The Adventures of Marco Polo
“Marco!” shouts one child. “Polo!” shout the rest. Is this what we have Marco Polo to thank for? The flat answer is no. Marco Polo was an explorer who went from Venice overland to China and surrounding areas including Mongolia.
Marco Polo was born in 1254 and died in 1324, both in Venice. In Marco Polo’s time the Mongols were very powerful, so Marco Polo’s father and uncle went to trade with Kublai Kahn, the Mongols’ ruler. The Kahn grew so fond of the Polo brothers that as they were leaving, he made them promise to return with a letter from the pope and 100 experts on Christianity. (The Kahn was interested in Christianity though he wasn’t Christian.)
At the age of seventeen Marco Polo set out with his father uncle and two friars, to trade again with and return to Kublai Kahn. Part way through the journey the frightened friars ran away. Marco Polo stayed in the Kahn’s court seventeen years. At the age of 34 he had spent half his life in the Kahn’s court. He served as the Mongolian ambassador. The Kahn grew sick and Polo knew that if the Kahn died he would be in danger, so he convinced the Kahn to let him visit his family and to escort a new princess to Persia. Then they got the news that the Kahn had died so they went to Venice permanently.
When Marco Polo returned to Venice, he got caught up in a war against Genoa. He was captured and in prison he told his prison mate, Rustichello, a writer, about his tales. Rustichello and he wrote a book.
Most of the information about Marco Polo came from the book he wrote. There have been proven to be many false things in the book, like a unicorn with huge spikes on its tongue. Some doubt he even went to China. However, most information from the journal is true.
Is Marco Polo still irrelevant-seeming? Well, if Marco Polo hadn’t made his trip to Mongolia, then explorers and traders wouldn’t have gone to Asia nearly as much. Christopher Columbus wouldn’t have tried to sail around the world to India and would have never discovered the Americas. So what about now?