Marco Polo

Famous Explorer

Marco Polo

Marco Polo was a Venetian traveler in China. His father, Niccolo Polo, and his uncle Maffeo Polo, had made a trading expedition to Constantinople. A war blocked their return, and they journeyed eastward to reach Kubblai Khan's eastern capital at Kaifeng in 1266. THey returned to Venice in 1269, and in 1271 they left with young Marco for Kublai's court. The party reached Cambuluc in 1275. Marco Polo became a favorite of the khan, who employed him as an adviser and a tax assessor, sending him on business to central and North China, South East Asia, and India. For three years he apparently governed a Chinese city. In 1292 the travelers, acting as escort for a Mongol princess who was wed the khan of Persia, left Kublai's realm; they were back in Venice by 1295. Marco Polo soon joined Venetian forces fighting Genoa and was taken prisoner following Venice's loss in the Battle of Curzola. During his two year captivity, aided by notes and reports written while he was in the East and by his fellow prisoner and co author Rustichello of Pisa, he dictated an account of his travels.

About Marco Polo

Born: 1254

Died: 1324

Occupation: Venetian Traveler

Major Accomplishments

  • Account of travels is one of the most important travel documents ever written
  • Impressed Khan with his intelligence and familiarity with the world
  • Initiated widespread trading ventures
  • He wrote a book about his travels