Marco Polo (article) | Khan Academy
Mar 5, Niccolò and Maffeo set forth back to Asia to fulfill their promise to Kublai Khan, but this time, with year-old Marco Polo in tow. This would be. Polo, Marco; Kublai KhanMarco Polo, his uncle, and his father presenting the pope's letter at the court of Kublai Khan, detail of an illuminated manuscript; in the . At the height of the Mongol Empire, Marco Polo served Emperor Kublai Khan in China and returned to The couple had three daughters in quick succession.
The grounds around the palace are full of streams, fountains, gardens, birds, and wild animals. Polo tells us that Kublai Khan rides on his horse through the grounds to hunt with hawks and a leopard riding behind him on his horse. Kublai Khan takes a strong liking to young Marco and tasks him to deliver messages and make reports on other areas of the country. Marco even reports being a governor of the city of Yanghou from to this is greatly disputed. Meanwhile, Marco reports that his father and uncle serve as military advisers to the Mongol emperor and even help win a battle.
Emperor Kublai Khan: One Of The Most Powerful People In Human History
Over the next 17 years, Marco travels throughout China, witnessing the use of silkworms to make silk, the dangers of tigers, the great ceremonies of monks in Tibet, great tombs and pagodas made of silver and gold in Mien, the Burmese use of gold on their teeth and tattoos, the use of elephants for battle, magicians in Bangladesh, and all kinds of strange wild beasts and fauna that were completely foreign to Europeans.
Inthe Polos finally head back to Venice. Marco writes that Kublai Khan did not want the Polos to leave as he enjoyed their company, but allows them to leave in order to escort a Mongolian princess bride to the Khan of Persian and to then visit their families in Venice with the expectation they would then return to China.
The three Polos set off in a fleet of boats with golden tablets from Kublai Khan that guarantee them safe passage and special treatment throughout the Empire. The Polos end up needing to stop on the island of Sumatra for a while and then land in India, where they continue the rest of their journey on land.
After safely escorting the princess, they learn that Kublai Khan has died and the Polos return home to Venice in Marco Polo had left Venice at age 17 and did not return to his home city until age 41! Marco would spend three years in prison, where he would meet fellow prisoner and Italian romance writer Rustichello da Pisa.
Many readers found it to be an enlightening account of Eastern culture and it would even inspire other famous explorers such as Christopher Columbus and traders to head East to cash in on the vast riches of the Orient.
However, many other readers found the travelogue to be filled with unbelievable tales invented by two lying Italians. Marco Polo earned the nickname Marco il Milione, suggesting that Marco was a man who invented a million stories. In the will, he leaves money to his wife and daughters and various religious and local institutions and releases a Tartar slave potentially someone who he met during his travels in Asia from servitude.
Is His Story True? Are the stories real? Did Polo ever make it to China?
Emperor Kublai Khan: One Of The Most Powerful People In Human History | Ancient Pages
Marco Polo does not show up in any of the detailed records kept by the Vatican or the Chinese during this time. Much less noteworthy visitors to China are noted during this time but no mention of the Polos. Similarly, there is almost nothing in Venice, except the will and some say this just demonstrates someone with the same name existed. A few sections of the book are contrary to surviving Chinese records, including the claim that Marco Polo was a Chinese governor records show otherwise or that his uncle and father helped the Mongols win an important Chinese battle again, records show otherwise.
He promptly set about extending this into the biggest empire the world has ever seen, extending his rule from China to Iraq, from Siberia to Afghanistan. His personal domain covered sixty-percent of all Asia, and one-fifth of the world's land area.
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The West first learnt of this great Khan through the reports of Marco Polo. Kublai had not been born to rule, but had clawed his way to leadership, achieving power only in his 40s. He had inherited Genghis Khan's great dream of world domination. But unlike his grandfather he saw China and not Mongolia as the key to controlling power and turned Genghis' unwieldy empire into a federation.
Using China's great wealth, coupled with his shrewd and subtle government, he created an empire that was the greatest since the fall of Rome, and shaped the modern world as we know it today.
Kublai Khan: China's favourite barbarian
He gave China its modern-day borders and his legacy is that country's resurgence, and the superpower China of tomorrow. Read more For the first time in China's history, all of China was under the rule of foreign power. Kublai Khan has many achievements; he re-unified China and was the first emperor who laid the foundation of today's territory of China.
He also gave first priority to appointing people on their merits and seeking advice from able and worthy men. The leader was Kublai, whose generals outflanked the Chinese defenses by moving toward Annam via the southwest of China which was occupied by the independent Tai kingdom of Nan-chao. Before Genghis Khan consolidated them under his centralized control inthey were no more than a group of largely autonomous tribes, more or less unknown to recorded history.
Except for some organized hunting and the management of their herds, they had little experience of economic activity.
MARCO POLO AND KUBLAI KHAN | Facts and Details
They had almost no experience in statecraft prior to the establishment of the Yuan, and concepts such as the taxation of urban societies were brought to their attention by their foreign advisers, upon whom they relied heavily.
Hence, except in areas like China where there was a firm native political tradition, they never succeeded in organizing a durable state.
In China, too, everything depended ultimately on the willpower and ability of the ruler.
The Mongols had come to power in China, as elsewhere, by sheer force of arms. With that prestige to back him, relying on his dominant personality, and building on the foundations of the brilliant civilization developed in China by the preceding Song dynasty —Kublai could maintain the illusion for a while that Mongol supremacy was firmly based. Yet Kublai Khan at the outset of his reign was faced by an insoluble dilemma, which was given vivid expression in a memorial presented to him by one of his Chinese advisers: To the extent that they did so, however, they would be bound to become increasingly assimilated and perhaps lose their identity altogether.
If, on the other hand, they worked through Chinese and other agents, they would become alienated from the mass of the population, which would reject them. In either case the Mongols—culturally less advanced than the Chinese, numerically overwhelmed by them, and used to a different pattern of life—could not continue to rule China for long as a distinct and privileged caste. He began to play an important part in the extension and consolidation of the Mongol empire only inwhen he was in his mids.
At that time Kublai was invested with full civil and military responsibility for the affairs of China. He appears never to have learned to read or write Chinesebut already he had recognized the superiority of Chinese thought and had gathered around himself a group of trustworthy Confucian advisers.
Courtesy of Asia Society Galleries, New York His attitude toward government was formed under the influence of those learned Chinese, who convinced him of the necessary interdependence of ruler and ruled and reinforced his innate tendency toward humanity and magnanimity. At home, in the fief allotted to him in the Wei River valley in modern Gansu and Shaanxi provinceshe established a competent administration and a supply base. In the field he stressed to his generals the precepts of his mentors—the importance and effectiveness of clemency toward the conquered.
Kublai took on the Nan Song in the flank, subjugating the Dai kingdom of Nanzhao in present-day Yunnan province before handing over command to his general, Uriyangqadai. Ten days later he announced his succession in a proclamation drawn up in Classical Chinese. A legend recorded in Mongol chronicles to the effect that the dying Genghis designated the child Kublai as a future khan seems to have been contrived so as to provide retrospective justification of an act of usurpation.
Against him were ranged those who resented the abandonment of the old ways of the steppe and the adoption of an alien, China-centred culture. Kaidu never relaxed his hostility toward Kublai and remained master of Mongolia proper and Turkistan until his death in