Biography of Marco Polo, Famous Explorer
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In , three years after he returned from his journey, Polo was captured after leading a Venetian galley into battle against the rival Italian city-state of Genoa. While in prison he encountered Rustichello of Pisa, a fellow captive who was known as a talented writer of romances. Eager to document his years as a traveler, Polo dictated his life story to Rustichello, who acted as a kind of ghostwriter. By the time of their release in , the two men had completed the book that would make Marco Polo a household name. Marco Polo may be the most storied Far East traveler, but he certainly was not the first. Other Catholic emissaries would later follow, including William of Rubruck, who traveled east in the s on a quest to convert the Mongols to Christianity.
Marco Polo is known for traveling along the Silk Road to China, where he explored and documented much of Asia not yet explored by Europeans. Introduction Marco Polo was a merchant in Venice before he became the famous explorer we know today.
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Marco Polo was an inmate in the Genoese prison at the Palazzo di San Giorgio from to , arrested for commanding a Venetian galley in a war against Genoa. While there, he told tales of his travels through Asia to his fellow prisoners and the guards alike, and his cellmate Rustichello da Pisa wrote them down. Once the two were released from prison, copies of the manuscript, titled The Travels of Marco Polo , captivated Europe. Polo told tales of fabulous Asian courts, black stones that would catch on fire coal , and Chinese money made out of paper. Ever since people have debated the question: Did Marco Polo really go to China , and see all of the things he claims to have seen? Marco Polo was probably born in Venice, although there is no proof of his place of birth, around CE. His father Niccolo and uncle Maffeo were Venetian merchants who traded on the Silk Road; little Marco's father left for Asia before the child was born, and would return when the boy was a teenager.
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant believed to have journeyed across Asia at the height of the Mongol Empire. He first set out at age 17 with his father and uncle, traveling overland along what later became known as the Silk Road. Upon reaching China, Marco Polo entered the court of powerful Mongol ruler Kublai Khan, who dispatched him on trips to help administer the realm. Marco Polo remained abroad for 24 years. Though not the first European to explore China—his father and uncle, among others, had already been there—he became famous for his travels thanks to a popular book he co-authored while languishing in a Genoese prison.
When he returned from his adventures, he brought back stories that helped introduce Europeans to Asia, and contributed to demystifying the largely unknown continent. In the influential work, The Travels of Marco Polo , he outlined the geography of Asia, described the customs of its people, and told tales of life at the court of legendary Mongol emperor Kublai Khan. But as amazing as all that may sound, it only scratches the surface of the bizarre and exciting life of the traveling merchant. Here are 15 things you might not know about Marco Polo. In fact, he was just 17 years old.
11 Things You May Not Know About Marco Polo
In , they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time. - He inspired future travelers, including Christopher Columbus. Born presumably in the Republic of Venice around , Marco Polo played an important role in cartography.
The Book of Ser Marco Polo (FULL Audiobook)