02.05.

1360: The Yongle Emperor of China, Whose Fleet Sailed to the Coast of Africa and Arabia

1360: The Yongle Emperor of China, Whose Fleet Sailed to the Coast of Africa and Arabia
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 02 May 1360
  • During his rule, the Chinese made ships which were among the largest wooden ships in world history. Allegedly, they had nine masts and four decks.

The Yongle Emperor, a member of the famous Ming Dynasty, was born on this day in 1360.

He moved the seat of the Ming Dynasty to Beijing, and built the Forbidden City, which is still located there. During his rule, the Chinese started great naval expeditions to foreign countries.

The Admiral Zheng He came to the shores of Africa and Arabia, the Persian Gulf, India and areas of today`s Indonesia.

At the time, the Chinese made ships which were among the largest wooden ships in world history. Allegedly, they had nine masts and four decks (opinions about the exact dimensions vary).

It is interesting to note that, during the Yongle Emperor’s rule, Chinese scholars put together then the largest encyclopedia, with more than 11,000 volumes, and approximately 370 million Chinese characters.

Despite the great cultural and technological achievements of China at the time, the Yongle Emperor was  an extremely cruel ruler. In fact, there are assertions according which he committed a whole range of massacres against his citizens, including women.

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