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What were Marco Polo's inventions?

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Quick Answer

Marco Polo, a Venetian merchant and explorer in the 13th century, is not credited with any inventions. However, the book depicting his travels introduced many Asian inventions and ideas to Europe.

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Full Answer

The geography of Asia made it very difficult to access at the time of Marco Polo's explorations, and he was exposed to a world that few other Europeans had seen. Some of Europe's first maps of Asia were based on the information in Polo's book, today referred to by its English title, "The Travels of Marco Polo." Polo's book is credited with introducing the idea of paper money to Europe, including how it was made and used. Also of note are his descriptions of where and how salt was produced, which was of particular importance as it was also used as currency.

After many years spent in Asia, Marco Polo returned home to find Venice at war with Genoa. When Genoa defeated Venice, Marco Polo was imprisoned, where it is believed that a fellow prisoner recorded the stories of his travels. Although the book was not widely accepted as fact, it gained popularity throughout Europe and was printed in many languages. It gave many their first glimpse into Asian culture and inspired future explorers to expand on Polo's knowledge.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What were Marco Polo's goals?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    What was Marco Polo's motive for exploration?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    Why did Marco Polo want to explore Asia?

    A:

    Marco Polo and his family traveled through Asia to bring a letter from the Pope, Christian scholars and oil from the lamp at the Holy Sepulchre to Kublai Khan. Kublai Khan was the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. As merchants, they also conducted business along the way.

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  • Q:

    What mythical creature did Marco Polo claim to find?

    A:

    The Italian explorer Marco Polo was responsible for introducing Europeans to many new discoveries, including some that were far from accurate; when Marco Polo saw a rhinoceros during his travels in Asia, he claimed to have seen a unicorn. Because Marco Polo was not used to seeing some of the non-mythical animals that are native to Asia, he confused what he saw, which included animals such as crocodiles and large snakes, for mythical creatures. Photographic technology had not yet been developed at the time of Marco Polo's 13th-century travels, and the explorer's personal accounts were converted into drawings.

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