Radio programme on the Zheng He naval expeditions
I know that the Ming period in early 15th century China is not strictly within the scope of this forum, but members might be interested in a programme about the mysterious "Treasure Ships" expeditions under admiral Zheng He. Gavin Menzies' book about this fleet and its supposed achievements stirred a lot of controversy a few years ago.
The programme will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4
on Thursday 13th October. The full 45 minute discussion will be from 09:00 to 09:45 BST, with a shortened repeat at 21:30 - 22:00.
These programmes (part of Melvyn Bragg's "In Our Time" series) can also be heard on the internet connection as BBC podcasts
which usually continue to be accessible for a few weeks after the radio broadcast.
Lord Bragg has developed a successful style of hosting small panels of specialists to discuss an astonishingly wide range of topics in the "In Our Time" series. These topics can go from pre-Christian spiritual beliefs to modern particle physics. His technique is to assemble a coherent group of experts, usually three, and to do enough homework himself to let him lead the discussion over the key topics, and keep to time, with the very minimum of personal intervention. The names of the discussants for this programme have not been announced, but if his usual flair for selecting good talkers succeeds, it should be worth hearing.