Summary of Evidence Marco Polo and the Silk Road were two very important contributions towards China’s cultural diffusion. Marco Polo, his father, and his uncle were all Venetian explorers. When Marco was fifteen, the three of them traveled to China and befriended Kublai Khan, Ghengis Khan’s grandson. Marco was very influential for more than two centuries. “Many of the maps of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were based on his information; even Christopher Columbus owned a Latin translation of the Travels, into which he wrote notes. “The Polo’s had planned to stay just two years in China. They stayed 17 years. It is during that period that Marco Polo engaged in his travels through China. This was accomplished, in part, by the relationship he formed with Kublai Khan, who trusted the Marco a lot. Kublai sent him out on many expeditions, including trips to Yunnan and Burma. Their adventures inspired explorers for centuries to come. Their story is unforgettable. ” After he left he did not go straight home. He went off to fight for Venice against the city-state of Genoa.
He was put in jail for two years. “It was during this time that he dictated the tales of his travels to a fellow prisoner, a writer from Pisa called Rustichello. The book, known as The Travels of Marco Polo, among other names, became a very important travel book. Christopher Columbus is known to have owned a Latin translation, and wrote his own notes in the margins. There is no known copy of the original version. ” The book was split into two different parts. The first part is an actual narrative.
The second part was passages describing various places and parts of Asia, particularly portions of the empire of Kublai Khan. “Although the book achieved great fame and popularity within Polo’s lifetime, many did not believe his account and challenged the truth of his reminiscences. That controversy has continued to the present day, and it is complicated by the fact that nearly one hundred fifty versions of the text exist, but no original copies are extant. However, most modern scholars do believe that Polo accomplished his travels and that his account has much basis in truth.
Perhaps its greatest legacy is that it inspired other Europeans to explore beyond the known limits of their experience, contributing to the earliest rumblings of the era of discovery. ” “We see, however, Columbus’s real ambitions breaking out throughout his use of this island myth, based on his readings of Pierre D’Ailly’s Imago Mundi or of the Travels of Marco Polo. It was necessary to him to find the Indies by a course to the west, across a relatively narrow stream, whose size he had reduced even further, to reach an Asia extending disproportionately into the east. “Columbus and his companions were inspired, in fourteen ninety two, by hopes of reaching Cipangu and Cathay, and the riches Marco Polo had so enthusiastically described to the Europeans. ” Word Count: 491 ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Frank N. Magill and Dayton Kohler, “Marco Polo,” in Cyclopedia Of World Authors, ed. Frank N. Magill (New York: Harper & Row, 1958), http://www. questiaschool. com. [ 2 ]. Fred Stern, “Marco Polo And The Great Khan’s World,” World And I, Vol. 6, January 2011, http://www. questiaschool. com. [ 3 ]. “Late, Great Geographers,” Geographical, November 2000, http://www. questiaschool. com. [ 4 ]. Nancy Stockdale, “Marco Polo,” In World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras: http://ancienthistory. abc-clio. com. [ 5 ]. Paul Butel, The Atlantic, trans. Iain Hamilton Grant (London: Routledge, 1999), http://www. questiaschool. com. [ 6 ]. Paul Butel, The Atlantic, trans. Iain Hamilton Grant (London: Routledge, 1999), http://www. questiaschool. com.