Marco Polo

Marco Polo, a Venetian merchant, explorer, and writer. His travels were recorded in Livres des merveilles du monde (Book of the Marvels of the World, aka The Travels of Marco Polo, c. 1300). A book describing China’s capital, Peking, their wealth, great size, and various Asian cities and countries to Europeans.

He learned the mercantile trade from his father and his uncle, Niccola and Maffeo, who travelled through Asia and 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 three children. He died in 1324 and was buried in the Church of San Lorenzo in Venice.

Marco Polo was not the first European to reach China (see Europeans in Medieval China), but he was the first to leave a detailed chronicle of his experience. This book inspired Christopher Columbus and many other travellers. Polo’s writing led to a substantial literature influencing European cartography, and introduction of the Fra Mauro map.

More info at: Marco Polo – Wikipedia

Additional Articles associated with this person’s firsts:

Name(s):
      MarMerchant
      Explorer
      Writer
Birth:
      1254
      Venice, Republic of Venice
Death:
      8 January 1324
      Venice, Republic of Venice
Spouse:
      Donata Badoer
Children:
      Fantina,
      Bellela
      Moretta


Additional Information:

  • Marco Polo – Wikipedia
    Marco Polo was born in 1254 in the Republic of Venice. His exact date and place of birth are archivally unknown.
  • Marco Polo Biography – Biography.com
    Venetian merchant and adventurer Marco Polo traveled from Europe to Asia from 1271 to 1295. He wrote ‘Il Milione,’ known in English as ‘The Travels of Marco Polo.’
  • Marco Polo and His Travels – Silk Road
    Marco Polo (1254-1324), is probably the most famous Westerner traveled on the Silk Road. He excelled all the other travelers in his determination, his writing, and his influence.
  • MARCO POLO – YESNet
    Marco Polo was a Venetian (Italian) explorer who travelled through Central Asia and China.
  • Marco Polo: Facts, Biography & Travels – Live Science
    Marco Polo was one of the first and most famous Europeans to travel to Asia during the Middle Ages. He traveled farther than any of his predecessors during his 24-year journey along the Silk Road, reaching China and Mongolia, where he became a confidant of Kublai Khan.
  • 11 Things You May Not Know About Marco Polo – History Lists
    In 1271, the Venetian merchant Marco Polo set off with his father and uncle on a legendary trek across Asia. Over the course of his 24-year journey, Polo would become one of the first Europeans to chronicle the cities, cultures and technology of the Far East. Discover 11 fascinating facts about the life of one of history’s greatest explorers.
  • Marco Polo: Facts, Biography & Travels – Live Science
    Marco Polo was one of the first and most famous Europeans to travel to Asia during the Middle Ages. He traveled farther than any of his predecessors during his 24-year journey along the Silk Road, reaching China and Mongolia, where he became a confidant of Kublai Khan.

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