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Zheng He’s voyages...

Julia Lovell im Guardian über eine neue Ausstellung im British Museum:

Zheng He’s voyages between Asia and Africa were a key part of this enterprise: the admiral was tasked with extracting declarations of loyalty to Yongle and exotic tribute gifts from rulers in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, to shore up the ruler’s authority at home. One of the most celebrated of these offerings was a giraffe sent to Beijing in 1414 by a ruler of Bengal. On its arrival in the capital, Yongle’s advisors opportunistically identified it as a mythical qilin – an animal that, Confucius explained, would only make an appearance during the reign of a sage emperor.