Marco Polo: The World's Greatest Explorer

Marco Polo: The World's Greatest Explorer


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6 Major Accomplishments of Marco Polo

You can gauge the magnitude or impact of Marco Polo major accomplishments by the sheer fact that he was a man who inspired the likes of Christopher Columbus. Yet, there are historians who reasonably or unreasonably speculate that some parts of the book ‘The Travels of Marco Polo’ are fiction and not exactly a travelogue or an account of actual travels. Most critics point out to a glaring mistake or omission in the book that argues if Marco Polo ever traveled to China.

1. A Young Explorer

Born in Venice, Marco Polo grew up as a Roman Catholic and became an explorer while in his teens. His explorations were not primarily for trade or discovery but papal mandates. Son of an explorer, he did not meet his father till he was in his teens. The first time Marco Polo met his father Niccolo Polo was when he returned from a long expedition and he was already fifteen years old.

2. Trip to China

The fifteen and sixteenth centuries that we call today as the age of exploration were preceded by an age of widespread traveling across the mainland. Before the Europeans set sails, explorers in the thirteenth century would travel across Europe, to the east and many would travel down south to what is present day Middle East. Across vast deserts, steep mountains, icy and scorching weathers, explorers would end up in China or India and travel further eastward. Marco Polo was one of the first Europeans to travel across Asia, and eventually to China. He was on a papal mission and had to deliver some papers from the Vatican to Kublai Khan, the then Emperor of China.

3. 24 Years in China

Marco Polo was a teenager when he accompanied his father to China. He went to Kublai Khan’s court where he made such an impression that the emperor asked him to work on courtly affairs. Kublai Khan appointed Polo to several posts across the Chinese kingdom. He was the representative of the emperor at one point in time, became an ambassador, later a governor of a province. Polo had ruled at least one city and has been among the high ranking officials across cities and in several provinces. During his stay in China, he explored the country, learned the Chinese way of life and spent a good twenty four years before returning.

4. The Travels of Marco Polo

Marco Polo decided to return after the death of Kublai Khan. Within a year of the emperor’s death, Polo bagged his possessions which amounted to substantial wealth comprising of precious metals, jewels and commodities. He returned to Venice, richer and having explored the East. But he did not become famous just then. It was not until the publication of The Travels of Marco Polo that he gained the popularity he still enjoys today. The book was an account of his experiences of having traveled from Rome to China, his travels along the route which is still referred today as the Silk Road and his encounters with the emperor. The book details Polo’s life over the twenty years and offered insights that Europeans were not aware of. When Polo was imprisoned during the Battle of Curzola, he talked about his life and travels with his fellow inmate Rustichello de Pisa, who later wrote and published the book.

5. A Rich and Inspiring Legacy

Marco Polo became a wealthy merchant, had a fruitful life and had an immediate impact on his society. However, in sheer terms of accomplishments that changed the world he did not achieve much. That happened through the book. Over the years, Marco Polo would inspire explorers all across Europe and beyond. He would inspire Christopher Columbus and many others to set sails so they could find India, China and other new lands. Today, Marco Polo is not only revered by explorers and Europeans but he is also hailed in parts of China and wherever some Chinese influence exists in pop culture, history and cuisine.

6. Criticism of ‘The Travels of Marco Polo’

In the thirteenth century, there weren’t as many accounts as today so there weren’t any contrasting, conflicting or contrarian arguments to put forth. No one could dispute the book written and published by Rustichello de Pisa and essentially since Marco Polo approved it. However, some people cite the missing reference to the Great Wall of China which was already built when Polo would have been there, there are no references to chopsticks even when Polo apparently talks about the strange life that the Chinese lead and there aren’t any Chinese characters other than the account of his interactions with Kublai Khan. It is absolutely possible that Pisa did not have impeccable recollection and he did not know the significance of references like the Great Wall of China then so he could have missed out while writing. The criticism can be deemed conjecture but there can be arguments either way.


Marco Polo

Date of birth and death: Marco Polo was born in 1254 in Venice, Italy.

Place and date of death: Marco Polo died on 8 January 1324 in Venice, Italy.

What is Marco Polo Famous For? Marco Polo was one of the first explorers to travel the Silk Road, travel around Asia and visit China, where he found favour with the ruling Kublai Khan, in the Middle Ages. Crucially, he was also the first explorer to return to Europe afterwards and document the experience.


