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The Travels of Marco Polo - Volume 2

Marco Polo and Rustichello da Pisa

Book Overview: 

"The Travels of Marco Polo", is a 13th-century travelogue written down by Rustichello da Pisa from stories told by Marco Polo, describing the travels of the latter through Asia, Persia, China, and Indonesia between 1271 and 1291.It's been a very famous and popular book since the 14th century, creating the image of Marco Polo as the icon of the bold traveller. Presenting Marco Polo as an important figure at the court of the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, the book was written in Old French by Rustichello da Pisa, a romance author of the time, who was reportedly working from accounts which he had heard from Marco Polo when they were imprisoned in Genoa, having been captured while on a ship.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The general's purpose was more probably to occupy the dry undulating slopes near the south end of the valley. An advance of about five miles would have brought him to that position. The statement that 'the King's army arrived in the plain, and was within a mile of the enemy,' would then accord perfectly with the conditions of the ground. The Burmese would have found themselves at about that distance from their foes as soon as they were fairly in the plain.

"The trees 'hard by the plain,' to which the Tartars tied their horses, and in which the elephants were entangled, were in all probability in the corner below the 'rolling hills' marked in the chart. Very few trees remain, but in any case the grove would long ago have been cut down by the Chinese, as everywhere on inhabited plains. A short distance up the hill, however, groves of exceptionally fine trees are passed. The army, as it seems to us, must have entered the plain from its southernmost point. . . Read More

Community Reviews

For anyone interested in Medieval/Renaissance travel and China and surrounds, this is worth reading. It was surprising to read how much he got right. I expected more exaggeration and fantasy.

Polo traveled from Italy across Asia and back during the years that the Mongol Empire reigned over most of the territory. The version I read was the Yule edition, which coming from the nineteenth century was likely a bit too old to keep the reading interesting.

The Yule edition was heavily annotated,

As with volume 1, there was more explanatory material than there was of Polo's original text. Explanatory text is necessary, as the place names which Polo uses are not the ones we know these lands as today. Additionally, Polo did not actually visit many of he places, and simply reported on them hear

I noticed something with western writers like Marco and Mark Twain, they keep mentioning how Arabs/Muslims hate Christians. And as an Arab and Muslim, I feel bound to say this: the period that Marco is describing, witnessed the Crusade campaigns on the East, and everyone know that the Crusaders not

All I can say is, having read volume I, I felt compelled to read volume Ii. That is as good as it gets.

Much like vol. 1, this volume is filled with tons of additional information. Worth the read if you want to get the most out of Marco Polo's travels.