List of countries visited by marco polo
The Travels by Marco PoloMarco Polo (1254-1329) has achieved an almost archetypal status as a traveller, and his Travels is one of the first great travel books of Western literature, outside the ancient world. The Travels recounts Polos journey to the eastern court of Kublai Khan, the chieftain of the Mongol empire which covered the Asian continent, but which was almost unknown to Polos contemporaries. Encompassing a twenty-four year period from 1721, Polos account details his travels in the service of the empire, from Beijing to northern India and ends with the remarkable story of Polos return voyage from the Chinese port of Amoy to the Persian Gulf. Alternately factual and fantastic, Polos prose at once reveals the medieval imaginations limits, and captures the wonder of subsequent travel writers when faced with the unfamiliar, the exotic or the unknown.
On the trail of Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian traveler who went far to the East, following some of the many branches of the Silk Road. He left in and returned about His book about his travels was a best-seller then and is still well-known years later. William Dalrymple retraced the route in the s and wrote a book, In Xanadu  , about it. Marco Polo owes his fame to a book which he wrote after his return. At the time, there was an intense rivalry between the great trading cities of Venice , Pisa and Genoa. The Venetian Polo and his co-author, Rusticiano of Pisa, were both prisoners of war in Genoa when they met and wrote the book.
The slow road to China
In , they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time. The three of them embarked on an epic journey to Asia, returning after 24 years to find Venice at war with Genoa ; Marco was imprisoned and dictated his stories to Rustichello da Pisa , a cellmate. He was released in , became a wealthy merchant , married, and had three children. He died in and was buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Venice. Though he was not the first European to reach China see Europeans in Medieval China , Marco Polo was the first to leave a detailed chronicle of his experience.
In Polo's day and even today, there has been some doubt about whether Polo really went to China. However, most experts agree that he did indeed make the journey. Marco Polo was born around into a wealthy Venetian merchant family, though the actual date and location of his birth are unknown. His father, Niccolo, and his uncle Maffeo were successful jewel merchants who spent much of Marco's childhood in Asia. Marco's mother died when he was young; therefore, young Marco was primarily raised by extended family.
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