Marco Polo

Topics: Marco Polo, Mongol Empire, Genghis Khan Pages: 3 (636 words) Published: September 9, 2013
The name Marco Polo has excited the imagination of children and adults alike for hundreds of years. This famous explorer left his home in Venice in 1271 to sail for a journey of a twenty four-year. A journey that took him where no European had been before. He went across the Middle East to Central Asia, Peking, and eventually to the palace of the strong Mongol King, Kublai Khan. Yet, when Marco returned home, he told the amazing stories to very few people.

In the thirteenth century, European traders wanted to enlarge their business to new parts of the world. Among them were Marco, Marco’s father and uncle, who had already successfully made one training exploration journey to Asia. But, by the time they arrived in Cathay (present day China) three and half years later, Marco had learnt enough, including four new languages, to get the confidence and trust of Kublai Khan himself.

Kublai, who wanted to learn as much as possible about western cultures, welcomed the Polos to his palace. Kublai trusted Marco and he gave him a job for seventeen years. In time, the Polos wanted to return home. Kublai agreed with their wish and they went home.

When they returned home in 1925, no one believed that people of the empire used paper money and spoke different accents, but they had one system of writing. For Europeans who believed that no civilization could be greater or more advanced than their own, his stories of highly organized, efficiently managed empire that spread from China to Iraq and Russia were too strange to be believable.

Marco continued life as a successful merchant trader and adventurer. On his death bed in 1324, at the age of seventy, Marco was asked if he wanted to admit he told the lies about Cathay. Marco replied, “I didn’t tell half of what I saw because I knew no one would have believed me.”

Question one: What does the passage mainly discuss: (1 point)

a. Chinese inventions and their effects
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