Marco Polo sailed on a Venetian vessel with his father Niccolo and his uncle Maffeo; details of the ship itself are unknown. The trio began their voyage from Venice to China, a journey that involved a bit of sailing but mostly by-foot endeavors.Know More
The expedition to China from Venice began with the crossings of the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Polo and his crew made their first stop in Acre, Israel, and from there continued on foot and possibly by camel, across the trade route known as the Silk Road. Marco's father and uncle, merchants who had spent significant time in the Middle East, had made ties with the Yuan Dynasty emperor, Khubilai Khan on previous journeys, and were enlisted by Khubilai to obtain various goods along the way.
Marco greatly fancied the Asian culture and customs; he learned to speak Mongolian and Chinese, which caught the eye of Khubilai Khan, who eventually requested Marco to become his confidant. By the end of their service, the Polos had spent roughly 23 years trekking across the Middle East and Asia, upon which they were granted permission by Khubilai to return to Venice in 1295. The three were escorted by a 14 boat fleet, leaving from modern day Quanzhou, China, in route toward Venice, Italy.Learn more about Exploration & Imperialism
Marco Polo's motivation for exploration was primarily financial, since he belonged to a family of merchants. East Asia, particularly China, offered valuable goods to be sold and traded in Europe. His motivation to explore was also familial, as he left on his voyage with his father and uncle.Full Answer >
The traveler and writer Marco Polo, born into a family of Venetian merchants, spent years representing China (then known as Cathay) under the sponsorship of the Mongol prince Kublai Khan. Marco impressed the Khan as he demonstrated his excellence in travel and his powers of observation.Full Answer >
Marco Polo's goal in traveling to China was to help his father and uncle fulfill the task that Kublai Khan gave them of bringing back some Christian priests and holy oil. His goal in writing about his travels was to educate contemporary Europeans about China and other lands of the East.Full Answer >
Although Marco Polo is not known for any particular discoveries, he was one of the first Europeans to explore the Far East. He traveled farther than any explorers before him, journeying for over 24 years on the Silk Road, documenting the foreign culture, technology and civilizations.Full Answer >