ALL TIME WORLDWIDE BESTSELLER: THE TRAVELS OF MARCO POLO (Complete and Unabridged Nook Edition) by MARCO POLO [Travels through China, Mongolia, Persia Kublai Khan] MARCO POLO'S TRAVELS Complete & Unabridged NOOKBook (Complete Works of Marco Polo Series) [NOOK Book]
ALL TIME WORLDWIDE BESTSELLER: THE TRAVELS OF MARCO POLO
(Complete and Unabridged Nook Edition)
by MARCO POLO
[Travels through China, Mongolia, Persia | Kublai Khan]
MARCO POLO'S TRAVELS
Complete & Unabridged NOOKBook
(Complete Works of Marco Polo Series)
FULLY ANNOTATED UNILLUSTRATED VERSION
The Travels of Marco Polo, is a 13th-century travelogue describing the travels of the latter through Asia, Persia, China, and Indonesia between 1271 and 1291. The most famous sections of the book contains Polo's account of his travels to China, which he calls Cathay (north China) and Manji (south China). The Travels was a very famous and popular book, even in the 14th century. The text claims that Marco Polo became an important figure at the court of the Mongol leader Kublai Khan.
Modern assessments of the text usually consider it to be the record of an observant rather than imaginative or analytical traveler. Polo emerges as being curious and tolerant, and devoted to Kublai Khan and the dynasty that he served for two decades.
"And when you have ridden three days from the city last mentioned, between north-east and north, you come to a city called CHANDU,1 which was built by the Kaan now reigning. There is at this place a very fine marble Palace, the rooms of which are all gilt and painted with figures of men and beasts and birds, and with a variety of trees and flowers, all executed with such exquisite art that you regard them with delight and astonishment.
Round this Palace a wall is built, inclosing a compass of 16 miles, and inside the Park there are fountains and rivers and brooks, and beautiful meadows, with all kinds of wild animals (excluding such as are of ferocious nature), which the Emperor has procured and placed there to supply food for his gerfalcons and hawks, which he keeps there in mew. Of these there are more than 200 gerfalcons alone, without reckoning the other hawks. The Kaan himself goes every week to see his birds sitting in mew, and sometimes he rides through the park with a leopard behind him on his horse’s croup; and then if he sees any animal that takes his fancy, he slips his leopard at it, and the game when taken is made over to feed the hawks in mew. This he does for diversion.
Moreover [at a spot in the Park where there is a charming wood] he has another Palace built of cane, of which I must give you a description. It is gilt all over, and most elaborately finished inside. [It is stayed on gilt and lackered columns, on each of which is a dragon all gilt, the tail of which is attached to the column whilst the head supports the architrave, and the claws likewise are stretched out right and left to support the architrave.] The roof, like the rest, is formed of canes, covered with a varnish so strong and excellent that no amount of rain will rot them. These canes are a good 3 palms in girth, and from 10 to 15 paces in length. [They are cut across at each knot, and then the pieces are split so as to form from each two hollow tiles, and with these the house is roofed; only every such tile of cane has to be nailed down to prevent the wind from lifting it.] In short, the whole Palace is built of these canes, which (I may mention) serve also for a great variety of other useful purposes. The construction of the Palace is so devised that it can be taken down and put up again with great celerity; and it can all be taken to pieces and removed whithersoever the Emperor may command. When erected, it is braced [against mishaps from the wind] by more than 200 cords of silk."
The Polo party left Venice in 1271. They left China in late 1290 or early 1291 and were back in Venice in 1292. The tradition is that Polo dictated the book to a romance writer, Rustichello da Pisa, while in prison in Genoa between 1298–1299; Rustichello may have worked up his first Franco-Italian version from Marco's notes.
Marco Polo (c. 1254 – January 8, 1324) was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in The Travels of Marco Polo, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently 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, returning after 24 years to find Venice at war with Genoa; Marco was imprisoned, and dictated his stories to a cellmate. He was released in 1299, became a wealthy merchant, married and had 3 children. He died in 1324, and was buried in San Lorenzo.
The Travels of Marco Polo was dictated by Marco Polo to Rustichello da Pisa while both were prisoners of the Genova Republic. Rustichello translated it from Venetian Language to Tuscan dialect, subsequently embellished, copied by hand and adapted by many others. It documents his father's journey to meet the Kublai Khan, who asked them to become ambassadors, and communicate with the pope. This led to Marco's quest, through Acre, and to the Mongol court in China. Marco apparently wrote of his extensive travels throughout Asia on behalf of the Khan, and their eventual return after 15000 miles (24000 km) and 24 years of adventures.
Their pioneering journey inspired Christopher Columbus and others. Marco Polo's other legacies include Venice Marco Polo Airport, the Marco Polo sheep, and several books and films. He also had an influence on European cartography, leading to the introduction of the Fra Mauro map.