He is now writing about Atlantis and the sparking of the Renaissance by the arrival of the Chinese in Italy;
1421: The Year China Discovered the World
By Gavin Menzies
(Bantam Press, 2002)
Ever since 2002 one can rarely find a book store that does not carry copies of 1421: The Year China Discovered the World. Menzies, a retired submarine commander with no experience as a historian, devised a very grand tale: that between the years 1421 and 1423 a fleet of ships from China was able spread out around the world, circumnavigating the globe and discovering Australia, New Zealand, the Americas and Antarctica. This fleet even managed to settle thousands of people in these far off lands.
However, Menzies book lacks actual evidence that any of this happened. While a Chinese fleet under Admiral Zheng He did sail to the east coast of Africa in 1421, there is really nothing to suggest that these ships went beyond that. Since the book has come out, historians have savaged it in reviews. For instance:
“The reasoning of 1421 is inexorably circular, its evidence spurious, its research derisory, its borrowings unacknowledged, its citations slipshod, and its assertions preposterous.” – see more here.
Or: “the historical equivalent of stories about Elvis Presley in Tesco and close encounters with alien hamsters” – from this article.
There are even websites out there that debunk Menzies claims, but the author has continued on, writing another book that claimed in 1434 Chinese explorers reached Italy, where they imparted the knowledge needed to set off the Renaissance. He has since gone on to write about Atlantis. Meanwhile, his work remains on the bestsellers list for history, and has even found a proponent in the Chinese government.
Crazy or agent of the British marine intelligence service (to screw up historical knowledge)?
Well, the Chinese DID send pasta to Italy!
THAT must be the spark that created the Renaissance.