Hear mentioning the name of Marco Polo takes us back to a time when traveling was not just an adventure, it was a very dangerous business only within the reach of a few . In the trips of Marco Polo, our protagonist not only came to China and returned, but also told it, hence we currently know his exploits. In Supercurious we want you to accompany us to know Who Marco Polo was, his life, his travels and other curiosities about him. You dare?
Who was Marco Polo: he knows his life, trips and curiosities
Before continuing in our approach to who Marco Polo was, it is interesting that you know the book known as The trips of Marco Polo , Il Milione or The book of wonders . It was not written by the same traveler, but by a cellmate writer of romances, prisoner like him during the war between Genoa and Venice: Rustichello of Pisa. Marco Polo dictated the story of the trips, and Rustichello was dedicated to transcribe and write . Here you have an option with which you can make yourself.
Buy it on Amazon -> The Travels of Marco Polo
Marco Polo pronounced the phrase: «I did not write half of what I saw, because I knew they would not believe me» . So amazing was that half that he did tell that he is still an iconic figure in the 21st century to which books, movies and television series have been dedicated.
1. Brief biography of Marco Polo
Marco Polo was born in the year 1254 in Venice or on the Dalmatian coast where his father and uncle had a trading post. Both departed on a commercial mission when Marco was a child. He spent most of his childhood in Venice and the untimely death of his mother was left to the care of relatives . He received a good education and in addition to his mother tongue, the Venetian, spoke French and Italian.
When Marco Polo was 17 years old, his father and uncle left again to fulfill, at least in part, the mission that Kublai Khan had commissioned them and they took Marco with them. Who was Marco Polo is marked by this trip that lasted 24 years . The road to Asia was plagued by mishaps, including the illness that forced him to stay in Afghanistan for a year or the difficulty of crossing the Gobi Desert, since it took him a month to do it on his own.
Marco immersed himself completely in the oriental culture, customs and language . He claimed that he had learned four languages believed to be Mongolian, Persian, Arabic and Turkish. The Poles arrived in Beijing and met Kublai Khan at the summer palace, Xanadu, a wonderful structure of marble and gold. Marco was appointed special envoy of the Khan. He was also appointed governor of a city and held a position on the Khan's private board. He visited Tibet, Burma and India.
Finally, foreseeing the death of Kublai Khan, they accepted the order to accompany a Mongol princess to Persia and set off on their way back to Europe . After numerous vicissitudes, they arrived in Venice. Three years after his return he took command of a Venetian ship in the struggle that his city maintained with Genoa. Captured was imprisoned along with Rustichello to whom he dictated his book. Released, he went back to business, got married and had three daughters. On his deathbed he was asked to confess that what was described was a lie, to which he replied with the phrase quoted above: "I did not write half of what I saw, because I knew they would not believe me." He died in Venice in January 1924.
2. Marco Polo's trips
You can not really talk about Marco Polo's trips because he only made one journey. That yes, it lasted around 24 years . When it comes to travel and who Marco Polo was, reference is made to the 4 parts of the book , which can be divided into 7 stages plus the return to Europe , in which the trip was divided. On this map, you can see in blue the first trip of the Polo brothers, in red the one they made with Marco and in green the places that Marco Polo visited alone. Marco Polo toured Armenia, Persia, Afghanistan, a route through the Pamir Mountains of Central Asia, crossed the Gobi desert and arrived in China.
There are detractors who have claimed that Marco Polo perhaps came to China, but that he never met the kings and characters he talks about . Their descriptions of the costumes, which seem more typical of the Turkish upper classes, or the omission of data on the Great Wall of China , are some of the data mentioned by its detractors. However, due to the many copies that were made, translation errors, those produced by the copyists or the different versions of his book, which sometimes have up to 50% more pages, do not allow to affirm sharply neither a thing nor other. Almost all historians think that the trips were real and in their defense the accuracy of most of their observations, which are verifiable, is wielded.
3. Curiosities of Marco Polo
World map of Fra Mauro
- Marco Polo's travels influenced later European cartographers and inspired Christopher Columbus , which is said to have carried on his 1492 trip a copy of Polo's book.
- It is false that Marco Polo took the pasta to Italy. Centuries before it already existed in Europe.
- His descriptions contributed to the compilation of the World Map of Fra Mauro in 1450.
- For hundreds of years, Marco Polo was the only European source on China.
- His wife was named Donata Badoer and her daughters Bellela, Fantina and Moretta.
- It is believed that in his trips he traveled more than 25,000 km.
Besides Who was Marco Polo, do not miss ...
If you liked to know who Marco Polo was, let us propose a series of articles that will allow you to delve into other interesting figures of history such as the one we have dealt with on this occasion. Which ones do you find most interesting?
- Discover Who was Napoleon Bonaparte , the French dictator who has as many defenders as detractors , although I have managed to remain as a true hero in our historical memory.
- Known Who was Benjamin Franklin , a figure that has gone down in history thanks to its inventions and scientific contributions . Let yourself be amazed by all your discoveries!
- It seems that you do not need a presentation, but believe us: it is worthwhile to devote yourself to deepening in Who was Albert Einstein : without a doubt the most influential scientist of the 20th century .
- Undoubtedly, one of the most enigmatic issues of humanity is Who was Leonardo da Vinci and what was his inspiration for his great works and contributions .
Thanks to the precision of his observations, the world knows who Marco Polo was and the whole West had occasion to know the distant lands he described. Did you know who Marco Polo was? Did you know all the information provided about Marco Polo's trips? Do you have more information about him that you want to share with us? We will be happy to read you!