A family of travelers

Europe’s great seafaring republic, Venice, maintained a vast network of trading contacts throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East. It was poised to begin expanding its trade network eastward. Venice was home to merchants with an in-depth knowledge of the East and among the best placed to chase riches. Throughout the medieval period, they traveled the routes east to Trebizond, the gateway to the Silk Road (located in today’s Trabzon in modern Turkey). Goods moved between China and Europe along this route.

Marco Polo came from a family of merchants. When he was a small child, his father Niccolò and uncle Maffeo were already amassing some remarkable travel experiences. The shrewd traders had left Venice in 1261 to forge new relationships in the East. The pair had met the Mongolian khan as part of this first epic journey.

One of the Polos’ commercial bases was Constantinople, where their brother, Marco senior, worked. Their agents operated up the Volga River into Bukhara. It was there in modern Uzbekistan that Niccolò and Maffeo had pulled off a major diplomatic feat: They met members of Kublai Khan’s government and arranged an expedition to his court in Shangdu (in Inner Mongolia in modern China).

Trailblazing Friars

The Polos were not the first Westerners to penetrate the vast Mongolian domains, nor even to meet the ruling khan of the day. One pioneer was the Franciscan friar Giovanni da Pian del Carpini, who in 1246, on behalf of Pope Innocent IV, arrived at the court of Güyük (the third Great Khan) after a lengthy and arduous trip by land. Equally significant was the experience of Willem van Ruysbroeck, a Flemish friar, who in 1254 made it to Karakorum, the capital of Möngke (the fourth Great Khan), as an emissary of Louis IX, king of France. Unlike Marco Polo’s account, however, the reports of the roving friars did not find a wide public, and did not shape the European imagination to such an extent.

Their meeting with Kublai Khan was one of history’s great encounters between East and West. In the khan, the two Venetians found a man whose curiosity about the West matched theirs about the East. The relationship they built with the Mongols made the brothers pioneering intermediaries, a conduit through which knowledge of Europe and China could travel in both directions.

Intrigued by what the brothers told him about Europe (and especially about Christianity), the khan asked them to return to Europe and petition the pope to send learned men to teach the Mongols about Christianity. The Polos’ return home was long and arduous. Things became more complicated when they reached Acre (in modern Israel) and learned that Pope Clement had died, and there was no elected successor.

The brothers continued back to Venice, where they would await a new pope and plan their return to the court of Kublai Khan. This time, they would bring Niccolò’s son, Marco. A boy when the father had last seen him 10 years ago, he was now a young man at 17 years old.


Marco Polo: The Greatest Explorer In History?

Venetian adventurer Marco Polo traversed the globe for 24 years, travelling from Europe to Asia and we celebrate his birthday on 15 September. The exact year of Marco Polo’s birth is uncertain, although it’s thought to be circa 1254.

The Travels of Marco Polo

Just the mere mention of the name ‘Marco Polo’ conjures up vivid images of rugged travel adventures across vast mysterious lands. And although his birth is thought to have occurred more than 750 years ago, his legacy and incredible feats have inspired many travellers over the years, including one Christopher Columbus!

Born in Venice in Italy, Marco Polo was raised by his close family and educated on the subjects of currencies, trading, languages and cargo ships. He didn’t meet his father until he was 15, as he’d been travelling as a merchant trader. He arrived with tales of exotic faraway lands, curious cultures and mesmerising dynasties. You could say that exploring was in Marco Polo’s blood from birth.

Aged seventeen, Marco Polo, his father and uncle set sail for Asia in a journey that would last for 24 years and cover more than 15,000 miles (24,000 km). He also became one of the most beloved (if not the first) travel journalist, penning ‘Il Milione’ better known as ‘The Travels of Marco Polo’ in English. In fact the book is still in print and is dubbed the first great travel book within Western literature. Pick up a copy as he recounts vivid tales of heady spices, rare jewels, colourful characters and exotic animals.

Marco Polo journeyed to the eastern court of the Mongol Empire of Kublai Khan via the Western Galilee city of Acre, the Kingdom of Ormuz in the Persian Gulf and Kashgar on the China border. In all the epic journey lasted twenty four years, with 17 years spent in Cathay (China). Marco Polo’s diary told of his dangerous and exhausting encounters with fierce mountain ranges, death-defying avalanches, debilitating sandstorms, wicked floods and torrential rain storms.

