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The Travels of Marco Polo (Paperback - 2023)

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About the Book

Marco Polo is one of the most adventurous travellers in human history. His travels are recorded in Livres des Merveilles du Monde, a book which is said to have introduced Europeans to Central Asia and China. It is one of the first great travel books of Western literature, outside the ancient world. The Travels of Marco Polo is a translated version of that book. It lucidly narrates Polo’s journey to the eastern court of Kublai Khan, the chieftain of the Mongol empire. It covered the Asian continent, which was not known to Polo’s contemporaries.

Covering a period of twenty-four years from 1271 to 1295, Polo’s account gives a detail of his travels in the service of the empire, from Beijing to northern India, and culminates with the remarkable story of his return voyage from the Chinese port of Amoy to the Persian Gulf. An amazing blend of factual and fantastic, Polo’s prose not only reveals the zenith of medieval imagination, but also captures the marvel of subsequent travel writers when faced with the unfamiliar, the exciting, the distant, and the unknown.

It is believed that Polo related his memoirs orally to Rustichello da Pisa while both were prisoners of the Genova Republic. The idea was perhaps to create a handbook for merchants, essentially a text on weights, measures and distances. But due to Polo’s richness of experience it turned out to be an excellent book, which inspired Christopher Columbus and many other travellers in their great ventures.

About the Author

Marco Polo was born in 1254 in Venice, perhaps in the former contrada of San Giovanni Crisostomo. His father Niccolò was a merchant who traded with the Near East, becoming wealthy and achieving great prestige. Niccolò and his brother Maffeo set off on a trading voyage, before Marco was born. In 1260, Niccolò and Maffeo were residing in Constantinople, then the capital of the Latin Empire, when they foresaw a political change; they liquidated their assets into jewels and moved away. Their decision proved wise. Constantinople was recaptured in 1261 by Michael Palaeologus, the ruler of the Empire of Nicaea, who promptly burned the Venetian quarter and re-established the Eastern Roman Empire. The captured Venetian citizens were blinded, while many of those who managed to escape perished aboard overloaded refugee ships fleeing to other Venetian colonies in the Aegean Sea.

As his mother died, Marco Polo was raised by an aunt and uncle. Polo was well educated, and learned merchant subjects including foreign currency, appraising, and the handling of cargo ships. In 1269, Niccolò and Maffeo returned to their families in Venice, meeting young Marco for the first time. In 1271, during the dogado of Doge Lorenzo Tiepolo, Marco Polo (at seventeen years of age), his father, and his uncle set off for Asia on the series of adventures that were later documented in Marco's book. They returned to Venice in 1295, 24 years later, with many riches and treasures. They had travelled almost 15,000 miles.

Marco Polo was not the first European to reach China, but he was the first to leave a detailed chronicle of his experience. He died in 1324, and was buried in the church of San Lorenzo.

More Information
Product NameThe Travels of Marco Polo (Paperback - 2023)
Original PriceINR 275.00
AuthorMarco Polo
PublisherPeacock Books
Publication Year2023
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