Marco Polo, a Venetian merchant and explorer in the 13th century, is not credited with any inventions. However, the book depicting his travels introduced many Asian inventions and ideas to Europe.Continue Reading
The geography of Asia made it very difficult to access at the time of Marco Polo's explorations, and he was exposed to a world that few other Europeans had seen. Some of Europe's first maps of Asia were based on the information in Polo's book, today referred to by its English title, "The Travels of Marco Polo." Polo's book is credited with introducing the idea of paper money to Europe, including how it was made and used. Also of note are his descriptions of where and how salt was produced, which was of particular importance as it was also used as currency.
After many years spent in Asia, Marco Polo returned home to find Venice at war with Genoa. When Genoa defeated Venice, Marco Polo was imprisoned, where it is believed that a fellow prisoner recorded the stories of his travels. Although the book was not widely accepted as fact, it gained popularity throughout Europe and was printed in many languages. It gave many their first glimpse into Asian culture and inspired future explorers to expand on Polo's knowledge.Learn more about Inventions