The trio covered ancient Turkey, Ukraine, the rugged Caucasus mountains of Georgia and Armenia and the now-legendary Silk Road. This great trade route led the family into Iraq, Iran and Uzbekistan and further overland into the fierce Gobi Desert of Mongolia and finally the little-known land of China. Il Milione tells of encounters with fearsome crocodiles in the Pagan Kingdom of Burma (Myanmar) and wild yaks as big as elephants in the Karakorum mountain range.

You too can travel sections of Marco Polo’s epic journey – although in slightly less time than 24 years!


Marco Polo's Silk Road myth debunked as historian claims 'that never happened'

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Joanna Lumley fulfils a lifelong dream in her Silk Road adventure

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Polo is believed to have journeyed across Asia at the height of the Mongol Empire. His first trip came when he was just 17 years old, in around 1271, with his father and uncle, Nicolo and Maffeo Polo, both merchants who had previously travelled across Asia to forge new trade links. On Marco's first trip, the trio followed what would later be called the Silk Road - a route that connected East with West, allowing for the trade of not only goods, but ideas, philosophy, religion and culture.

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The term Silk Road wasn't actually coined until hundreds of years later, in the 19th century, by German geographer and historian Ferdinand von Richthofen.

Speculation and mystery surround the route, with misinformation aplenty.

Valerie Hansen, Professor of History at Yale University, sought to debunk a common misconception about the passage during National Geographic's 'Treasure Seekers - The Silk Road'.

Talking about how its history had been muddied through the ages, she explained: "People have a mental vision that the Silk Road is like I-95 (US motorway).

Marco Polo: The Venetian traveller and his companions who accompanied him to China (Image: GETTY)

Venice: The Merchant went down in history as the first European to extensively detail Asia (Image: GETTY)

"A huge, long highway, and that one person took some silk from one end all the way to the other.

"In fact, that almost never happened.

"Merchants would take goods from one oasis to another.

"And then another group of merchants would take them on.

"So I think the Silk Road is not the road - I think the most important thing are those communities along the Silk Road."

Kashgar: Traders make noodles in Kashgar, West China, a city Marco travelled through (Image: GETTY)

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These communities spanned from Khanbaliq (present-day Beijing) in China, to Samarkand in Uzbekistan, Kerman in Iran all the way to Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) in Turkey.

It has been generally accepted that Polo wasn't the first Westerner to visit China.

He was, however, the first to explore many uncharted parts of Asia and leave a detailed account of them for fellow traders and explorers.

Marco's 'The Travels' is a manuscript that has divided opinion: parts of Marco's story, many claim, were fictionalised.

The Travels: A scene from Marco's Book of Marvels showing merchants entering a walled town (Image: GETTY)

Samarkand: An ancient city in Uzbekistan, Marco visited the site's grand mosques (Image: GETTY)

While Marco's book was significant in our understanding of the route, as Prof Hansen explained, it was the communities of the Silk Road that were the most important aspect of its history.

The meeting of peoples and trade played a significant role in the development of civilisations in China, Korea, Japan, the Indian subcontinent, Iran, Europe, as well as the Horn of Africa.

It opened up long-distance political and economic ties between nations which had nothing in common.

And, as the name suggests, silk was the biggest commodity traded on the route, originating from China.

Archaeological discoveries: Some of the most groundbreaking archaeological discoveries on record (Image: Express Newspapers)

Other things bloomed too: Buddhism, for example, spread throughout Southeast, East, and Central Asia via the Silk Road.

Many have noted that the route was one of the earliest examples of globalisation, a process that has been partly blamed on today's quick spread of the coronavirus.

The Silk Road: The ancient trade route that Marco followed on his groundbreaking journey (Image: GETTY)

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The ancient trade route had its fair share of pandemics, as in 1346, increased trade between hitherto isolated communities created a breeding ground for new disease and infection, with many crediting the vicious spread of the bubonic plague from East to West.

Marco Polo, however, was lucky during his travels, spending 17 years exploring China before returning to Italy largely unscathed, later writing his detailed account while imprisoned during Venice's war with the Republic of Genoa.


Marco Polo: The World's Greatest Explorer - History

Marco Polo was an Italian merchant, explorer, and writer, born in the Republic of Venice. His travels are recorded in Livres des merveilles du monde, a book that described to Europeans the wealth and great size of China, its capital Peking and other Asian cities and countries. Take a look below for 30 more fascinating and interesting facts about Marco Polo.

1. Polo learned the mercantile trade from his father and his uncle, Niccolo and Maffeo, who traveled through Asia and met Kublai Khan.

