Marco Polo

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to Marco Polo: Kublai Khan
Marco Polo
Birthplacepresumably in Venice, Venetian Republic
Merchant, explorer
Known for The Travels of Marco Polo

Marco Polo:

see Polo, MarcoPolo, Marco
, 1254?–1324?, Venetian traveler in China. His father, Niccolò Polo, and his uncle, Maffeo Polo, had made (1253–60) a trading expedition to Constantinople.
..... Click the link for more information.

Polo, Marco

(mär`kō pō`lō), 1254?–1324?, Venetian traveler in China. His father, Niccolò Polo, and his uncle, Maffeo Polo, had made (1253–60) a trading expedition to Constantinople. A war blocked their return, and they journeyed eastward to reach Kublai KhanKublai Khan
, 1215–94, Mongol emperor, founder of the Yüan dynasty of China. From 1251 to 1259 he led military campaigns in S China. He succeeded (1260) his brother Mongke (Mangu) as khan of the empire that their grandfather Jenghiz Khan had founded.
..... Click the link for more information.
's eastern capital at Kaifeng in 1266. They returned to Venice in 1269, and in 1271 they left with young Marco for Kublai's court. The party reached Cambuluc (modern Beijing) in 1275. Marco Polo became a favorite of the khan, who employed him as an adviser and a tax assessor, sending him on business to central and N China, SE Asia, and India. For three years he apparently governed a Chinese city (Yangzhou). In 1292 the travelers, acting as escort for a Mongol princess who was to wed the khan of Persia, left Kublai's realm; they were back in Venice by 1295. Marco Polo soon joined Venetian forces fighting Genoa and was taken prisoner (1298) following Venice's loss in the Battle of Curzola. During his two-year captivity, aided by notes and reports written while he was in the East and by his fellow-prisoner and coauthor Rustichello of Pisa, he dictated an account of his travels.

The prologue of the work tells of Polo's life. The remainder of the book describes places he had visited and heard of and recounts the customs of the inhabitants. Polo made reference to much of Asia, including the Arab world, Persia, Japan, Sumatra, and the Andaman Islands, and to E Africa as far south as Zanzibar. He told of paper currency, asbestos, coal, and other phenomena virtually unknown in Europe. Polo was wonderstruck at Asian splendors and was sometimes credulous of exaggerated accounts, but scholars agree that his accurate reports of the events he witnessed and people he met are of great value. During the Renaissance it was the chief—almost the sole—Western source of information on the East, and until the late 19th cent. there was no other European material on many parts of central Asia. Of the annotated translations of his book the most useful is that by Sir Henry Yule (3d ed. 1903).


See studies by M. S. Collis (1960), H. H. Hart (1967), C. A. Burland (1970), J. Larner (1999), and L. Bergreen (2007).

Marco Polo


Born circa 1254 in Venice; died there Jan. 8, 1324. Italian traveler and writer.

Together with his father and uncle, who were Venetian merchants, Marco Polo sailed to southeastern Asia Minor between about 1271 and 1275. From there he traveled by land to Northern China across the Armenian Highland, Mesopotamia, the Iranian Plateau, the Pamirs, and the Kashgar Mountains. Remaining in China in the service of Kublai Khan until 1292, Marco visited various regions of the country. He returned by sea from Southern China via Iran to Venice in 1295. Some sources state that Marco Polo fought in the war with Genoa. Around 1297 he was taken prisoner by the Genoese.

Marco’s colorful accounts of his travels were recorded by Rusticello, another prisoner, in the Venetian dialect, the language of Italian 13th-century prose fiction. The accounts constituted The Book of Marco Polo (1298), a valuable source on the geography, ethnography, and history of Armenia, Georgia, Iran, China, Mongolia, India, Indonesia, and other countries. It also contained popular beliefs, legends, and fairy tales. Translated into other European languages, the book influenced navigators, cartographers, and writers of the 14th to 16th centuries, including Columbus and L. Ariosto.


Kniga Marko Polo. Translated from the Old French text, with an introductory article by I. P. Magidovich. Moscow, 1955. (Contains bibliography.)


Hart, H. Venetsianets Marko Polo. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from English.)
The Book of Sir Marco Polo, the Venetian, 3rd ed., vols. 1–2. London, 1921.


Polo, Marco

13th-century Venetian merchant; brought Oriental wonders to Europe. [Eur. Hist.: Bishop, 222–224]

Polo, Marco

(1254–1324) Venetian traveler in China. [Ital. Hist.: NCE, 1695]

Polo, Marco

(1254–1324) Venetian traveler in central Asia and China. [World Hist.: WB, 15: 572–573; Ital. Lit.: Travels of Marco Polo]
See: Journey
References in periodicals archive ?
4 days NoW from PS299pp on board MS Marco polo departing from tilbury on 3 october 2013
The Marco Polo was well-represented by director of sales and marketing Lara Constantino Scarrow, communications manager Manna Alcaraz, Jude Pangan, Joward Tongco, Barbie Burchards, Yumni Mariot, and public relations officer Febe Campaon.
Peter Jardine, CEO of Marco Polo Securities, said, 'Marco Polo is a global securities platform through which our local members can market their capabilities and products outside their domestic markets.
The Marco Polo relationship is an exciting development as it enhances our capabilities to market our strong Egyptian offering.
BOOK BY 30TH JUNE 2016 Use promotional code: 7H5MUB SPECIAL LAUNCH OFFER 2017 Cruises sailing from Bristol on board Marco Polo.
Wake early to catch Marco Polo's transit through the Kiel Canal u Traditional British & International cuisine, stylish entertainment, guest lecturers & on-board leisure facilities u 12 nights' full board accommodation on board Marco Polo Cruise highlights u Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen, one of Europe's most stylish cities u Discover Tallinn, capital of Estonia u Enjoy cruising in the Baltic's clear light u Spend two days in St Petersburg u Finnish capital Helsinki doubled for Moscow in many a Cold War movie u Take an excursion to Stockholm from Nynashamn Fjordland Splendour days from PS1,189 June 2017 Marco Polo's first 2017 sailing from Hull will showcase the glorious fjords of Western Norway at their spectacular midsummer best, and will include marvellous ports of call.
Spain, Portugal & France Cruise 11 days from PS1449 Sailing from Cardiff on board Marco Polo, 24 May 2017 Sail 'south to the sun' on Marco Polo's inaugural cruise from Cardiff, enjoying all the joys of cruising, Marco Polo-style, and some wonderful ports of call.
Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen (DSV), part of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC), has said farewell to Marco Polo, the 800 passenger cruise ship owned by Global Maritime and operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages.
As the premier player in emerging and frontier markets since 2000, Marco Polo New World has spent the past year upgrading its infrastructure with the latest technologies to build a foundation on which to extend the breadth of its service offerings.
This is why, in conjunction with Cruise and Maritime Voyages, they are delighted to be welcoming back the classic ocean liner, Marco Polo, to the Port of Tyne, Newcastle and Edinburgh Leith for a series of regional cruises throughout May, June and July 2015.
I would urge you to follow the Marco Polo way this year and see a part of the world that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime - Norway.