He learned the mercantile trade from his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, who travelled through Asia and met Kublai Khan. In 1269, they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time, the three of them embarked on an epic journey to Asia, returning after 24 years to find Venice at war with Genoa, Marco was imprisoned and dictated his stories to a cellmate. He was released in 1299, became a merchant, married. He died in 1324 and was buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Venice, Marco Polo was not the first European to reach China, but he was the first to leave a detailed chronicle of his experience. This book inspired Christopher Columbus and many other travellers, there is a substantial literature based on Polos writings, he also influenced European cartography, leading to the introduction of the Fra Mauro map. Marco Polo was born in 1254 in Venice Republic and his exact date and place of birth are archivally unknown. Some historians mentioned that he was born on September 15 but that date is not endorsed by mainstream scholarship, Marco Polos birthplace is generally considered Venice, but also varies between Constantinople, and the island of Korčula. There is dispute as to whether the Polo family is of Venetian origin, the first recorded Polo is Venetian Domenico Polo who was mentioned in 971 regarding the prohibition of trade with the Arabs. Later other Polos were also mentioned in the service of the realm, whether they were related with the family of Marco Polo is uncertain, but this could indicate that his ancestors travelled between Venice and Dalmatia. Some of the first indications of where his family originated and were resident come from Venetian documents and manuscripts. Some scholars argued that this account could go along with the note from Il Milione that his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo Polo, the non-Venetian i. e. Sanuto also mentioned a captain from Korčula, Antonio di Polo. Moule cited two early 17th century Venetian manuscripts questi ueneno de dalmatia, Polo questi uene de Dalmatia, scholars etymologically argued that his family name derives from Latin Paulus, the name of a certain bird species, or like Albert tSerstevens considered - from Eastern origin. However, the habitat of the shorebird is non-existent on Korčula, the surname Polo seems related with other widespread Dalmatian surnames. The lack of evidence makes the Korčula theory as a specific birthplace strongly disputed, in 1168, his great-uncle, Marco Polo, borrowed money and commanded a ship in Constantinople. His grandfather, Andrea Polo of the parish of San Felice, had three sons, Maffeo, yet another Marco, and the travellers father Niccolò and this genealogy, described by Ramusio, is not universally accepted as there is no additional evidence to support it. His father, Niccolò Polo, a merchant, traded with the Near East, becoming wealthy, Niccolò and his brother Maffeo set off on a trading voyage before Marcos birth. In 1260, Niccolò and Maffeo, while residing in Constantinople, then the capital of the Latin Empire, foresaw a political change, they liquidated their assets into jewels and moved away. According to The Travels of Marco Polo, they passed through much of Asia, and met with Kublai Khan and their decision to leave Constantinople proved timely
Did Marco Polo Go to China?
Did Marco Polo Go to China. The book takes notice of deficient detail in Polos stories, a number of scholars have argued in favor of the established view that Polo was in China in response to Woods book. The book has been criticized by figures including Igor de Rachewiltz, errors in Woods book have been pointed out by various scholars, for example, Stephen G. Ws book falls short of the standard of scholarship that one would expect in a work of this kind. Her book can only be described as deceptive, both in relation to the author and to the public at large and her conclusion fails to consider all the evidence supporting Marco Polos credibility
Lochac, Locach or Locat is a country far south of China mentioned by Marco Polo. The name is believed to be a variant of Lo-huk, the Cantonese name for the southern Thai kingdom of Lopburi. However, it has also suggested that Polo or his sources in China were referring to other locations. Marco Polo may also have used Locach to mean the Khmer Empire in general. One piece of evidence for this is the towers that Polo reported in Locach, which were more likely inspired by the golden spires of Angkor Wat. He said that Locach was such a place that few people ever go there. Polo also noted an abundance of elephants in Locach, in the Chinese annals, a Pentan mentioned by Polo appears to be the island of Bintan likewise Malaiur was the old Tamil name for the Sumatran city of Jambi. Abraham Ortelius inscribed on his 1564 world map, Latinum exemplar habet Boeach sed male ut fere omnium, on Gerard Mercators 1538 map of the world, Locat is situated in Indochina, south of Champa. However, some scholars see in La Jocade a resemblance to the North Island of New Zealand, in 1769, the East India Company hydrographer, Alexander Dalrymple, stated that the northern part of New Holland seems to be what Marco-Polo calls Lochae. Paul Wheatley, after G. Pauthier, and Henry Yule, believe that the referred to was in Borneo, such as, West Kalimantan. Laue, id, Lawai, near the Kapuas River, robert J. King, Marco Polo and the Question of Locach, Map Matters, Issue 25, January 2015
The Travels of Marco Polo
The book was written in Old French by romance writer Rustichello da Pisa, who worked from accounts which he had heard from Marco Polo when they were imprisoned together in Genoa. From the beginning, there has been incredulity over Polos sometimes fabulous stories, some have questioned whether Marco had actually travelled to China or was just repeating stories that he had heard from other travellers. The source of the title Il Milione is debated, One view is it comes from the Polo familys use of the name Emilione to distinguish themselves from the numerous other Venetian families bearing the name Polo. A more common view is that the name refers to medieval reception of the travelog, modern assessments of the text usually consider it to be the record of an observant rather than imaginative or analytical traveller. Marco Polo emerges as being curious and tolerant, and devoted to Kublai Khan, the book is Polos account of his travels to China, which he calls Cathay and Manji. The Polo party left Venice in 1271, the journey took 3 years after which they arrived in Cathay as it was then called and met the Grandson of Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan. They left China in late 1290 or early 1291 and were back in Venice in 1295, the tradition is that Polo dictated the book to a romance writer, Rustichello da Pisa, while in prison in Genoa between 1298–1299. Rustichello may have worked up his first Franco-Italian version from Marcos notes, the book was then named Devisement du Monde and Livres des Merveilles du Monde in French, and De Mirabilibus Mundi in Latin. The Travels is divided into four books, Book One describes the lands of the Middle East and Central Asia that Marco encountered on his way to China. Book Two describes China and the court of Kublai Khan, Book Three describes some of the coastal regions of the East, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, and the east coast of Africa. Book Four describes some of the then-recent wars among the Mongols and some of the regions of the far north, Polos writings included descriptions of cannibals and spice growers. The Travels was a popular success in an era before printing. In the mid-fifteenth century the cartographer of Murano, Fra Mauro, Marco Polos description of the Far East and its riches inspired Christopher Columbuss decision to try to reach Asia by sea, in a westward route. A heavily annotated copy of Polos book was among the belongings of Columbus, Marco Polo was accompanied on his trips by his father and uncle, though neither of them published any known works about their journeys. The book was translated into many European languages in Marco Polos own lifetime, other early important sources are R, and Z. Another Old French Polo manuscript, dating to around 1350, is held by the National Library of Sweden, a total of about 150 copies in various languages are known to exist. During copying and translating many errors were made, so there are differences between the various copies. The first English translation is the Elizabethan version by John Frampton, The most noble and famous travels of Marco Polo, the first attempt to collate manuscripts and provide a critical edition was in a volume of collected travel narratives printed at Venice in 1559