In 13th and 14th centuries, many people believed that Marco polo and his family have been one of the first Europeans to visit China with a famous book The Travels of Marco Polo that had been written by a writer called Rustichello. The most appealing thing about Marco Polo is that Marco and his father were not explores. Marco Polo was born in 1254 in Venice, Italy. He grew into a wealthy merchant family and had an education, which would have prepared him for a career in business. Marco learned basic literacy skills, arithmetic, book- keeping, and the basic theology of the Latin Church. He also had an intimate knowledge of French and Italian. In 1260, Marco Polo’s father and uncle, Nicolo and Maffeo Polo traded regularly with Orient. They had spent a lot of time in Constantinople, Crimea and around the Balkans. When Marco was six years old, his father and uncle set out on their trip to Far East. In 1265, they arrived at the court of Kublai Khan, the Mongol emperor who ruled over two thirds of Asia and asked them to bring 100 European priests to his court.
In 1269, Nicolo and Maffeo polo returned to Venice, and they had known that Marco’s mother had died while they were on their journey. In 1271, Marco Polo joined his father and uncle’s another journey east. They passed through Armenia, Persia, Afghanistan and along the Silk Road to China. After three years, the Polos reached China. In this time, Marco’ father introduced him to Kublai Khan and certainly, the King was thoroughly engrossed in Marco’s knowledge and his behavior. So that, Marco family had got important positions at the king’s court. The Polos stayed in Kublai Khan’ court for 17 years. They had much of gold and jewels but they always worried about returning Venice. Marco Polo feared that if Kublai Khan died, he would not get his property out of the country because Kublai Khan was in late seventies. Finally, in 1292 Kublai Khan allowed Polos to come home on one condition that they accompanied Princess Kokachin whose Kublai Khan’s daughter and her wedding party to Persia.
After two years, the Polos arrived in Persia before continuing their journey home. In 1295, Marco Polo arrived Venice where was currently at war with Genoa. Marco was commander of a Venetian galley in the war against Genoa. After that, his ship was destroyed, so Marco was taken as a prisoner of war by the Genoese. For one year in prison, he met a writer called Rustichello of Pisa; Marco related clearly to him stories of Marco’s travels and experiences in China, which then became a book The Travel of Marco Polo. In the summer of 1299, Marco Polo was released from prison in Genoa and returned home in Venice where he had been keeping doing business.
In 1300, he married Donata Badoer and together they have three daughters. Marco Polo lived in Venice until he died of old age in 1324 at 70 of age. Although Marco Polo and his family were not the first Europeans to reach China by land, some of information in his book is a geographical reference in Asia, and it becomes useful experiences with many explorers for centuries later. The book also includes understanding about the Silk Road and Far East’s culture.
Courtney from Study Moose
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