According to a new book, it was a Chinese ambassador that sparked the Renaissance. Gavin Menzies, a British amateur historian, claims that a 1434 Chinese fleet voyage included encyclopedias of unknown technology to Italy. The material was presented to Pope Eugenius IV and the rest was history… on not.
By comparing pre-1430 Chinese books with Leonardo da Vinci’s famous illustrations, Menzies finds similarities that point to a connection between the two cultures. He supposes that designs from the encyclopedias eventually made their way into the hands of da Vinci.
Leonardo basically redrew everything in three dimensions, which made a vast improvement.
Not surprisingly, the book has created some controversy, with some scholars dismissing Menzies claim of there being a Chinese fleet, and others shunning the concept of the sharing of information entirely.
However, as we can see in something as simple as the noodle, good ideas simply make their way to other peoples. The Arabs, Italians and Chinese all lay claim to the origin of noodles, but a recent discover gives the Chinese a heads up in that race, with 4,000 year old noodles recently discovered.