Marco Polo.docx - Blunt 1 Lauren Blunt English 203...

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Lauren BluntEnglish 203Professor O’HaynesResponse 59/25/17The Influence of Marco PoloThe Travels of Marco Polo is an adventure filled story of a family of travelers; the Polo’s.More specifically, Marco Polo, the main character of the tale, is a determined and respected globetrotter with widespread influence on those around him. In a time when little was known about the surrounding world, Marco Polo added to that knowledge with his journey around the world to new places. Many people were curious about the unknown lands and in a time with littletechnology, it was hard to travel. Major religions were being established and while some of Marco Polo’s work was helpful, some of Marco Polo’s influences had some controversial effects in regards to the judgment of different lands and those who inhabited them.The story begins with Nicolo and Maffeo Polo setting sail on their first trip to the unknown lands of the East in 1260. They are looking to reach Consantinople, carrying “rich and varied cargo of merchandise” and do so. After that, they set forth to the lands of the “most liberaland civilized princes known amongst the tribes of Tartary”; Barka. When presenting their fine jewels, they brought, the travelers were welcomed with open arms and received “several rich presents”. The travelers were in good graces with the prince but longed to return to their homeland. However, a sudden war broke out against the Eastern Tartars, and the roads were not safe to travel. So, “it was recommended to them, as the only practicable mode of reaching Constantinople, to proceed in an easterly direction, by an unfrequented route, so as to skirt the limits of Barka's territories”. Taking the advice, the men traveled through Oukaka, the Tigris, andthrough a desert before arriving in Bokhara and staying for a few years. In the land of Kublai Khan, they again win over their superior and receive benefits. One benefit being that they are Blunt 1
taken to the Great Khan who “recompensed them with many gifts” as well as celebratory feasts. He asks them about the Catholic religion and asks them to go to Europe and get the Pope to send missionaries. The Khan was interested in the Catholic faith and wanted to prove that “by just andfair argument, that the faith professed by Christians is superior to, and founded upon more evident truth than, any other; that the gods of the Tartars and the idols worshipped in their houseswere only evil spirits, and that they and the people of the East in general were under an error in reverencing them as divinities”. Rather that return home, they accepted he Khan’s mission and set forth Europe with Khogatal and the golden tablet in hand. However, early into the voyage, he fell ill and was left behind.

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