Marco Polo was born on September 15th, 1254 in Venice, Italy. He was a Venetian traveler to China. He had a business man personality and paid special attention to details. Especially in his book he later wrote.
His father, Nicolo Polo, and his uncle, Maffeo Polo, had gone on a trading expedition in 1260 and returned in 1269. A few years later in 1271Nicolo and Maffeo left again for Kublai’s court, this time accompanied by a young 17 year old Marco. The Polos had traveled by boat for a while, then on foot, and finally rode the rest of the way on camels. In 1275, they had finally reached Beijing, China, then called Cambuluc, Cathay.
Marco Polo quickly became a favorite of Kublai Khan, a Mongol emperor. He ended up serving the emperor for 17 years along with his father and uncle. They wanted to go back to Italy, but Kublai refused. Finally, in 1292, Kublai Khan sent the Polos as an escort for a Mongol Princess going to Persia, knowing they would not return. Once the Polos were released from Kublai Khan’s grasp, they traveled by water across the East Indies, past the Indian Ocean, through the Persian Gulf, past Persia, over the Black Sea, and finally, after 3 years of journeying home, they returned to Venice in 1295.
The result of Marco’s exciting travels came out in an exaggerated book of notes called “Travels of Marco Polo”. The prologue tells of Marco Polo’s life. The rest describes much of Asia, counting the Arab world, Persia. Japan, Sumatra, the Andaman Islands, and East Africa as far south as Zanzibar. He shared of paper currency, coal, asbestos, and other things virtually unknown in Europe.
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