Marco Polo and the Medieval Explorers

Marco Polo and the Medieval Explorers

by Rebecca Stefoff, Michael Collins (Introduction)
Hardcover, 112 pages
Current Retail Price: $23.95
Used Price: $7.00 (2 in stock) Condition Policy

Historical Setting: Asia, 1270s-1290s A. D.

His tale was so fantastic that few believed it. In the year 1295, a 41-year-old Venetian named Marco Polo returned to his home city after a long absence, but when the traveler attempted to gain entrance to the family mansion, he was taken for a ragamuffin and turned away. Whereupon the wayfarer slashed the linings of his worn and frayed cloak, unleashing a torrent of precious stones and gems—glittering diamonds, blood-red rubies, bright emeralds, gold and silver. The treasure triggered recognition, and Polo was welcomed as if returned from the dead, but the stories he told seemed too outlandish to be true: how 24 years earlier he had traveled overland the entire extent of Asia, across the highest mountains in the world, through the shifting sands of a desert haunted by ghosts, all the way to China and the fabled realm of the Great Khan, the emperor of the Mongols, who presided over the largest land empire in the history of the world. But it was true (most of it), and Marco Polo's stories of his travels, as recorded in A Description of the World, provided medieval Europe with its most comprehensive look at the mysterious East, inspired generations of explorers to follow in his footsteps, and made his name synonymous with exploration and adventure.

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