2. In 1269, they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time. The three of them embarked on an epic journey to Asia, returning after 24 years to find Venice at war with Genoa. Marco was imprisoned and dictated his stories to a cellmate.

3. He was released in 1299, became a wealthy merchant, married, and had three children.

4. Polo died in 1324 and was buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Venice.

5. Though he wasn’t the first European to reach China, Marco Polo was the first to leave a detailed chronicle of his experience.

6. His book inspired Christopher Columbus and many other travelers. Polo also influenced European cartography, leading to the introduction of the Fra Mauro map.

7. When Marco Polo left on his Asian trip to the court of Kublai Khan with his father and uncle, he was only 17 years old. The trip was most likely the first time that he journeyed away from home.

8. In 1298, three years after his return, Polo was made a gentleman commander of a Venetian ship.

9. While in prison, Polo met Rustichello of Pisa. Rustichello was a famous romance writer, and Polo told his life story to Rustichello so he could write it. When the two were released in 1299, Polo’s name making book was complete.

10. Historians generally agree that Polo was born sometime around the year 1254, but they’re not sure of the exact date and location. The popular belief is that he was born in Venice, though some scholars argue that he could have been born on the island of Korcula, in what’s now Croatia. According to the theory, Polo’s father wasn’t actually from Italy, and he changed his name from Pilic to Polo when he settled in Venice.

11. Polo’s mother died around 1260 when he was still a child. However, very little is known about his childhood as he was mostly raised by his aunt and uncle.

12. The Polos originally planned to stay in Asia for just a few years, but ended up staying much longer. Marco Polo was gone from Venice for 24 years.

13. The journey to Asia wasn’t easy and Polo had many challenges. While in what is now Afghanistan, he got sick and was forced to take refuge in the mountains while he recovered. He also reported the difficulty of crossing the Gobi desert, writing that it took a month to cross it at its narrowest point.

14. For years, historians argued whether or not Polo did make it to China. There’s no actual proof beyond his book that he made it that far, but the amount of detailed knowledge that Polo outlines in the book suggests that he almost certainly did.

15. One of the more popular legends about Polo’s travels state that he brought pasta to Venice from China. That isn’t true as pasta has been part of Italian cuisine since before Polo’s birth. He did, however, bring the idea of paper money to Europe.

16. By trade, the Polos were merchants who sold rare items like silk, jewels, and spice, but their travels weren’t simply trading missions. Kublai Kahn first commissioned the trio to be emissaries, and Marco was later sent to China and Southeast Asia as a tax collector and as Kahn’s special messenger.

17. The young Marco Polo immersed himself in Eastern culture, customs and language. He demonstrated a curiosity for his surroundings, and claimed to have learned four languages. Historians have speculate that these languages were probably Mongolian, Persian, Arabic and Turkish.

18. Several hundred years after his death, a species of sheep was named after Marco Polo. In his book, Polo mentions observing a mountain sheep in what’s now northeastern Afghanistan, and in 1841, zoologist Edward Blyth referred to a sheep called Ovis ammon polii.

19. Throughout his travels, Polo encountered many unusual animals that he often mistook for mythical creatures. He described crocodiles as huge “serpents” that could “swallow a man at one time,” and he thought that horned beasts such as the Asian rhino were unicorns.

20. Around 1292, the Polo volunteered to escort a Mongol princess to Persia, and aimed to head to Europe after. They wanted to leave as Kublai Khan was in his 80s, and they feared that a regime change upon his death would also mean the death of all foreigners.

21. When the Polos left the Khan, they set out by sea with a group of 700 passengers and sailors to Persia. All but 18 of the original passengers died from disease or from storms.

22. When the Polos returned to Venice, after being gone for over two decades, the people in their hometown didn’t recognize them, and the travelers found speaking in their native tongue, Italian, difficult.

23. In addition to introducing paper money to the Western world, Polo also described several other Chinese innovations to the West. He brought coal, eyeglasses, and a variety of rare species to Europe’s attention.

24. Polo never planned for his book to be read as a memoir. He wanted it to be a description of the places that he and his family visited and what they saw there. Because of this, few personal details about his life are included.

25. Christopher Columbus carried a copy of Polo’s book with him on his voyages, and had even planned to follow Polo’s route and make contact with the Kublai Khan’s successor.

26. At one point, Kublai Khan asked Marco’s father and uncle to petition the Pope to send 100 priests to Beijing. The Pope denied the request but his father and uncle took back Marco with them.

