●英语联盟首页 加入收藏 网站地图 热点专题 网站搜索 [RSS订阅] [WAP访问]  
语言选择: English Union | http://en.enun.cn
英语联盟 | www.enun.cn
英语学习 | 英语阅读 | 英语写作 | 英语听力 | 英语语法 | 综合口语| 考试大全 | 英语四六 | 英语课堂 | 广播英语 | 行业英语 | 出国留学
品牌英语 | 实用英语 | 英文歌曲 | 影视英语 | 幽默笑话 | 英语游戏 | 儿童英语 | 英语翻译 | 英语讲演 | 求职简历 | 奥运英语 | 英文祝福
广告出售QQ:362192 广告出售QQ:362192


[日期:2008-01-24]   [字体: ]


Viewed from the rocky outcropping of Dondra Head at the southernnmost tip of Sri Lanka, the first sighting of the Ming fleet is a massive shadow on the horizon. As the shadow rises, it breaks into a cloud of tautly ribbed sail, aflame in the tropical sun. With relentless determination, the cloud draws ever closer, and in its fiery embrace an enormous city appears. A floating city, like nothing the world has ever seen before. No warning could have prepared officials, soldiers, or the thunderstruck peasants who stand atop Dondra Head for the scene that unfolds below them. Stretched across miles of the Indian Ocean in terrifying majesty is the armada of Zheng He, admiral of the imperial Ming navy.

从斯里兰卡最南端“栋德勒角(Dondra Head)”上的岩石露头望去,初入眼帘的大明舰队,只是地平线上的庞大阴影。随着阴影渐升,却化为众帆如云,肋纹毕现,在热带的阳光下映出闪闪红光。彤云徐徐掩至,耀眼光芒中逐渐浮现出一座巨大的城市。这是一座世所未有的漂浮之城。对于立在岩石顶端的官员、士兵或惊呆的农民而言,这番景象若非亲见,如何也无法想象。这是明帝国海军统帅郑和率领的船队,展现慑人威仪,在印度洋中绵延数里。

Exactly 600 years ago this month the GREat Ming armada weighed anchor in Nanjing, on the first of seven epic voyages as far west as Africa—almost a century before Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas and Vasco da Gama's in India. Even then the European expeditions would seem paltry by comparison: All the ships of Columbus and da Gama combined could have been stored on a single deck of a single vessel in the fleet that set sail under Zheng He.


Zheng was not even Chinese—he was by origin a Central Asian Muslim. Born Ma He, the son of a rural official in the Mongol province of Yunnan, he had been taken captive as an invading Chinese army overthrew the Mongols in 1382. Ritually castrated, he was trained as an imperial eunuch and assigned to the court of Zhu Di, the bellicose Prince of Yan.


Hewing to a long but dying tradition, workmen in Beihai, China, craft the wood skeleton of a junk for the prolific South China Sea fishing industry. The ship's design has probably changed little since Chinese admiral Zheng He commanded a massive fleet of junks during seven epic voyages—the first of which was launched 600 years ago this month. In service to Ming emperor Zhu Di, Zheng's Treasure Fleet conducted widespread trade and diplomacy throughout the Indian Ocean. His mandate was to enrich the imperial treasury by exacting tribute from leaders of other countries bordering the Indian Ocean, and to solidify their allegiance to China.


The fins of a hammerhead shark hauled out of the Red Sea at Al Hudaydah, Yemen, may end up on dinner tables in China, where shark-fin soup is highly prized. Seafaring traders from Yemen and other Arabian Peninsula countries did brisk business throughout the Indian Ocean during the Ming period, which lasted from the 14th to the mid-17th centuries. When Zheng set sail in 1405, his fleet was the mightiest of its age. With vessels numbering in the hundreds and crewmen in the tens of thousands, Zheng took to the seas nearly a century before the European age of exploration began in earnest.


At the bottom end of a soaring market, an ethnic Chinese worker squats in a sluice to gather tin ore at a mine on Bangka Island off the Sumatran coast. Zheng's crewmen found a Chinese community already settled on this Indonesian island when their ships called at Bangka to trade for tin and other goods. Prices for the metal rose substantially in 2004, and abandoned mines are being reworked as demand grows, particularly within China's vigorous economy.


On Pate Island along the Swahili coast of Kenya, the Mohame family pounds corn to make cornbread, a staple of their diet. The Mohameds are one of three families of the Famao clan who claim Chinese lineage. According to local legend, shipwrecked sailors from Zheng's fleet made it to shore and married local women, a belief that has become a central part of the Famao's personal mythology. Hints of past Chinese presence still exist on the island: Local tombs and lion statues have designs that some believe closely resemble those of the Ming era, and bits of Chinese ceramics that have washed ashore decorate the facades of some houses.


Dhows lie beached near Ra's al Hadd in Oman, their hulls sealed with a coating of cement and animal fat. For Arab countries the dhow has been the workhorse of the Indian Ocean, just as the junk has been for the Chinese in Southeast Asia. Zheng's fleet stopped here to trade porcelain for frankincense, myrrh, and aloe.


Incense perfumes the air at Tay Kak Sie, a Chinese Buddhist temple in Semarang, Indonesia—one of several in Southeast Asia where Zheng He's memory is revered. Its sister temple, Sampokong, was built to honor Zheng's reported appearance in Semarang to visit Wang Jinghong, his vice commander, who was laid up in a cave to recuperate from illness. A Central Asian Muslim by birth who was sympathetic to other religions, Zheng is thought to have been buried at sea after dying on the fleet's seventh and last voyage. A tomb—purportedly empty—stands outside Nanjing, China. It bears an Arabic inscription: "Allahu Akbar" ("God is GREat").

在印尼三宝的一座中国佛寺,空气中弥漫着薰香的气味──这是东南亚几处敬拜郑和的地点之一。由于传说郑和曾到三宝来探视他氅下的副指挥官(当时正在此地的一座山洞里养病),人们还建了一座姊妹庙来纪念这个事件。血统上属于中亚回人的郑和能够宽容接纳其它信仰,据信他是死于最后一趟航程上,最后举行了海葬。中国南京城外有一座他的坟墓,据说是空坟。坟上刻着一句阿拉伯文:“Allahu Akbar”(伟哉神也)。
   免责声明:本站信息仅供参考,版权和著作权归原作者所有! 如果您(作者)发现侵犯您的权益,请与我们联系:QQ-362192,本站将立即删除!

推荐 】 【 打印
本文评论       全部评论

点评: 字数