Marco Polo

Marco is an important  Venetian writer who lived in the XXIII century. He is best known for his book, Il Milione , he wrote during his long travel through Asia,along the Silk Road between 1271 and , but There is substantial literature based on Polo’s writings; he also influenced European cartography . He was not the  first European to reach China , but he was the first to leave a detailed chronicle of his experience.  Thank to his book th Europeans could have a clear picture of the East’s geography and ethnic customs. For the first time , th Europeans could know porcelain, coal, gunpowder, paper money, and some Asian plants and exotic animals.

His travels are recorded in The Travels of Marco Polo (also known as Book of the Marvels of the World and Il Milione, c. 1300), a book that described to Europeans the then mysterious culture and inner workings of the Eastern world,, the great Mongol Empire and China in the Yuan Dynasty, giving their first comprehensive look into China, Persia, India, Japan and other Asian cities and countries.

Marco learned the mercantile trade from his father and his uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, who travelled through Asia and met Kublai Khan. In 1269, they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time. The three of them embarked on an epic journey to Asia, exploring many places along the Silk Road until they reached Cathay (China). They were received by the royal court of Kublai Khan, who was impressed by Marco’s intelligence and humility. Marco was appointed to serve as Khan’s foreign emissary, and he was sent on many diplomatic missions throughout the empire and Southeast Asia. He travelled to Persia and returned home after 24 years . At this time, Venice was at war with Genoa; Marco was captured and imprisoned by the Genoans after joining the war effort and dictated his stories to Rustichello da Pisa, a cellmate. He was released in 1299, became a wealthy merchant, married, and had three children. He died in 1324 and was buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Venice.

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Autore:

Giuseppe Serrì

Classe:

1b- ist.comp. O. G. De Cruyllas-Ramacca

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