know.
 


Edited by Hellios - 11-Oct-2006 at 20:58
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  Quote Omnipotence Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2006 at 17:05
Speaking of Chinese naval battles, I can't wait for director John Woo's new film The Battle of Red Cliffs (Chi Bi) to come out in 08, when China hosts the World Olympics. I hear Chow Yun Fatt (Liu Bei), Ken Watanabe (Cao Cao) and several other good actors are already cast for the film.
 
Are you kidding, I've been waiting for 3 years! Damn the film industry! First they say that the film will show by 2005, and when I waited to 2004, they say it's going to open in 2005, etc... all the way until 2008! I would choke them if not for the fact that choking them to death would only prolong the release of the movie.


Edited by Omnipotence - 12-Oct-2006 at 00:13
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  Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2006 at 19:51

Eric, you are absolutely right about the scarcity of naval engagements prior to the Song Dynasty. I think most of us agree that China in the period from Han to T'ang could not qualify as a sea power although fleets were employed to wage coastal wars and to carry out invasions of Korea and Indo-China. Traditionally speaking, the early Chinese did not regard the navy as anything more than a subordinate adjunct of the army. Moreover, as I mentioned in my earlier posts, the Chinese navies composed mainly of river units under provincial command.

However, things started to "look up" in the Late (Southern) Song, Yuan, and early Ming Periods. As a matter of fact, some scholars actually argue that these periods witnessed the emergence of China as a sea power. The Southern Song navy was China's first national navy to be established on a permanent basis and to function as an independent service. It was also the first navy to be administered by a special agency of the government, the Imperial Commissioner's Office for the Control and Organization of the Coastal Areas established in 1132.

In 1161, the Southern Song navy successfully destroyed the Jurchen fleet off the coast of Shangtung. A bold scheme, later abandoned, was actually conceived by the Song officials for the invasion of Korea by naval forces and using Korea as an advance base for seaborned attacks on the Chin Empire. In 1268, the Mongols abandoned the idea of attacking the Song Empire by sea in fear of the power of the Song navy. As a scholar put it, "in the great struggle between the Chinese and their enemies to the north during the Southern Sung period, it was the naval phase of the wars that was the most decisive". Armed by technological adcvances in the art of navigation, naval architecture, and the manufacture and use of fire-arms, the Southern Song navy won victories when the army suffered losses.
 
By the first half of the 13th century, the Song navy ranged unchallenged over the East China Sea.
 
Some scholars actually attribute the rapid transformation of the Yuan navy to the Mongols' wholesale takeover of the Southern Song Chinese navy. Yuan shipyards could be found as inland as Changsha, as far south as Canton, as far north as Lung-lu (in northeast Hopei), and as far east as the Korean province of Cholla-do. As the result of such transformation, they were able to embark on large-scale naval wars against Japan, Tongking, Champa, Java, and sending naval units against Quelpart Island and Formosa.
 
The naval programme continued into the early Ming period. The possession and application of naval power not only facilitated the Ming Empire the reconquest of Annam but also enabled the Chinese to extend their political control beyond the East and South China Seas into the Indian Ocean.
 
In a separate post, I will try to give some reasons for the rather "sudden" emergence of China as a naval power during the Southern Song Dynasty.
 
Reference:
Lo, J.-P. (1955). The emergence of China as a sea power during the late Sung and early Yuan periods. The Far Eastern Quarterly, 14 (4), 489-503.
 
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