Marco Polo sailed on a Venetian vessel with his father Niccolo and his uncle Maffeo; details of the ship itself are unknown. The trio began their voyage from Venice to China, a journey that involved a bit of sailing but mostly by-foot endeavors.Continue Reading
The expedition to China from Venice began with the crossings of the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Polo and his crew made their first stop in Acre, Israel, and from there continued on foot and possibly by camel, across the trade route known as the Silk Road. Marco's father and uncle, merchants who had spent significant time in the Middle East, had made ties with the Yuan Dynasty emperor, Khubilai Khan on previous journeys, and were enlisted by Khubilai to obtain various goods along the way.
Marco greatly fancied the Asian culture and customs; he learned to speak Mongolian and Chinese, which caught the eye of Khubilai Khan, who eventually requested Marco to become his confidant. By the end of their service, the Polos had spent roughly 23 years trekking across the Middle East and Asia, upon which they were granted permission by Khubilai to return to Venice in 1295. The three were escorted by a 14 boat fleet, leaving from modern day Quanzhou, China, in route toward Venice, Italy.Learn more about Exploration & Imperialism
Marco Polo was a Venetian explorer and merchant who traveled extensively in Asia and recorded his experiences in a book. He was brought to China as a teenager by his father and uncle in 1269, and he was pressed into service in the court of Kublai Khan. He returned 24 years later and was imprisoned in Genoa, where he dictated his adventures to a cellmate.Full 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.Full Answer >
The Italian explorer Marco Polo was responsible for introducing Europeans to many new discoveries, including some that were far from accurate; when Marco Polo saw a rhinoceros during his travels in Asia, he claimed to have seen a unicorn. Because Marco Polo was not used to seeing some of the non-mythical animals that are native to Asia, he confused what he saw, which included animals such as crocodiles and large snakes, for mythical creatures. Photographic technology had not yet been developed at the time of Marco Polo's 13th-century travels, and the explorer's personal accounts were converted into drawings.Full Answer >
Marco Polo's motivation for exploration was primarily financial, since he belonged to a family of merchants. East Asia, particularly China, offered valuable goods to be sold and traded in Europe. His motivation to explore was also familial, as he left on his voyage with his father and uncle.Full Answer >