27. Kublai Khan made Niccolo and Maffeo part of his court and liked Marco so much that he eventually made him governor of a Chinese city, a tax inspector and gave him a seat on his Privy Council.

28. Kublai Khan’s summer palace was called Xanadu. Marco Polo called Xanadu, “the greatest palace that ever was.”

29. In 1851, a three masted Clipper built in Saint John, New Brunswick took Marco Polo’s name. It was the first shop to sail around the world in under six months.

30. The frequent flyer program of Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific is known as the Marco Polo Club.


What were Marco Polo’s contributions to exploration?

Though Marco Polo did not actually discover anything, his writings in Travels of Marco Polo served as Europe’s introduction to the East, and spurred interest in exploration. Marco Polo, born in the mid-thirteenth century in Venice, traveled with his father and uncle to China. During his stay, Polo served the Emperor Kublai Khan as an ambassador, as a governor, and in a host of other diplomatic positions. In his 30s he returned to Venice and fought against the city-state of Genoa and was eventually captured. While imprisoned in Genoa, he dictated the story of his travels to a fellow prisoner, creating the somewhat exaggerated memoir Travels of Marco Polo.

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How Did Marco Polo Change the World?

Marco Polo changed the world by writing a book about his travels from Venice to the court of Kublai Khan in China. His account of his journeys inspired other adventurers, such as the explorer Christopher Columbus, who always carried a copy of Polo's book. Maps he brought back helped to develop European cartography, and he introduced Europe to Chinese innovations such as paper money, coal, eyeglasses and a postal service.

Polo's father and uncle, who were merchants, first traveled to Kublai Khan's Mongol Empire in 1260. Kublai sent them back with instructions to return with 100 priests. Although the Pope would not send the priests, when Polo's father and uncle returned to the East, they took 15-year-old Marco with them. First they journeyed to present-day Israel, and then they made their way overland through deserts and over mountains along the route that would later become the Silk Road. It took them three years to reach Kublai Khan's summer palace of Xanadu. Kublai employed Marco as a tax collector and special envoy, enabling him to explore vast parts of the Mongol empire. After 17 years in the court of Kublai Khan, the Polos returned by sea to Persia, escorting a Mongol princess who was to marry a Persian prince.

After returning to Venice, Marco was captured in battle and imprisoned in Genoa. There he met another prisoner named Rustichello who was a writer. Rustichello helped Marco compose a book about his travels called "Description of the World," also known as "The Travels of Marco Polo."


Top 10 Facts about Marco Polo

In a time when travelling to the neighboring town took days, Marco Polo was among the few Europeans who were able to make the gruesome journey to Central Asia and China. He came with tales from the mystical region highlighting the court of the legendary Mongol emperor Kublai Khan, the customs of the people and the geography of Asia. His stories seemed so far-fetched to the point the people started to doubt if he ever made the journey.

Marco Polo was born in Venice in 1254 into a wealthy trading family. His father, Niccolo and his uncle, Maffeo embarked on a journey due East before his birth. His mother died when he was still young and as result he was raised by his external family members. Marco Polo would grow up to follow in his father’s and uncle’s footsteps and become a trader, traveler, adventurer and storyteller. His life was full of so many adventures but here are the top 10 facts about Marco Polo that you should know.

1. Marco Polo was not the first European to travel to Central Asia and China

Sub-Regions of Asia – Wikipedia

Contrary to common believe Marco Polo wasn’t the first European to make the journey Far East but his the one who came with the most epic and widely known accounts of the region. For starters, we know that his father and uncle had been to the region before and had formed a relationship with Kublai Khan.

Earlier still, Franciscan monk Giovanni da Pian del Carpini travelled to China in the 1240s and was followed by other missionaries including William of Rubruck in the 1250s. The missionaries mostly made this dangerous journey because of the legend of Prester John, a legendary king who was believed to rule over a Christian empire in the East. In his accounts Marco Polo mentions this Christian Empire and great battle that ensued between Prester John and the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan.

2. Marco Polo’s first expedition to Asia was with strangers

Polos leaving Constantinople – Wikipedia

In 1271 Marco Polo joined his father and uncle whom he barely knew for their more extensive second trip to Asia. Before Marco’s birth the two had travelled to Asia, therefore Marco grew up not knowing either one of them. The two brothers did not return to Italy until 1269 when Marco was 15 years old.

