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Marco Polo

Teller of a 'million' tales

A Page of a 13th-C Il Milione manuscript

I believe it was God's will that we should come back, so that men might know the things that are in the world, since, as we have said in the first chapter of this book, no other man, Christian or Saracen, Mongol or pagan, has explored so much of the world as Messer Marco, son of Messer Niccolo Polo, great and noble citizen of the city of Venice. Marco Polo, in his Description of the World

Venetian Marco Polo (1254-1324) was the most famous medieval traveller along the Silk Road to the Far East, but he wasn't the first: his father and uncle, the wealthy merchants Maffeo and Niccolo Polo, met Kublai Khan in an epic journey that began just before Marco's birth until 1269.

One of their prize possessions from this journey was a golden tablet from Kublai that acted as a VIP passport, enabling them to travel freely and get local assistance wherever they traveled in the Mongol Empire.

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History and Anecdotes


Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by PD Art