Marco Polo, an Italian traveler and author, wrote one of the most influential books of all time. This book was no mere travel account, as it was able to give Europeans thefirst authoritative view of life in the Far East. His book also played a key role in the development of European overseas expansion. With the wealth of vivid detail that this book contains, it was the only existing source in Europe for information on the geography and the life of the Far East for a very long time. This book even gave Christopher Columbus the inspiration to explore the Orient. It is this book that I had the pleasure of reading. Marco Polo's Journal is a written account of Marco Polo's travels, dictated from Marco Polo himself to a fellow prisoner, Maestro Rustichello of Pisa, while he was imprisoned in Genoa.

This recount has been accepted by most people, but some critics doubt whether Marco Polo ever reached China, as his recount never mentions tea drinking, foot binding or cormorant fishing that were prominent in China at that time. However, whether Marco Polo ever reached China we maybe will never know, so you will have to make your own judgement on whether he did or not. Marco Polo was born in Venice.

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His father and uncle were Venetian merchants and business partners. Their main commercial interest was Constantinople (present day Istanbul). Unfortunately for them, Constantinople fell into the hands of rival Genoese merchants. This meant that the two businessmen had lost their main trade, and in 1260, had to set out and find a new prospering market north of the Caspian Sea. They found a key city on the caravan route to China, where they remained for three years.After several years they left there to serve in the court of the Mongol Emperor, Kublai Kahn.

They were welcomed and carried out various missions during their stay. Finally, after three years serving in Kublai Kahn's court, they returned home to Venice in 1269. In 1…