What Did Marco Polo Bring Back to Italy From China?


Quick Answer

Marco Polo and his family returned to Venice from China with an abundance of gold and precious gems. However, they also lost a good portion of it when the government of Turkey took some 4,000 Byzantium gold coins from them.

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Full Answer

Marco Polo was a famous traveler who became known through the writings he provided that detailed his journeys. His book tells readers that he spent a great deal of time in Asia, specifically as an envoy for the Mongol ruler, Kublai Kahn.

The Polo family, for Marco's father and uncle also traveled with him, were expert merchants who dealt with rare items such as silk, gems and spices. During their expeditions they met Kublai Kahn and befriended him. Kublai hired Marco as a tax collector and special messenger. Marco and his family accumulated a vast wealth of treasure and returned home after decades of travel in the Kahn's service.

When the family left Kublai's territory, they were no longer safe and were besieged by the Turkish government. Despite the loss of gold coins due to the Turks theft, the Polos still arrived back in Italy with quite a fortune. To this day, it is unknown as to whether Marco Polo's tales are true. There is evidence that supports both cases, but not enough to make a confirmation.

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