The Travels of Marco Polo, or the Book of the Marvels of the World, is one of the first and most famous European travelogues describing the Venetian trader’s journey to the court of Kublai Khan in the 13th century, his employ there, and his return to Europe.
The Travels were written together with Rustichello da Pisa while he was in custody following his capture by the Genoese around 1296. It is fair to say that they were really co-authors, although it is all based on Polo’s recollections.
Some have doubted whether he went to China at all, given there are certain unexpected omissions in his account, but others argue the wealth of verifiable detail he gives could only have been known to someone who had been there.
This film presents the pros and cons of this argument, but the weight of evidence does seem to suggest he really did make the journey, and everything that could be verified, like his description of paper money and descriptions of bridges, all seem to be correct.
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