At 15 years of age is when Marco Polo physically met his estranged father and uncle for the first time. The pair stayed in Italy until 1271 when they ventured into the sea and headed East once age. Macro Polo accompanied the two men whom he briefly got to know between 1269 and 1271.

3. He was only a teenager when he accompanied his father and uncle to Asia

Khublai Khan Portrait – Wikipedia

He was only 17 years old when he accompanied his father and uncle in their trip to Asia. The trip was initially meant to be a brief stay at the court of Kublai Khan but it ended up lasting for more than 20 years in which Marco Polo got to travel and explore the great empire of Kublai Khan.

It is believed that this was probably Marco Polo’s first long trip away from the home he grew up in. He was finally getting involved in the family business of trading.

4. Marco Polo mystified some creatures he saw

While in Asia Marco Polo encountered strange creatures that were unknown to him like the elephants, monkeys and many more creatures. When he came back to Venice he mistook these creatures with creatures from myths and legends.

For instance in 13 th century Europeans believed in the existence of unicorns. They described unicorns as horse-like creatures with horns. However, upon seeing an Asian rhinoceros Marco Polo confused it with a unicorn and declared that unicorns were not majestic creatures. Instead, they were very dangerous and looked like a buffalo with the feet of an elephant. He also described the crocodile as a giant, sharp-clawed “serpents” that could “swallow a man … at one time.”

5. Marco Polo’s route to Central Asia became inaccessible after his return to Venice

Marco Polo reportedly never left Venice over the last two decades of his life, and if he had any ideas of going back to Asia these dreams were shut down by the death of Kublai Khan. The Mongol emperor died while Marco was on his journey back to Venice causing the Mongol Empire to decline.

The famous Silk Road, a once-prosperous trading route, now had become very dangerous with tribal groups reclaiming land. As the land pathway to China became more and more dangerous very few dared to venture thus cutting off a vital route connecting the East and the West.

6. He introduced the idea of paper money to Europe

Yuan dynasty banknote with its printing plate 1287 – Wikipedia

When exploring the Mongol Empire Marco encountered the paper money for the first time. The paper money was an unknown concept in Europe during Marco’s era. He was fascinated by how the Mongol residents cared for this precious commodity, and he learned everything there was to learn about it.

Upon his return home he explained the concept of paper money and even wrote about it in his book.

7. Marco Polo’s famous book was written in prison

Rustichello of Pisca exhibition at Korcula – Flickr

In 1298, Marco Polo was captured after leading a Venetian galley into battle against the rival Genoa, an Italian rival city-state. While in prison is where he met his fellow captive Rustichello. The book came to life with the desire of Marco to document his travels and the willingness of Rustichello to write it down. The book was completed in 1299 upon their release from prison.

Marco Polo’s name became a household name upon the release of his book, “The Travels of Marco Polo.” Rustichello of Pisca, a talented writer of romances, acted as his ghostwriter. Marco narrated his journey and encounters due East which Rustichello penned it down. Ironically, this book describing Marco’s free roaming years was written in a confined prison.

8. Historians believe Marco Polo might have exaggerated some of his stories

The Travels of Marco Polo – Wikipedia

The only proof of Marco’s journey to Asia is his book and this has caused historians to question if he truly made the journey. The detailed knowledge outlined in the book suggests he certainly did make this journey, however, some historians argue that he documented stories of other travels, who had been to Asia, whom he encountered in his travels.

It should be noted that Marco’s intention for writing the book was not for it to be read as a memoir. That is why the book contains very few details about his personal life. Instead, it was meant to be a book describing the geography and customs of the places he had been to. On his deathbed he said, “I did not tell half of what I saw,” meaning there were more unknown Marco Polo’s adventures.

9. There is a well-known kid’s game named after him

Marco Polo game – Wikipedia

It is a game where one child is “it” and that child closes his or her eyes while trying to catch another player. The “it” child shouts the word “Marco” while the other kids yell “Polo” to aid the “it” child to move to their direction. The other children continue to move so that they are not caught and end up being the “it” child.

It is a fun world-wide game that introduces kids to the famous explorer. This game also enables his name to remain relevant throughout time.

10. Many movies and TV shows depict his voyages

Marco Polo Poster – Flickr

To comrade Marco Polo today there are movies and TV shows depicting his exploits and encounters with Kublai Khan. For instance Marco Polo a Netflix show that run from 2014 was labeled as one of the most expensive TV shows. The show ran for two seasons.

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Watch the video: In the Footsteps of Marco Polo