Chen Cheng (Ming dynasty)

Chen Cheng (陈诚; 陳誠; Chén Chéng; Ch'en Ch'eng) (1365–1457), courtesy name Zilu (子鲁), pseudonym Zhushan (竹山), was a Chinese diplomat known for his overland journeys into Central Asia during the Ming dynasty. His travels were contemporaneous to the treasure voyages of the admiral Zheng He.

Chen Cheng's voyages in the context of military and diplomatic activities in the Yongle era of the Ming dynasty. Chen Cheng's approximate overland route (as based on the list of destinations in Goodrich & Tay 1976) is in green, along with the maritime route of Zheng He (in black) and the riverine route of Yishiha (in blue).

LifeEdit

Chen was born in 1365 in Linchuan County, Jiangxi province. He obtained the positions of juren (举人) and jinshi (贡士) in 1393 and 1394 respectively after taking the imperial examination.[1][2][3]

In 1396, Chen was sent on a diplomatic mission to the western region of Qaidam to establish border defence. In 1397, he was sent by the Hongwu Emperor as an envoy to Vietnam. From 1406 to 1411, he served in the Wenyuange (文渊阁), the imperial library in the Forbidden City, as an editor of the Yongle Encyclopedia.

Buddhist idols and temples in Turfan were described in 1414 by Chen Cheng.[4][5]

In 1414, 1416 and 1420, Chen Cheng led a Ming mission to the court of the Timurid dynasty at Samarkand.[6]

Works by Chen ChengEdit

  • Travel in the Western Region
  • Xi yu fan guo zhi, "A Record of the Barbarian Countries in the Western Region."

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Morris Rossabi (28 November 2014). From Yuan to Modern China and Mongolia: The Writings of Morris Rossabi. BRILL. pp. 125–. ISBN 978-90-04-28529-3.
  2. ^ Rossabi, Morris (1976). "Two Ming Envoys to Inner Asia". T'oung Pao. 62 (1/3): 1–34. doi:10.1163/156853276X00016. JSTOR 4528048.
  3. ^ Hecker, Felicia J. (1993). "A Fifteenth-Century Chinese Diplomat in Herat". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 3 (1): 85–98. doi:10.1017/S1356186300003692. JSTOR 25182641.
  4. ^ ROSSABI, M. (1972). "Ming China and Turfan, 1406-1517". Central Asiatic Journal. 16 (3): 206–225. JSTOR 41926952.
  5. ^ Morris Rossabi (28 November 2014). From Yuan to Modern China and Mongolia: The Writings of Morris Rossabi. BRILL. pp. 45–. ISBN 978-90-04-28529-3.
  6. ^ Tsai 2002, p. 162.

ReferencesEdit