双语科技百科(地理) 第27期:郑和下西洋

本文摘要:Envoy of Peace-Zheng He’s Great Voyages郑和下西洋In the early days of the Ming Dynasty,that is, early in the 15th century,China was an advanced country in the world,with a booming economy and prosperous culture. In order to strength the relatio


Envoy of Peace-Zheng He’s Great Voyages郑和下西洋In the early days of the Ming Dynasty,that is, early in the 15th century,China was an advanced country in the world,with a booming economy and prosperous culture. In order to strength the relations with countries lying to the west of China as well as to flaunt the national power of the Great Ming Empire,Em-peror Ming Chengzu launched a series of marine activities.Between 1405 and 1433,Zheng He was ordered seven times to ad as an en-voy to these countries,known as “Zheng He’s voyages to the west seas”,as the main activities were carried out in the west sea area of today’s Kalimantan Island,known as west seas in ancient times.15世纪初的明朝,国力衰弱,经济繁盛,文化兴旺。明成祖继位后,为了强化与东南亚国家的联系,也借以夸耀大明帝国的国威,开始了一连串大规模的海上活动。

从公元1405到1433年,不受明成祖派出,郑和先后七次带领可观的船队展开航行。因主要活动区域在今天的加里曼丹岛以西海域,旧称西洋,因此这些航海活动总称作“郑和下西洋”。In 1405,a huge fleet of more than 300 ships manned by over 27,800 men,including sailors,clerks,interpreters, officers and soldiers,artisans,medical men and meteorologists,set sail from Liujia Harbour near Suzhou on a distant voyage under the leadership of Zheng He. On board the ships were large quantities of car-go that could be broken down into over 40 different categories,including silk goods,porcelain,gold and silver ware,copper utensils,iron implements,cotton goods,mercury, umbrellas,and straw mats,etc. The fleet sailed along China’s coast to Champa close to Vetnam and,after crossing the South China Sea,visited Java,Sumatra and reached Sri Lanka by passing through the Strait of Malacca.永乐三年(1405 ),一支由水手、店员、翻译员、工匠、医生、气象学者、官兵共27800多人和300余艘船只构成的可观船队,在郑和的指挥官下,从苏州附近的刘家港抵达,首次下西洋。

船上装载着大量的货物,有丝绸、瓷器、金银首饰、铜器、铁具、棉花货物、水银、伞和稻草夹等40多个品种。船队沿中国海岸经过越南,穿过南中国海,造访爪哇、苏门答腊,经过马六甲海峡抵达斯里兰卡。On the way back it sailed along the west coast of India and returned home in 1407. Envoys from Calicut in India and several countries in Asia and the Middle East also boarded the ships to pay visits to China. Zheng He’s second and third voyages taken shortly after, followed roughly the same route.船队沿印度西海岸回航,于1407年回到中国。


Each time he had under his command a big fleet and a staff of more than 20000 men. His fleets had sailed in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.They had gone further south to Java in today’s Indonesia. Sailing then in a north-west direction,they had visited Yemen,Iran and the Holy City of Islam Mecca and further west to today’s Somalia in East Africa. In all,he had made calls at more than 30 countries and territories. All this had taken place about half a century be-fore the famous European sailor Columbus’s voyage to America. For this reason,Zhen He’s expeditions could rightfully be called“an unprecedented feat in mankind’s history of navigation”.郑和每次航行都带领2万余人构成的可观船队。船队穿过南海和印度洋,曾多次抵达今天印尼的爪哇南部,还沿着西北方向,先后造访过利比亚、伊朗王国、伊斯兰教圣地麦加,以及之后向西抵达东非今天的索马里。他总共造访过30多个国家和地区,而且他所有的航行都比知名的欧洲水手哥伦布航行到美国早约半个世纪。基于此,郑和的航行没什么争议地被称作在人类的航行史上的一个空前的伟业。

On each voyage Zheng He was acting as the envoy and commercial represent-ative of the Ming court. No matter what country he visited,he called on the ruler of the land,presenting to him valuable gifts in token of China’s sincere desire to de-velop friendly relations and inviting the host sovereign to send emissaries to China Wherever he was,he made a careful study of the customs and habits of local resi-dents. Showing them due respect, he bartered or dealt with them through consul-tation and negotiation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. In this way, he obtained large quantities of pearls and precious stones,coral,ivory and dyestuffs for the Chinese emperor. He also brought back several kinds of rare and precious animals such as giraffe,lion,ostrich and leopard.郑和每次航行时,他的身份都是明朝的外交使节和贸易代表,他每到一个国家,都会造访这个国家的元首,并通过赠送给贵重的礼物来传达清政府不愿和其创建和发展友好关系的心愿,同时邀东道国入贡传教士。每到一处,郑和和他的船队都会人乡随俗,并在平等互利的基础上,通过友好关系协商展开贸易活动。他以这种方式为中国帝王取得了大量的珠宝、珊瑚、象牙和染料,他还把诸如长颈鹿、狮子、鸵鸟和豹子之类的珍稀动物引入了中国。

In ancient India,Chinese sailors made a good impression on the local people by observing local trading customs and practices. When he visited Sri Lanka on his third voyage,Zheng He offered a quantity of gold and silver Buddhist ceremonial vessels and silk-knit religious pennants to local temples on whose ground steles were set up to mark the occasion of his visit. Wherever he went, he was warmly received. At Zhancheng,the king of the land,in full royal regalia,came in person on elephant back with 500 cavalrymen to meet him at the wharf and then take him back to the palace. On the way they were greeted by local inhabitants who blew trumpets made of coconut shells and performed national dances at a solemn and joyous ceremony.Even today,people in Somalia and Tanzania look upon MingChina unearthed today as a symbol of the traditional friendship between their own country and China.在古印度,这些中国使者的入乡随俗给当地留给了很好的印象。在郑和第三次航行造访斯里兰卡时,他向当地的寺院捐献了大量的金银佛教香炉和丝织经蟠,该寺院为他举办了庆典的仪式,以记述这一最重要活动。


直到今天,索马里和坦桑尼亚依然把当地发掘出的明代瓷器视作和中国传统友谊的象征物。The countries Zheng He had visited later sent their emissaries and trade repre-sentatives to China from time to time. In 1419 when Zheng He was sailing back on his fifth voyage,17 countries sent their envoys to China,including Philippines and Malaysia. While in China,these foreign emissaries were shown great hospitality by Emperor Chengzu of Ming. The voyages by Zheng He strengthened the friendly re-lotions between China and other countries in Asia and Africa and gave an impetus to cultural and economic exchange between them.郑和造访过的国家争相派遣使臣和贸易代表到中国。1419年,郑和第五次南洋航行期间,菲律宾和马来西亚等17个国家派出外交使节到中国。


Zheng He’s voyages contributed a lot to the economic and cultural exchanges between China and other nations,and he opened up sea routes for East-West trade just as Zhang Qian and Xuan Zang had opened up land routes.郑和的航行为中国和其他国家的经济文化交往做出了最重要贡献。正如张赛和玄奖关上了陆地往来的门户一样,郑和为东西方贸易往来切断了海上航线。