Marco Polo - Wikipedia
Kublai Khan was the grandson of Genghis Khan and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in sent two of his trusted aides to Kublai's new capital to investigate revenue collection. In , Marco Polo was presented at the court of Kublai Khan. May 23, The persona in The Travels, representing Marco Polo, is a Venetian merchant. Polo's relationship with the Great Khan seems so close that he .. While condemning Ahmad for deceiving the Khan and abusing his trust to do. Primary Source Readings: From The Travels of Marco Polo Current Events Reading: "Kublai Khan's Fleet Reported Found by Japanese" [The New York Times] .. And when anyone of the citizens desire to hold a marriage feast or to give.
InKublai's great-nephew, then ruler of Persiasent representatives to China in search of a potential wife, and they asked the Polos to accompany them, so they were permitted to return to Persia with the wedding party—which left that same year from Zaitun in southern China on a fleet of 14 junks. The party sailed to the port of Singapore travelled north to Sumatra and sailed west to the Point Pedro port of Jaffna under Savakanmaindan and to Pandyan of Tamilakkam.
The two-year voyage was a perilous one—of the six hundred people not including the crew in the convoy only eighteen had survived including all three Polos. For example, the opening introduction in The Book of Marvels to "emperors and kings, dukes and marquises" was lifted straight out of an Arthurian romance Rustichello had written several years earlier, and the account of the second meeting between Polo and Kublai Khan at the latter's court is almost the same as that of the arrival of Tristan at the court of King Arthur at Camelot in that same book.
Polo had at times refuted the 'marvelous' fables and legends given in other European accounts, and despite some exaggerations and errors, Polo's accounts have relatively few of the descriptions of irrational marvels.
In many cases where present mostly given in the first part before he reached China, such as mentions of Christian miracleshe made a clear distinction that they are what he had heard rather than what he had seen. It is also largely free of the gross errors found in other accounts such as those given by the Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta who had confused the Yellow River with the Grand Canal and other waterways, and believed that porcelain was made from coal.
Such detailed descriptions are not found in other non-Chinese sources, and their accuracy is supported by archaeological evidence as well as Chinese records compiled after Polo had left China. His accounts are therefore unlikely to have been obtained second hand.Kublai Khan's war speech (from Marco Polo)
His claim is confirmed by a Chinese text of the 14th century explaining how a Sogdian named Mar-Sargis from Samarkand founded six Nestorian Christian churches there in addition to one in Hangzhou during the second half of the 13th century. Seal of the Mongol ruler Ghazan in a letter to Pope Boniface VIIIwith an inscription in Chinese seal script Omissions Skeptics have long wondered if Marco Polo wrote his book based on hearsay, with some pointing to omissions about noteworthy practices and structures of China as well as the lack of details on some places in his book.
While Polo describes paper money and the burning of coal, he fails to mention the Great Wall of ChinateaChinese characterschopsticksor footbinding. Haeger argued the Marco Polo might not have visited Southern China due to the lack of details in his description of southern Chinese cities compared to northern ones, while Herbert Franke also raised the possibility that Marco Polo might not have been to China at all, and wondered if he might have based his accounts on Persian sources due to his use of Persian expressions.
Haw argued that the Great Walls were built to keep out northern invaders, whereas the ruling dynasty during Marco Polo's visit were those very northern invaders. They note that the Great Wall familiar to us today is a Ming structure built some two centuries after Marco Polo's travels; and that the Mongol rulers whom Polo served controlled territories both north and south of today's wall, and would have no reasons to maintain any fortifications that may have remained there from the earlier dynasties.
The Muslim traveler Ibn Battutawho asked about the wall when he visited China during the Yuan dynasty, could find no one who had either seen it or knew of anyone who had seen it, suggesting that while ruins of the wall constructed in the earlier periods might have existed, they were not significant or noteworthy at that time. While the Italian missionary Odoric of Pordenone who visited Yuan China mentioned footbinding it is however unclear whether he was merely relaying something he had heard as his description is inaccurate no other foreign visitors to Yuan China mentioned the practice, perhaps an indication that the footbinding was not widespread or was not practiced in an extreme form at that time.
The British historian David Morgan thought that Polo had likely exaggerated and lied about his status in China,  while Ronald Latham believed that such exaggerations were embellishments by his ghost writer Rustichello da Pisa. Hawhowever, challenges this idea that Polo exaggerated his own importance, writing that, "contrary to what has often been said Marco does not claim any very exalted position for himself in the Yuan empire.
Haw sees this as a reasonable claim if Marco was a keshigwho numbered some fourteen thousand at the time.
Marco Polo (article) | Khan Academy
Polo wrote of five-masted ships, when archaeological excavations found that the ships in fact had only three masts. However neither of these accounts mentions Polo or indeed any European as part of the bridal party,  and Wood used the lack of mention of Polo in these works as an example of Polo's "retelling of a well-known tale".
Morgan, in Polo's defence, noted that even the princess herself was not mentioned in the Chinese source, and that it would have been surprising if Polo had been mentioned by Rashid-al-Din.
When Kublai took over as ruler of the empire inthere was really just one last thing standing between him and his grandfather's dream of a unified Asia: Kublai Khan China was one of the most powerful empires in the world at that time, under the leadership of the Song Dynasty. The Song were protected by powerful armies and fortifications, but Kublai had something up his sleeve as well. The Mongol emperors were very interested in unifying intellectuals from across the empire, and as the empire grew so did the range of innovative ideas being developed in the Khan's courts.
With Mongolian military tactics, advisors from across Asia, and engineers from the Middle East, Kublai's forces made their way into China.
The Song Dynasty fell in and Kublai claimed China as his own. As an emperor of China, Kublai established a Chinese-sounding dynasty called the Yuan.
Finally, all of Asia was unified under a single empire. Kublai used his troops to build and protect roads across the continent, and reduced restrictions on trade.
It didn't take European merchants to start exploring these new trade routes and an international market of exchange was developed. Venice, which was its own republic at this time, had long been a trade center in the Mediterranean and was in a great position to start mediating trade with Asia.
According to legend, Kublai Khan received the brothers and was interested in their description of Christianity. Kublai allowed for a high degree of religious freedom in his empire as long as conquered people submitted themselves to his rule.
He asked the Polo brothers to return to Europe and send people from the Vatican to explain Christianity and discuss the possibility of introducing it in China with submission to Kublai as their emperor.