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Travels of Marco Polo

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  2,655 ratings  ·  204 reviews
His journey through the East began in 1271—when, still a teenager, he set out of Venice and found himself traversing the most exotic countries. His acceptance into the court of the great emperor Kublai Khan, and his service to the vast and dazzling Mongol empire, led him to places as far away as Tibet and Burma, lands rich with gems and gold and silk, but virtually unknown ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 5th 2004 by Signet (first published 1298)
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I find it interesting how Marco Polo's description of the Middle East of more than 700 years ago is pretty much a reflection of the way it is today. That is to say, in thrall to the same old tribal passions. Sad, that. The text is perhaps most remarkable for its narrator's incuriousness. We know the richness of these regions from the writings of subsequent travelers and historians, but Polo makes them all seem strikingly similar. The narrative is thin and repetitive. The only thing that makes th ...more
Sep 17, 2007 David added it
Recommends it for: all y'all suckas
Shelves: summer2007
Here's a book that looks fantastic on the cover: it's the story of Marco Polo's incredible travels to the East, told by the man himself. Then you open the book and look into it a bit and realize that it might be boring against all odds. For one, it isn't the tale of his adventure. Instead, it's a systematic description of all the countries one can find east of Italy. Check that: no narrative.

Then you actually start reading and you find out that no one--not Marco Polo, not the scribe who wrote do
ماركو پولو، فرزند هفده ساله ى نيكولو پولو، تاجرى ونيزى است كه بيشتر به قصد سياحى (و بعداً به منظور سفارت) پايش به چين باز مى شود و با حيرت شاهد دربار پر هييت خان مغول "قوبيلاى قاآن" مى گردد. خان مغول، همچون كودكى هشتاد ساله كه حوصله اش سر رفته و پيوسته به دنبال چيزهاى جديد است، از اين مسافران غريب شديداً استقبال مى كند و نمى گذارد به كشورشان برگردند. اين است كه نيكولو پولو و پسرش و برادرش قريب به دو دهه در پايتخت حكومت مغول، "خان باليغ" ماندگار مى شوند.

در اين مدت، ماركو با دقت سرشار يك نوجوان پر
رحلات ماركو بولو

قبل ابن بطوطة ورحلته بخمسين عام، انطلق شاب بندقي - سيصبح فيما بعد أحد أشهر رحالة العالم – مع أبيه وعمه إلى الصين، حيث كان يحكم في ذلك الوقت قوبلاي خان العظيم، حفيد جنكيز خان، كان ماركو بولو في الثامنة عشرة عندما بدأ رحلته التي استمرت سبعة عشر عاماً، وكان يمكن لماركو بولو أن ينتهي كما انتهى الكثير من الرحالة من قبله أو من بعده، أي بلا ذكر، لولا أنه قضى بضعة شهور في سجن جنوي كأسير أحد الحروب التي كانت تنشب بين الدويلات الإيطالية، وهناك أملى كتابه هذا والذي كان نافذة الأوروبيين على
I feel like my reading of this book has taken as long as Polo's travels! (Mostly, though, it was because I got sidetracked by the extensive footnotes & subsequent internet research on various topics found in Polo's book.)

Polo's tales are an eclectic mix of geography notes, merchant/business observations, descriptions of plants/animals/governments/cultural customs interspersed with strange & outrageous tales (many true) along with plenty of gossip & hearsay (plenty false). It's almost
This is the narrative of one of the most famous explorers in history, describing his adventures in the Far East as a sort of emissary for the great Kublai Khan. In it he describes all of the strange cities and peoples he comes across in his years wandering through the exotic locales encompassed by the Khan’s extensive empire.

I’m sure that when this narrative was first published, it would have been considered fascinating reading by the general public, as it describes places, peoples and things th
Libro decisamente anomalo, direi, per diversi motivi:

1) In primo luogo, non è stato neppure redatto nel volgare italiano, bensì, a quanto mi risulta, principalmente in francese antico (lingua d'oïl). Di conseguenza, il testo che leggiamo è una delle tante traduzioni esistenti. Quanto possa essere fedele all’originale è da vedersi.

2) Non è neanche stato scritto dallo stesso Marco Polo, ma dettato a Rustico da Pisa nel carcere in cui entrambi allora si trovavano. Quanto sia possibile attribuire al
Come non appassionarsi allo straordinario racconto di Marco Polo, del suo viaggio e di tutte le stranezze che incontra? Come non desiderare di aver visto con i propri occhi le meraviglie del palazzo di Ciandu, o il ponte di marmo sul fiume Pulisanghin?

