Marco Polo

By: Ava Y

Early Life

Marco Polo lived in Venice, Italy about 700 years ago, he and his dad, Nicolo Polo, were both Italian merchants. Marco’s mom tragically died soon after Marco was born, and he didn’t meet his father until he was 15 because his dad was trading goods in Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) with his uncle. Instead of learning the regular arithmetic, as well as reading and writing Marco learned about about foreign money, judging products, and handling cargo ships for the journeys he would soon take.

Places Explored + Reasons Why

Later on, Marco went on his first big expedition to China/Central Asia. There he meet Kublai Khan, China’s emperor at the time. Khan took a special liking to Marco and gave him many tours of the palace grounds. Marco was around 20 at the time and Kublai was about 60. The Polos were in China for a while to trade good, and were starting to get worried about getting home safely. Finally their opportunity came, Khan had asked them to escort a princess to his great Nephew Arghun (The Mongol ruler of Persia). They sailed to what is now known as Singapore and from there they traveled around the tip of India. while they were traveling Kublai Khan sadly died. Their journey to China and back home was about 15,000 miles. They had been gone for 24 years and Marco was about 44. Marco documented his journey and it became a book that inspired Christopher Columbus several years later. Going to China had benefited the Polos in many ways, they returned with many riches that Kublai Khan had given them, such as, ivory, jade jewels, porcelain, silk, etc. Which were all extremely valuable at the time.

Hardships During Journeys

Marco encountered many attacks along the way to China as well as many more landmarks. Once, they even ran into Egyptians that attacked them on their way. As well as being attacked by bandits in Persia (now Iran). Marco also got sick but was able to be cured by the fresh air in the Afghanistan mountains. Marco wrote down a lot of journeys in his journal which was later published as a book. Not only did the book have information of his travels, but Marco charted the best places to find water and food in hopes to help many travelers and himself later on.

Marco's Journey to China

Back then, China had been called Cathay and was considered as an exotic land. In 1271 Marco crossed the Mediterranean Sea and into the place now known as Israel. Marco, Marco’s father, and his uncle then went to the Persian Gulf most likely by camel caravan which they later escaped a raid on. Marco visited China for an extremely long time and didn’t return home until about 24 years later when Kublai Khan sent them on a mission. Kublai Khan liked Marco a lot and took him through many tours of his palace grounds. He was fascinated by the wealthy world of the Mongols (The people of Mongolia). He had known 4 different languages Kublai Khan gave him tours of his palaces and as well as going all over Asia and becoming a government official for 3 years that he was in China.

The Life Story of Marco Polo in Under 3 Minutes