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Le devisement du monde : Le livre des merveilles

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  3,592 Ratings  ·  278 Reviews
So much has been written on the subject of the celebrated Venetian traveller of the middle ages Marco Polo, and the authenticity & credibility of his relation have been so well established, that it is now quite unnecessary to enter into this part of the question; but the reader of the following translation will doubtless be desirous of learning something more about the ...more
Paperback, 554 pages
Published November 2004 by La Découverte (first published 1298)
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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
Introduction & Notes
Further Reading
A Note on the Text

--The Travels

List of Abbreviations
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
On the face of it this the classic account of traveller Marco Polo's journey from Venice to China and back again is pretty straight forward. Man makes journey, writes book, has mint named after him.

Yet it is still controversial over what it alleges, contains and does not contain. The book has a complex and unclear textual history. That names of persons, places and offices are in a Persian form is remarkable given the claim that the Polos were active at the court of the Mongol Khan in China. The
Intriguing, although a touch repetitive. It's interesting to pick apart the details and see what the author gets right and wrong. He gets the most obvious facts about Islam wrong, and still vainly hopes for the existence of a Christian King in the East, a Prester John. He once confuses the Tigris and the Volga rivers, but then he has an excellent description of the Chinese salt trade. It's a fun read, though one which survives across vast distance.
Jun 15, 2007 added it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nandakishore Varma
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
I loved it. He was lying most of the time about India, however... I mean, it's hot here in the tropics, but boiling eggs in the river? And dog-headed people?? But they were such colourful and entertaining lies. 😊
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Che viaggio! Più di un mese di lettura... del resto Marco Polo ci ha messo poco meno di vent'anni, quindi tutto sommato è andata bene...

A Marco Polo, grandissimo personaggio, viaggiatore straordinario, autore di una delle opere più importanti della storia, voto 5 su 5, e anche più! Al Milione, o Libro delle Meraviglie del Mondo, come da tradizione francese, o The Travels of Marco Polo, com'è noto dagli anglosassoni, 5 stelle meritatissime. Il racconto di una vita passata a esplorare terre lontan
Carlos Bazzano
Marco Polo, fue uno de los personajes que más admiración despertaban en mí cuando era niño (recuerdo cierto programa de televisión en forma de dibujos animados que relataba sus aventuras, el nombre se me ha ido), quizá la leyenda más que el personaje histórico en sí mismo. Muchas veces había oído hablar del relato de sus grandiosos viajes y la curiosidad siempre me había conducido a buscar tales relatos y tardé en dar con ellos. Confieso que, de haber leído El libro de las maravillas en mi infan ...more
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia, 2015
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
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Travels of Marco Polo may be perhaps the most challenging travelogue ever put together. While Marco Polo was not the first to write about lands distant and alien to one’s own, he wrote of a journey of immense challenge and difficulty. Difficulty that is difficult to appreciate in our modern world.
First of all, the most notable controversy; was Maro Polo a fraud? This reader disagrees. While some regard it as suspect that he traveled to Yuan Dynasty China and did not mention the largely Han
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
May 19, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Karolina Kat
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Travels by Marco Polo are without question one of the most important texts of our culture. The text reveals not only how little the 13th century man knew about the world outside his own domain but also how he perceived the world around him. In Polo's work reality mixes with the perception of magical and unknown. All in all, a very enriching reading.
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
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 29, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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).
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
Aug 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
I'm not sure what caused me to credit the Goodreads reviews of this book which say it is boring and procrastinate on reading this after my brother gave it to me for my birthday last year. I generally make it a rule not to read reviews before reading a book at all, and experience has taught me that most peoples' opinions of Famous Classic Books, especially if they are older than say Jane Austen, rarely match my own. But I did credit them, and sort of anticipated this would be a chore, especially ...more
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 ne ...more
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History Buffs, and cultural studies buffs.
Shelves: history
This book does not read like a novel, and at times it is a bit arduous to get through, so it has its low points. But in contrast when it is good it is really good. Many of the stories are hard to believe. So many of the cultures he describes have obviously been wiped out of existence so this is a text that testifies of the rich cultural diversity of the planet just under 800 years ago. I envy Marco Polo, and even though many of his tales may be exaggerations I wish I could have lived during his ...more
Nov 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When at first I saw this book, I 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 like, then? A dull description of consecutive town, with little to no variation. Admittedly, there were some detailed descriptions of feasts and battles, but it was, for the most part, like 'this is a great town, the people worship this deity and use this currency, now let's move on.' Researching ancient Asia and the S ...more
Feb 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 15, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Juan Ruiz
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is fascinating to read this book trying to think you are an Italian from the XIII century, arriving to all these unknown places, seeing all these different customs, languages, foods, etc. Today we know so much about China and Japan, and even with all these helps, we see ourselves in a completely differnt world once we try to interact with those cultures, so, trying to imagine what these Italians must have experienced is just mind-boggling.
Timothy Riley
Remarkable that Marco Polo and several other people attempted this journey. There is definite doubt about the truth of some of his claims, but he went to some truly out of the way places and saw some extraordinary things. It shows the complexity of eastern society and culture that we in the west should be learning much more about.
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Goodreads Librari...: Marco Polo - Separate tool 14 29 Dec 05, 2015 05:47AM  
Ian Somerhalder F...: Marco Polo 4 59 May 18, 2012 05:35AM  
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Marco Polo was supposedly born in the 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...
“The personal appearance of the Great Kaan, Lord of Lords, whose name is Cublay, is such as I shall now tell you.” 2 likes
“You will hear it for yourself, and it will surely fill you with wonder.” 2 likes
More quotes…