Ecco, se non lo avete mai fatto, vi consiglio di leggere il "Milione" e di lasciarvi trasportare sulle ali della fantasia (o sulla groppa di un destriero dei Tartari, come vi pare).
Interesting for both it's accuracies and inaccuracies and the insight provided on the medieval point of view of foreign cultures. Unfortunately, Polo tends to simplify nearly every culture he encounters into one very large pot. In example, he seems to be under the impression that all 'idolaters' (read non-christians, non-muslims, non-jews) all follow one giant pan-asian religion. These kind of assumptions make a lot of his observations nearly useless, revealing more about the author than the sub ...more
K.D. Absolutely
This novel is among the 501 MUST READ BOOKS and it was written in 1298. So, next to the Holy Bible this is now the 2nd most oldest book that I've ever read.

In fact, in the travel book that I read last month about the travels of Ferdinand Magellan, this book was mentioned several times as the Magellan fleet brought this book. It was the same case for Christopher Columbus because both the world navigators came after the travels of Marco Polo, his father Nicolo and his uncle Maffeo that happened i
It took me forever to finish this. A massive book of facts without flesh. It was like reading a phonebook -- dry, repetitive, lacking depth and in need of a good editor. And every so often, you'd come across odd statements like this:

"But, now that we have embarked on this topic, we have had second thoughts about setting it down in writing; for after all it is very well known to many people. So let us drop the subject and start on another one…"

It was very strange to me how any traveler to these f
Mariel Zani Begoña
This book was a lot better than I was expecting. It's not definitely a one-sitting-read because it can be a little repetitive, But I didnt hate it.

Este libro fue mejor de lo que me esperaba. No es definitivamente un libro para leer en una sentada poruqe puede tornarse un poco repetitivo. No lo odié, de todas formas
Adam Ferry
Marco Polo was an epic explorer who ventured all the way through the Middle East to China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, the African east coast, and modern day Russia. The start of his journey is in Venice. Niccolò, Marco’s father, and Maffeo, Marco’s uncle, decided to set off on a trade journey through Asia before Marco was born. Returning in 1269, when Marco was fifteen, they first encountered him. In 1271 they set off again to Asia on the journey Marco would recount in his book. The trio and their ...more
Very interesting historical account of Polo's travels to Mongolia and China, He spent much more time there than I had known, not all of it by design. He was highly regarded by Kublai Kahn for his knowledge of western culture which was of great interest to the Kahn. Polo was surprised, as was I, by the sophistication of the Mongolian culture.
This is a book of which I cannot say, "I couldn't put it down!" Many of the 650-year-old accounts of Polo's travels through 13th century Asia were vividly described yet others were very matter-of-fact and well, dry for the most part. For example, most of the places he visited and subsequently dictated to his prison cell mate, Rusticiano, were described in this manner: "...its inhabitants, for the most part Mahometans, with some Nestorian Christians, and the rest idolaters are subjects of the gra ...more
A translation of Marco Polo's account of his travels through the Middle East and Asia. I have spoken to some people who think that this book is too dry (which may make sense since Polo was a merchant and the stated purpose of his book is to let other merchants know what products and resources were available in these new lands). It could be the translation that I read (I chose the right one here) but it was in no sense dry or boring. Imagining Polo traveling through Baghdad, across the Gobi Deser ...more
Jesse Kraai
Jun 10, 2015 Jesse Kraai rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: jason stoneking
A must read.

It completely shifted my view of the 13th century world. That place was jumping!

