Marco Polo Essay, Research Paper
While I lay here, on my death bed, I think “how can my friends accuse me of lying!” They asked me if I had exaggerated any of my adventures and I didn’t understand why they felt I would do this. I told them I haven’t even revealed half my stories and adventures! I have traveled and done so much. In my popular book, “The Travels of Marco Polo,” a detailed version of my journeys is written. The people I thank most for what they have done for me are my father and uncle, who were merchants. They traveled far into Asia when I was young and when they came back, they told me the greatest stories of their adventures. Those stories inspired me to travel with my father to Asia when I was 17. I remember this voyage being one of the hardest of them all. I had to hike across miles and miles of hot deserts and get ships to sail back to Venice. I stayed in Asia for 24 years. Then I traveled back to Venice and told some of my stories and adventures. After that, I started a journey in Venice and sailed to Damascus. From there, I walked across Asia’s deserts and traded with Kublai Khan, who was extremely welcoming to me and my family. I was in awe with Kublai Khan.
Khan’s summer palace was built like a giant tent of sliced bamboo; it was beautiful! The palace lit up the city of Shang-tu. I then traveled through Cathay. I was astonished by the wonders I saw there. There, I discovered coal fuel which was stones that burned like logs. If you put them on the fire in the evening and see that they are well alight, they will continue to burn all night, that you will find them still glowing in the morning. Another amazing accomplishment I discovered in Cathay was the Imperial Post. There were three classes: “second” was a foot-runner service, “first” was delivered faster, on horseback, and “top priority” which used a despatch rider and a relay of fresh horses could deliver a message 300 miles away within 24 hours! I wrote a lot about the wonders of Cathy in my book and I bet if someone reads about it, they will be motivated to experience what I did! When I was done exploring Cathy, Kublai Kahn sent me, as an emissary, to some kingdoms which allowed me to visit the major silk areas of the Far East. Then I sailed around the tip of India, past Calicut and through the canal between Arabia and Asia. After that, I walked to Constantinople.
At the end of that long journey, I sailed back to Venice with my goods. When I returned, I was wearing tattered rags of traveling clothes but, underneath was a fortune of ivory, jade, jewels, porcelain, silk and other treasures. One of the funniest things I did throughout all my journeys had to be when I tricked the people in Italy by telling them my foreign money was worth the same amount of money used there-it worked!
After spending a few years back in Venice, my homeland, I became captain of a ship and fought a naval battle against Genoa for rights to the Mediterranean trade routes. During that battle, I was taken prisoner and, while I was in jail, I wrote “The Travels of Marco Polo” with the help of a writer who shared the jail cell with me. This book explained in detail, all my adventures and stories. Writing that book pretty much marked the end of my career as being a traveler. Now, it is 25 years later and I am laying in my death bed. I hope that my stories and writings will help future travelers like me. Maybe one day someone will be inspired by my great journeys and discover a continent called America or something. Hmm… maybe I am dreaming but I hope that what I have done comes to some good use in the future.
1) Stefoff, Rebecca, Marco Polo and the Medieval Explorers. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1992.
2) Pages Through the Ages, Marco Polo, www.oakview.fcps.edu/, 11/1/98.
3) Research papers, Marco Polo, www.oakview.fcps.k12.va.us/, 11/1/98.
4) The Travels, The Travels of Marco Polo, www.utexas.edu/depts/grg/ustudent/frontiers/fallas/tubb/marco_~1/travel.html, 11/1/98.
5) Humble, Richard, The Travels of Marco Polo. New York: Franklin Watts Inc, 1990.