Marco Polo



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This is self-explainatory.




Marco Polowas born on September 15, 1254 and died sometime in between January 9, 1324 and June of 1325. He was born in Venice . He was a trader and explorer from the Venetian Republic. He was known for his worldwide travels which were noted in "II Millione" or “The Travels of Marco Polo” which was written presumably by hand because the printing press hadn`t been invented yet. Polo`s father Niccolo and his uncle Maffeo were one of the first travelers to go on the Silk Road to China. They crossed the Black Sea and went to Constantinople and Russia for trade. While returning, they had to take an alternate route because of war. They found themselves in the presence of Kublai Khan. He told them to bring back 100 missionaries and Holy Oil from Christ`s grave in Jerusalem. When they retuned, Polo accompanied them. It took them three years, but they finally arrived. They were not able to bring the 100 missionaries for fear of their lives, but they brought back letters from the pope. Kublai Khan wanted to convert his people to Christainity. Marco Polo was becoming a very well trusted advisor of Kublai Khan. They stayed with Kublai Khan for twenty years and he was getting old. He hadn`t chose a successor. They were also starting to feel a bit homesick, but Kublai Khan didn`t want them to go. They finally got their break when a Persian Princess died. She had wanted her husband to marry a Mongol Princess and so Kublai agreed to let them accompany the Princess to Persia. Then they would return to Venice. So they left and accompanied her and then went back to Venice. Their family didn`t recognize them because they had strange accents and their clothes were shabby and torn. By the time they returned, Marco Polo was forty one years old. They had left China in 1292 and returned to Venice in 1295. After, Marco Polo never returned to China. Marco Polo was captain of a Venetian Galley in 1298 and was taken prisoner by the Genoese. He was jailed, and with a fellow prisoner, wrote a book about his travels. It had historical observations about cultures and geography from Constantinople to Japan and Siberia to Africa, including places he never visited. There are descriptions of cities, architecture, inhabitants, races, languages and governments. Marco Polo described religious customs, how people dressed, what they ate, crafts and trading practices. Marco Polo has been called the Father of Modern Anthropology. Marco Polo was out of jail in the summer of 1299 and his father and uncle had bought a house in San Giovanni Crisostomo with the profits they made. In the year 1300, he married Donata Badoer from a patrician family. Marco Polo had three children with her. He never left Venice again but organized and funded other expeditions. Marco Polo died at the age of seventy and was buried in the Church of San Lorenzobuilt partially under the direction of Brunelleschi. When he was on his deathbed, he said he didn`t write down half the things he saw because he knew no one would believe him. Christopher Columbus used Marco Polo`s book before going on his own expedition to find Asia. His book was accepted as fact only after other explorers verified what he wrote on his travels. Marco Polo will always and forever be the guy who took the Silk Road to Asia and wrote it all down in “The Travels of Marco Polo”. As the weather is getting warmer, why don`t you go in the pool and play a game of Marco Polo, the explorer, where it all started.



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Kublai Khan of China


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The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo





Sources Consulted
URL for wikipedia page I used: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_Polo
Books used for this report: Extraordinary Explorers and Adventures by Judy Alter