- Mini Bio
- Name: Marco Polo
- Born: 15th September 1254, Venice, Republic of Venice
- Died: 8th January 1324, Venice, Republic of Venice
- Resting place: Church of San Lorenzo, Venice
- Occupation: Merchant, explorer and writer
- Famous for: His 13th century travelogue entitled: "The Travels of Marco Polo"
- Children: Fantina, Bellela and Moretta
- Parents: Nicole Anna Defuseh and Niccolò Polo
- Inspired: Christopher Columbus
- Trivia: Niccolò Polo was an absent father, not through neglect, but back in the day a business trip to the far east would take years of travel and after one such trip he came back to see his boy was now 17 and nearly a man. Niccolò decided to take Marco on his next merchant adventure that would take decades until they returned and the experience was recorded ensuring Marco's name to live on forever as the great Venetian explorer who went where few men dared to travel
"I have not told half of what I saw"Marco Polo
"You will hear it for yourself, and it will surely fill you with wonder"Marco Polo
"For the Great Kaan their king is, I tell you, the wisest and most accomplished man, the greatest Captain, and best to govern men and rule an Empire, as well as the most valiant, that ever existed among the Tribes of Mongols"Marco Polo
"The Emperor himself is carried upon four elephants in a fine chamber made of timber, lined inside with plates of beaten gold, and outside with lion's skins"Marco Polo
"My heart beats as much as I can breathe"Marco Polo
"The people are Idolaters, use paper-money, and are subject to the Great Kaan. They live by trade and handicrafts, and they have plenty of silk"Marco Polo
"The Emperor's Mint then is in this same City of Cambaluc, and you might say he hath the Secret of Alchemy in perfection, and you would be right! For he makes his money after this fashion"Marco Polo
"For, tell it how I might, you never would be satisfied that I was keeping within truth and reason"Marco Polo
"Any one forging it would be punished with death"Marco Polo
"The Kaan causes every year to be made such a vast quantity of this money, which costs him nothing, that it must equal in amount all the treasure in the world"Marco Polo
"And nobody, however important he may think himself, dares to refuse them on pain of death"Marco Polo
"The Great Kaan may have, and in fact has, more treasure than all the Kings in the World"Marco Polo
"They have the best falcons in the world and also the best dogs in Tibet"Marco Polo
"These people of Tibet are an ill-conditioned race. They have mastiff dogs as big as donkeys, which are capital at seizing wild beasts"Marco Polo
"They stormed a tower belonging to some of the islanders who refused to surrender, and they cut off the heads of all the garrison except eight"Marco Polo
"I speak and speak, ... but the listener retains only the words he is expecting. ... It is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear"Marco Polo
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Marco Polo Biography
Marco Polo was not the first European to trek across what is now known as "the Silk Road" to the far east in search of trade but he was one of the first to colourfully document his travels. He spoke admiringly of a mighty empire using a strange parchment currency where gold, silver and jewels could only be traded by the Khagan (emperor) who was at that time Kublai Khan the grandson of the fearsome Ghenghis Khan.
In 1275 Polo was to visit Kublai Khan (the fifth Khagan of the Mongol Empire) at his summer home which was an opulent palace a few hundred miles north of Peking. Marco started working for the emperor as an emissary and travelled around his empire carrying out various tasks such as administration and tax collecting.
Polo witnessed an empire that had reached its peak and unbeknown to all at that moment in time would fall into a deep decline upon the death of Kublai Khan. Marco Polo travelled for twenty years through this empire and on his return to Venice in 1295 he was unaware that his friend the Khagan of the Mongol Empire had died the year previously in 1294.
In 1295 Venice was at war with Genoa and Marco Polo set sail to join the fray and was captured in the heat of battle in 1296. For the remainder of the war languished in a Genoese prison until his release in 1299. His incarceration was where he met the writer Rustichello da Pisa who was fascinated by his story and they spent their time on a collaborative manuscript that would become world renowned as "The Travels of Marco Polo".
His travelogue ensured he would go down in history as an influential traveller who was to inspire generations of future explorers and he was good for a one liner also, so here is my compilation of 16 of the best Marco Polo quotes
Quotes About Marco Polo
The biographer Laurence Bergreen commented on his recognition as the intrepid traveller:
"He was: a chronicler rather than a fantasist. Vindication took a long time in coming, centuries, in fact"
The author Nick McCarty was energetic about his exploits:
"In a life of ceaseless exploration, Marco Polo pushed out the borders of his narrow medieval world"