The travels of marco p
Marco PoloIn 1295, Marco Polo returned to Venice and became involved in the conflict between his city and Genoa for mercantile hegemony. It seems that in 1298, when he took part, as sopracomite in command of a galley, in the naval battle of Curzola, he was captured by the Genoese. Thus he ended up in prison, where he met the writer Rustichello of Pisa, to whom he narrated his astonishing voyage to the Far East. His account, written at the end of the 13th century, is the most exciting voyage ever narrated.
It has been followed by numerous navigators and cosmographers such as Juan Sebastián Elcano and Alonso de Chaves. But regardless of these grandiose consequences, which Marco Polo could not have foreseen, there remains, in addition to the veneration of the Chinese and Japanese for having revealed the Western world to them, the judgment of Alexander von Humboldt when he declared him “the greatest traveler of all times and of all countries”.
Importance of Marco Polo’s travels
Marco Polo is probably the first name that comes to mind when we think of the great travelers of history. But why did this explorer and trader become so famous? What adventures did he have and what was so special about his life?
Marco Polo captained a ship that took part in the war between the Venetians and the Genoese. He lost a sea battle and ended up imprisoned in the same dungeon as a man named Rustichello of Pisa, another prisoner of war who happened to be a writer.
There they met Kublai Khan, Mongol emperor and grandson of the legendary Genghis Khan. The ruler liked his Italian guests so much that he ended up offering them a position at court. Marco Polo thus became an important member of the empire and served as a diplomat, advisor to the emperor and even became governor of the city of Yangzhou.
A fortunate coincidenceWhen he returned home, many did not believe the wonders he told of. In fact, some parts of the book are believed to be pure invention, but there is no doubt that Marco Polo was one of history’s great travelers.
There are discrepancies among historians as to whether Marco Polo actually made the voyages attributed to him, in particular those that place him in Mongolia and China, from which his celebrity stems. In Marco Polo’s time, trade in Europe followed a triangular system, in which luxury goods from the East (silk, spices) occupied an important place.
At the time of Marco Polo, trade in Europe followed a triangular system, in which luxury goods from the East (silk, spices) occupied an important place. These, on the so-called Silk Road, passed through Central Asia and the lands controlled by the Saracens, after which they were bought by Italian merchants (Venetians, Genoese, Pisans…), who made large profits by reselling them in Europe.
During the Fourth Crusade, at Venetian suggestion, the Crusaders sacked Constantinople, decapitating the Byzantine Empire and conquering numerous territories. Although the subsequent Latin Empire was soon reconquered by the same empire, Venice continued to control several islands and cities, and to be a major mercantile power.
How Marco Polo died
The analyses with ultraviolet rays carried out in 1943 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), says Thierry Secretan, have allowed to establish the presence of three routes on the map. That is to say that during the voyage it was continuously rectified, because they were discovering new lands and new seas in the strait known today as Bering.
Marco Polo never wrote in his travel narratives that he had made landfall in Alaska, but on his deathbed he told his friends, “not even half of all I have seen has been written.”