Do not read my edition! The maps are terrible and the commentary infantile.
An easy to read translation but which seemed to capture Marco's merchants view of the world. Impressed with his attention to reproductive behaviour as well. Didn't realize what a tax-and-spender Kublai Khan was.
Again, how can you give history less than a 3? The book was initially disappointing to me, because I thought Marco had high tales of adventure and wonder, when actually his book is more like a journal. But, that's why you read, correct? WHAT a life - he walked from Italy to the edge of China a back - discovering people and places that no one in Europe had ever heard of - and upon returning, no one was even impressed. And even after the story was written, his renown is relegated to a childhood sw ...more
Vinoth G
Adventures too imaginative to be real. Though through years the tales would have taken different shapes, interesting read.
I read this as I was travelling through Mongolia. There are some entertaining gems tucked away in this book: colourful and unique descriptions of cities and peoples now changed beyond recognition, but to get to these one must wade through long sections of drivel, endless repetition of the same stock phrases and a somewhat haphazard narration. I don't know why but I'd assumed that a writer almost contemporaneous with Dante might have had a better grasp of style. Still, this is a unique book and h ...more
Tomas Van Oosten
When I first thought it would be an engaging story about Marco Polo's travels. That is NOT what this book is (nor, indeed, what it's supposed to be). What's it then? A boring description of town after town, with little variation. Admidetly, there were some descriptions of feasts and battles, but mostly it was like 'this is a great town, the people worships this:... now let's move on.' Doing a study on medieval views on Asia? Great book to read. Reading in your free time or for a book report? Wor ...more
Not written by Marco Polo but by someone who he told his stories to. This book was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. While it is written in the same style as Machiavelli's The Prince, there were some interesting and exciting stories.
The ones that jumped out at me where the wise man who had a conversation with Jesus (he was an infant but spoke like a man). There were women who gave their daughters to travelers to sleep with and on their wedding day would display all of their trinket
P.J. Wetzel
Fascinating eyewitness look into the world of the late 1200's. Admittedly it was told with some Western bias and some Christian bias (He lumps Buddhists, Hindus, Confucians, etc., together, simply declaring them 'idol-worshipers'). His strongest bias was toward his host and employer in China, 'The Grand Khan', who ruled China by the sword and employed foreigners to keep order because he could not trust the natives. Marco describes the marvels of the Chinese civilization, but is not always apprec ...more

Когато се завръща във Венеция, след дългогодишните си пътешествия, Марко заварва града във война с Генуезката република. Тъй като носи със себе си огромни богатства от изтока, той бързо успява да закупи галера, на която слага требучет и веднага се включва в битката. Не след дълго обаче е пленен и прекарва няколко месеца в затвора. Тъкмо там Марко диктува историите си на Рустикело да Пиза - друг затворник, писател на рицарски романи. Първоначалн
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Procyon Lotor
Educazione veneziana Libro di viaggi, d'avventure, di storia, geografia, tecnica, economia e sociologia. Collezione d'aneddoti e romanzo di formazione pure, non scordiamo che Marco Polo part giovinetto e torn uomo. Ricostruito da filologi d'erudizione sconfinata e poi (questa edizione) ritradotto in un italiano "anticato" dall'ottima Bellonci. Sono brevi scritti, taluni vere e proprie schede geopolitiche, Polo spessissimo cita la citt (sempre nobilissima e bellissima, un vero PR, salvo poi nei d ...more
Robyn Groth
3.5 There were great, boring parts between the marvelous or horrifying parts - city after city where we learn its name, the religion, the basic food (flesh, rice and milk plus a liquor made from rice and spices - or something along those lines), whether or not they pay tribute to anyone and to whom, what they use for money. It was kind of like The Bible - here and there some really neat stories that make you glad you suffered through the blah, blah, blah.

Adding in some maps - DUH - would make t
I don't know what I was hoping to find in this book that has been in my wishlist for way too long. Probably i read exactly what i was supposed to, an humongous list of places and people as viewed and re-thought by a catholic of more that 800 years ago. I am not saying that it is a book to avoid: it really is interesting to see how a catholic tried to adapt (and he really tried if you ask me) to widen his view to better understand foreign habits and countries and how he was actually fascinated by ...more
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Ian Somerhalder F...: Marco Polo 4 56 May 18, 2012 05:35AM  
  • The Journals
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  • The Travels of Sir John Mandeville
  • The Travels of Ibn Battutah
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  • The Valleys of the Assassins: and Other Persian Travels
  • My Life as an Explorer
  • The Four Voyages: Being His Own Log-Book, Letters and Dispatches with Connecting Narratives
  • Voyages & Discoveries: Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques & Discoveries of the English Nation
  • Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America
  • The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons
  • Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes
  • Eothen
  • Kabloona
  • The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: A Muslim Traveler of the Fourteenth Century, Revised Edition, with a New Preface
  • Trespassers on the Roof of the World: The Secret Exploration of Tibet
  • My Journey to Lhasa: The Classic Story of the Only Western Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City
  • News From Tartary
Marco Polo was supposedly born in Venetian Republic, in what is now Venice, Italy. There are also stories and various documents which point to his ancestry originating in Korčula, Croatia.
He was a well known trader and an explorer. He recorded his adventures in a book published as "The Travels of Marco Polo". The original copies of his works are lost.
More about Marco Polo...
Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls Travels in the Land of Kubilai Khan (Penguin Great Ideas) The Customs of the Kingdoms of India marco polo Marco Polo the Description of the World A.C. Moule & Paul Pelliot Volume 1

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“The personal appearance of the Great Kaan, Lord of Lords, whose name is Cublay, is such as I shall now tell you.” 2 likes
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