The Adventures of Marco Polo

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Transcript The Adventures of Marco Polo

The Renaissance
The Travels of Marco Polo
Lesson 12-4
Horrible Histories –Marvelous Marco Polo 25m
Explorers of the World – Marco Polo – 25m
– 6.6.2 Recognize the impact of individuals on
world history – Marco Polo
– 6.6.1 Identify examples of groups impacting
world history
– 6.5.13 Identify the impact of advances in
technology on history (exploration during the
– 6.2.2 Identify major trade routes – Silk Road
Marco – The Storyteller
• He often told of adventures to faraway
places such as China.
• Marco had traveled to China and the
Indies; the islands off the China coast.
• He told stories about meeting Kublai
Khan, China’s ruler, and seeing amazing
things – white bears, black stones that
burned, and a place where night lasted all
winter and day lasted all summer.
“Marco Millions”
• People in his hometown of Venice, Italy
laughed and called him Marco Millions
because he told so many tales.
• Few Europeans had ever been to Asia, so
they could not prove Marco was wrong.
• They thought his stories could not be true
but many were.
Marco’s Travels
• Marco left his home in Venice, Italy in
1271 with his father Niccolo and his uncle
• They were caravan traders who traveled
the Silk Road and were interested in the
riches of the east.
• Four years after beginning their journey,
the Polos reached China.
Trade Routes to the East
• Europeans carried on a busy trade with
the people of Asia.
• Europeans wanted: gold, jewels, silk,
perfumes, furs, jade, ivory, and especially
spices. (pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and
• They used the spices to make their food
taste better and to hide the bad taste of
spoiled meat.
Silk Road
• About 4,000 miles long, the Silk Road was a
series of trade routes connecting the east to the
west. (Asia to Europe)
• The trade route was traveled by caravan traders
and bandits who made travel much more
• The Silk Road was physically difficult for travel.
• Caravans needed their own defense forces so
forts and walls were built along the Silk Road for
Genghis Khan
• When Genghis Khan unified the region as
the Mongolian Empire, the Silk Road
became an important path for
• Travel across the Silk Road was safe for a
time under Mongol control.
• Cultural diffusion - The movement of
customs and ideas from one culture to
Marco’s Adventures
• Marco’s father introduced his son to
China’s ruler, Kublai Khan.
• Kublai Khan asked Marco to explore his
• Marco spent twenty-four years working
for the Khan.
• Marco Polo returned home with his
pockets full of jewels.
Kublai Khan
• Kublai Khan was
China’s Mongol ruler.
• Marco described his
palace as having walls
covered with gold and
• One hall was so big that
“a meal might be served
for more than 6,000
The Travels of Marco Polo
• Upon returning to Venice,
Marco became the captain of
a Venetian ship.
• Venice and Genoa, two
Italian city-states, were
involved in battle.
• Marco was captured and
thrown into prison.
• While there his stories were
written down.
• Two hundred years later,
The Travels of Marco Polo
was published.
Trade Routes to the East
• For most European traders travel to Asia
and back was too hard and took too much
• In 1453 trade with the Far East was
stopped by Muslim Turks after they
captured the city of Constantinople.
• A new trade route to China would have to
be found.
A New Trade Route?
• Kingdoms in Europe began to explore the
possibility of a water route to Asia.
• They were not willing to give up the luxury
goods they had become accustomed to.
• Portugal was the first to search for a
faster water route to China by sailing
around Africa.
Reasons for Exploration
• It was long before Spain, England, and
Italy joined Portugal in the search of new
• Why? Claiming new lands would:
– Increase their territory – establish colonies
– Increase their wealth – trade goods
– Spread their religion- Christianity