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Facts about Marco Polo For Kids

Marco Polo learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently met Kublai Khan. Marco Polo’s legacies include Venice Marco PoloAirport, the Marco Polo sheep, and several books and films.

  • One possible place of birth is Venice’s former contrada of San Giovanni Crisostomo, which is sometimes presented by historians as the birthplace, and it is generally accepted that Marco Polo was born in the Venetian Republic with most biographers pointing towards Venice itself as Marco Polo’s home town.
  • According to The Travels of Marco Polo, they passed through much of Asia, and met with the Kublai Khan.
  • In 1269, Niccolò and Maffeo returned to Venice, meeting Marco for the first time.
  • He spent several months of his imprisonment dictating a detailed account of his travels to a fellow inmate, Rustichello da Pisa, who incorporated tales of his own as well as other collected anecdotes and current affairs from China.
  • While Polo’s book describes paper money and the burning of coal, it fails to mention the Great Wall of China, chopsticks, and footbinding, making skeptics wonder if Marco Polo had really gone to China, or wrote his book based on hearsay.
  • Yet, if the purpose of Polo’s tales was to impress others with tales of his high esteem and fond regard in an advanced civilization, then it is possible that Polo shrewdly would omit those details that would cause his listeners to scoff at the Chinese with a sense of European superiority.
  • The Yuan rulers whom Polo served, as well as the preceding Jin and Liao Empires 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.
  • In 1300, he married Donata Badoer, the daughter of Vitale Badoer, a merchant.
  • He also inquired about the Pope and Church in Rome.
  • The long sede vacante between the death of Pope Clement IV in 1268 and the election of his successor delayed the Polos in fulfilling Khan’s request.
  • In 1271, Niccolò, Maffeo and Marco Polo embarked on their voyage to fulfill Khan’s request.
  • The party sailed to the port of Singapore, travelled north to Sumatra, sailed west to the Trincomalee port of Jaffna under Savakanmaindan and to Pandyan of Tamilakkam.
  • Describing the Pandyan kingdom under Lord Emperor Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan I as the richest empire in existence, Polo arrived during the reign of Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I, son of Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan I and one of five brother kings on the continent.
  • Christopher Columbus was inspired enough by Polo’s description of the Far East to visit those lands for himself; a copy of the book was among his belongings, with handwritten annotations.