Marco Polo Biography

Biography of Marco Polo, an Italian traveler and author, born in Venice Italy. He went on many business trips with his father and uncle.

Marco Polo was a Italian traveler and author, born in Venice Italy. His father and uncle were merchants and business partners. Marco Polo went with his father and uncle on many business trips. One of the trips was to China. They arrived in China in 1275. The Polos were the first Europeans to visit most of the territory they traveled in this journey, particularly the Pamir and Gobi desert.

Marco Polo entered Kublai Khan's service, acting as his agent on missions to many parts of the Mongol Empire and was the governor of the Chinese city of Yangchow for three years. The Polos stayed in China until 1292, when they left the country as escorts for a Mongol princess traveling by sea to Persia.

In 1298 Marc Polo was captain of a Venetian gallery that participated in a battle between the fleets of Venice and Genoa, and was taken prisoner. During his imprisonment in Genoa, he dictated to a fellow prisoner the detailed accounts of his travels. He was released from prison in 1299 and returned to Venice.

Marco Polo's literary work, The Travels of Marco Polo (first published in French), is perhaps the most famous and influential travel book in history. With a wealth of vivid detail, it gave medieval Europe it s first consequential knowledge of China, and its first information concerning other countries such as Siam, Japan, Java, Cochin China, Ceylon, Tibet, India and Burma. For a long time it was the only existing source in Europe for information on the geography and life in the far east. The book became the basis for some of the first accurate maps of Asia made in Europe.

This book aroused Cristipher Columbus interest in the orient that culminated in his discovery of America in 1442 while attempting to reach the Far East of Polo's decription by sailing due west from Europe.

Marco Polo died in 1324.

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