In 1434, Gavin Menzies offers a stunning reappraisal of history, presenting compelling new evidence on the European Renaissance, tracing its roots to China

In this provocative, highly readable history, Gavin Menzies makes the startling argument that China provided the spark that set the Renaissance ablaze. Based on years of research, this marvellous history argues that a Chinese fleet, official ambassadors of the emperor, arrived in Tuscany in 1434, where they met with Pope Eugenius IV in Florence. The delegation presented the pope with a wealth of knowledge, from a diverse range of fields: geography (including world maps that the author believes were passed on to Christopher Columbus), astronomy, mathematics, art, printing, architecture, steel manufacturing, civil engineering, military weaponry, surveying, cartography, genetics, and more. This gift of knowledge sparked the inventiveness of the Renaissance, including da Vinci’s mechanical creations, the Copernican revolution, Galileo’s discoveries, and more.

From 1434 onward, Europeans embraced Chinese intellectual ideas, discoveries, and inventions – all which have formed the basis of European civilisation just as much as Greek philosophy and Roman law. Erudite and brilliantly reasoned, 1434 is sure to make headlines and change the way we see ourselves, our history, and our world.

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