Who was Marco Polo?
In his introduction the author, George Makepeace Towle, introduces this great explorer and his story in this way:
The reader is carried back . . . to a period two centuries previous to the discovery of the route to India by Vasco da Gama, and to the conquest of Peru by Pizarro. [Marco Polo], a young Venetian of the thirteenth century, brought up amid luxury and wealth, of a bold spirit and a curious mind, went forth from his home in the beautiful Queen City of the Adriatic, and for many years lived among a far-off Asiatic people, and at a court of barbaric and yet splendid pomp.
He made many far and dangerous journeyings in the wild distant lands and among the fierce tribes of Cathay, Thibet, India, and Abyssinia. His life was passed amid an almost incessant succession of exciting events, of strange adventures, and of hair-breadth escapes. He rose to high distinction and power at the Tartar court of the mighty Kublai Khan, one of the most famous conquerors and potentates who ever, in either ancient or modern times, have led legions to devastating wars, or have ruled teeming millions with despotic sway.
Nor did his career of valor and stirring action end with his return, middle-aged and laden with riches, to his native Venice. He engaged in the bitter warfare between the two rival republics of the sea, Venice and Genoa; became a prisoner of the latter state; and while in prison, dictated the wondrous narrative of his adventures which still survives, a precious legacy left by this great traveller to later generations.
A look at the chapter titles below serves as an overview of the adventures of this fascinating historic character. Long before travel was safe and comfortable, Marco Polo explored the world and learned about other cultures. This compelling biography makes it possible for you and your students to travel along. Grab a map and a notebook and take a journey!
- The Return of the Wanderers
- Marco Polo’s Youth
- Marco Polo Sets Forth
- Marco Polo’s Travels in Persia and Turkistan
- Marco Polo Reaches Cathay
- The Imperial Hunting Grounds
- The Court of the Great Khan
- Marco Polo among the Tartars
- Marco Polo’s Travels in Cathay
- Marco Polo’s Return
- Marco Polo in the Eastern Seas
- Marco Polo among the Hindoos
- Marco Polo in Africa
- Homeward Bound
- A Strange Welcome
- Marco Polo Goes to the Wars
- Marco Polo a Prisoner
- Last Days of Marco Polo