Have you ever played 'Marco Polo'? Ever wondered who this Marco guy was? Marco Polo was an Italian explorer in the 12th century and is one of the most famous travelers of all time. Marco Polo took a 24-year-long journey through Persia, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and China - also known as the Silk Road! Do you aspire to be the next Marco Polo and travel the world? Let's find out!
About Marco Polo
Occupation: Merchant, Traveler, and Writer
Born: Venice, Italy in 1254
Died: January 8, 1324
Known For: A famous merchant traveled to the far East and who wrote about his travels in a book, The Travels of Marco Polo.
The 'Marco Polo' Game: While no one really knows for sure, it is believed that the game comes from the fact Marco Polo really didn't know where he was going on his travels... just like the player who plays 'It' and seeks the others during the game.
What was the Silk Road?
The Silk Road was a number of trade routes between major cities and trading posts from Eastern Europe to Northern China. Why did they call it the Silk Road? Well, silk cloth was a major export from China for western buyers! Marco Polo is the most famous Westerner that ever traveled on this route. He began his journey at the young age of 17 with his father and uncle. During his travels, Kublai Khan, the Emperor of Shizu of Yuan, appointed him to serve as his foreign emissary. Marco Polos' intelligence and humility impressed him the Khan.
- No one knows where and when the game 'Marco Polo' was first played.
- Marco Polo's travels are written down in 'II Milione' ('The Million' or 'The Travels of Marco Polo')
- He traveled about 15,000 miles (without a plane or a car!) from the time he was 17 years old to 41 years old.
- After Marco returned home, paper money began being used in Europe.
- Marco traveled home in a fleet of ships on a journey that was so dangerous that only 117 out of 700 survived.
- Upon returning to Italy, Marco was jailed during a war going on in the country.
- The Travels of Marco Polo was a result of Marco dictating his stories while in prison to a fellow prisoner, Rushtichello.
- Some have speculated that Marco Polo made up many of his adventures, but scholars have checked facts and found that a remarkable number are true.
A famous quote of Marco Polo when he parted this world was
"I have not told half of what I saw."
Always remember it's important to get out and experience the world yourself! You, too, can change the world with your adventures!