Known as a merchant, traveler and explorer; Marco Polo introduced to the European world and a unique description of the world unknown in the East and all its customs. When was Marco polo born?
He lived between 1254 and 1324 , his adventures and legends in general catapulted him to the top of famous and unforgettable characters in human history. Together with his father and uncle, he was one of the first Europeans to reach China using the Silk Road . He condensed all his experiences in a diary, which has allowed his name transcends time .
Birth and youth of Marco Polo
His birth was in Venice on September 15, 1254 , in the bosom of a merchant family. He was raised and educated by his father Niccoló Polo and his uncle Maffeo. He made his dream that they had to know the routes to the East sailing the seas. His passion for travel led him to discover the world, while working and venturing on these journeys.
The mother of Marco Polo dies while Niccolò and Maffeo were traveling, so Marco had to be cared for by an aunt and uncle who gave him a very good education. While he was still a boy, he was able to learn about foreign trade, cargo ships , foreign currency, transportation; but he did not dedicate himself to learning Latin. When was Marco polo born?
What did Marco Polo do?
Marco Polo stands out in history for having been a navigator, merchant and being among the first Europeans who crossed the sea to reach China . According to his chronicles, he became governor and administrator of a Chinese city, was an emissary of the pope, and served Kublai Khan as a counselor.
After dying and studying his stories told in the work of his own authorship, “Million: the division of the World” or “The wonders of the World”, Marco Polo was considered an ethnographer and anthropologist . This because he did not refer to his thoughts or himself in general. He subjectively described what he had seen, learned, and known about foreign cultures, which he came to admire and analyze.
He used the Silk Road to get to China and during his trip he wrote down all the details. He recorded navigation aspects, dangers, routes, weather, etc. This made the book written after his travels become a must-read, but enjoyable, for avid readers of that time. When was Marco polo born?
What were Marco Polo’s travels?
The first trip to which it is necessary to refer and which was the prelude to the following trips, was the one that his father and uncle made without taking Marco , who was still a boy of only one year old. It begins in 1255 leaving Venice on the Silk Road and ends in 1266 arriving in Beijing. On the way they pass through Greece, Constantinople , the Volga River, the Black Sea, the deserts and mountains of Central Asia, among many other places.
Niccoló and Maffeo lived among the Mongols for 14 years, earning their trust and appreciation. When they return to Venice in 1269, they do so as ambassadors on behalf of the Emperor Kublai Khan . They even met the pope on the recommendation of the Khan.
Second Voyage to the East: Marco Polo’s First Voyage
It was as a result of the first trip that the second trip to the East arose in the year 1271 . On this occasion they were blessed by Pope Gregory X himself, chosen that same year. They also had a new crew member, Marco Polo, who was already 17 years old and had been orphaned as his mother died when her husband and brother-in-law were traveling. When was Marco polo born?
On this second trip, they were riskier and crossed Israel, ancient Armenia and the Persian Gulf. On this occasion Marco Polo serves as the Pope’s emissary by bringing to the last Great Khan, the response on the request to receive enlightened people who would teach the Orientals another way of life. Marco won the affection and approval of the Kublai Khan, for which he was appointed a counselor for 17 years . In that period, this explorer and merchant witnessed the scope of Chinese civilization, assimilating everything to forge his legend later with his stories.
Return trip to Venice
After almost two decades, Marco Polo decides to return to Venice . The Kublai Khan assigned them the mission of escorting Princess Kokachin to Persia , to marry Arghun Khan, the prince. Despite the disagreements of the trip, due to storms, bad weather and pirate attacks, the princess arrives safely. The other crew members did not suffer the same fate, of 600 only eighteen arrived alive.
Back in Italy (1295) they received a pleasant welcome, full of curiosity. Some accepted his adventures, others were more incredulous, but the wealth they brought helped them accept the great stories. Upon reaching Venice , they found her in conflict with the Republic of Genoa, so in a naval battle and as a frigate captain, he was sent to prison along with 7000 other men. When was Marco polo born?
Marco Polo’s book
While in prison, Polo meets Rustichello of Pisa , a clerk or copyist. This was the one who dictated all his sea voyages, his travels, the knowledge he acquired in China; which he called Mangi to the south and Cathay to the north. The original manuscript was lost, some believe that the collaboration between the two men was fictitious. According to it was only the Italian translation of a Venetian writing by Marco that was also lost.
As history records, he was released after the payment of a large sum, in 1299. In this way the controversial and famous book Livre des merveilles du monde or Il Milione was born: Le divisament du monde , which in Spanish is translated Book of Wonders of the world or El Millón: the division of the world . In this work, Marco Polo recounts twenty-four years of travels (1271-1295) where there is no shortage of the wonders of the unknown, fantastic stories about the peoples he is getting to know, thus generating great astonishment throughout Medieval Europe . When was Marco polo born?
This work had two main objectives , first the goal was political and religious , Marco Polo takes unknown information about East to the rulers of the kingdoms of the West as well as the authorities of the Church . These peoples of the East, distant and feared by Westerners, broke with the tranquility of Europe; this scenario gave way to the Crusades . The second purpose was to develop a survival manual For future travelers venturing into the Orient, Marco Polo describes his journey in great detail so that readers have as much information as possible about these unknown lands.
The legend of Marco Polo’s book
Marco Polo’s book brings with it a legend, it is said that it was not he who lived these adventures and these narrated journeys. Legend holds that he is only the protagonist of a novel and the details were recounted by some Italian merchants who were also in prison. Thanks to rumors, some historians remained doubtful regarding Marco Polo’s story . Some claim that the Poles reached only part of Central Asia and that all the details were obtained from Persian accounts.
Marco Polo’s influence on history
Marco Polo witnessed many events and eastern wonders. It became the precedent that motivated other expeditionaries to seek new worlds. He influenced other well-known characters in history, such as Christopher Columbus , who wanted to find a new route to reach the Indies and in his attempts discovered an entire continent . When was Marco polo born?
In his stories he describes how these societies, unknown to many , were organized around capitals, had mail distribution and public works that constituted a true cultural advance. All of Marco’s experience guided the next steps regarding knowledge and mastery of distant lands and the opportunities they brought to Europeans.
Death of Marco Polo
After his adventures and many enriching experiences, Marco Polo passed away on January 9, 1324 , at the age of 69. He is buried in the San Lorenzo Church in Venice, where the remains belonging to his father also rested. On his deathbed said “I’ve only told half of what I saw” .