He claimed to have seen rocks burn, bandits command sandstorms, lions tamed with a look, and sorcerers charm sharks while divers gathered pearls on the ocean floor. Marco Polo shook Europe with descriptions of the world he’d seen on his epic journey to the court of Kublai Khan. But was Marco Polo the world’s most accomplished explorer? Had he really seen the “Roof of the World” in Central Asia, and the “City of Heaven” in far-off China? Or was merely he a impostor with an inventive mind?
Marco Polo c.1254 Jan 8–9, 1324) was an Italian merchant traveler from the Republic of Venice. whose travels are recorded in a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned the mercantile trade from his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, who traveled through Asia, and apparently met Kublai Khan. In 1269, they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time. The three of them embarked on an epic journey to Asia, returning after 24 years.