Travels [Christmas Summary Classics]
by Marco Polo
Christmas Summary Classics
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I.—The Beginnings of a Romantic Career
Marco Polo stands out in history and literature as the most famous traveller belonging to the early mediæval period. He was born at Venice in 1254. In 1271, his father and uncle, Venetian merchants, set out on a long and romantic Oriental journey, taking with them young Marco, who now began the amazing career chronicled in his book. Everywhere he made copious notes of his observations, and his curious records, so astonishing as to meet with little credence during the Middle Ages, have been so far confirmed as to demonstrate his absolute fidelity to facts as he saw them, and to such traditions as were communicated to him, however fantastic. Returning to Venice in 1295, three years later he fought in his own galley at Curzola, but on the defeat of the Venetians by the Genoese he was taken captive and flung into a fortress at Genoa. This captivity, which lasted a year, is memorable as being the cause of bringing about the record of his extraordinary experiences in the East. "The Travels of Marco Polo, a Venetian," consists essentially of two parts—first, the author's personal narrative; second, his description of the provinces and states and the peoples of Asia during the latter half of the thirteenth century.
- Zhingoora Books, December 2012
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