Good Example Of The Travels Of Marco Polo Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Polo, Tourism, China, History, World, Dilemma, Information, Claim

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/21

Marco Polo is one of the most renowned travellers whose travels are recorded in the book “The Travels of Marco Polo”. He was a great adventurer and also wished to explore across the universe. The introduction of Central Asia and China to Europeans can be accredited to the works of Marco Polo. Marco Polo made his travels with his father and his Uncle for twenty-four years only to come back to Venice to find it at war with Genoa. Marco Polo was imprisoned, and the account of his relation only reaches us through the narrations that he made to his cellmate. Despite the international recognition that Marco Polo has received for his travels, some inconsistencies that are evident in his narrations have sparked controversy on whether he made the travels that he claims (Edwards, 83). A deeper scrutiny of Marco Polo’s work inspires doubt into the authenticity of his claims of his visit to China and other destinations. The paper sheds light on some of the controversial issues that arise from the claims made in “The Travels of Marco Polo.”
There are major inconsistencies in Marco Polo’s description of his travels. The route that Polo claims to have used in his travels through Asia cannot be traced beyond Persia. The route that Polo claims to have used fails to sensibly connect places within china and parts of Asia because of the inconsistencies revealed. Polo’s description fails to show the logical arrangement of cities and is more akin to general geography of the area he claims to have visited and does not resemble a travel record (Wood, 29). In addition to this, Polo’s narrations lack personal reference since the accounts are not given in the first person, and this gives the impression that they were written by a ghost-writer.
The major controversy surrounding the authorship of Polo’s work, however, is that no original manuscript survives, and this makes it difficult to authenticate the work. According to Wood (p. 46) Giovanni Battista Ramuso may have added passages to Marco Polo’s work in order to make it appear more complete and interesting. Alterations of this nature make it difficult to believe that any relation is out of personal experience. Wood further claims that the language used by Marco Polo raises further suspicion of the authenticity of his narrations. According to Polo, the proper nouns used by Polo of the places he claims to have visited seem borrowed from Persian and other sources (Wood, 42).
Further evidence shows that the records of Bangala in The Travels of Marco Polo are full of errors and omissions. The records by Marco Polo and those by the domestic and foreign Scholars of Bangala are inconsistent. The inconsistency makes the issue of whether the claim that Marco Polo was in Bangala controversial. Shi Jianjun notes that Marco Polo’s itinerary shows no record of him travelling from the city of Mien to Bangala. Shi Jianjun notes that Polo’s viewpoint on Bangala is flawed and that Polo refers to Bengal and not Bangala. The conclusion is that Marco Polo’s claim that he had been to Bangala in 1287 is not true (Shi, 64). The misleading information of such magnitude makes it difficult to ascertain whether Marco Polo made the other travels that he claims to have made.
Despite Marco Polo’s mention of paper money and the burning of coal in his narrations, there is no mention of significant features such as the Great Wall of China. Such omissions make his claim of having visited China suspect (Wood, 48). It is expected that Polo’s narrations were aimed at impressing his audience about an advanced civilization. If this is the case then, it follows that should mention of historical significance and his failure to do so makes his claim suspect.
In Conclusion, Marco Polo’s work has been of great significance to world history. The account of his travels helped bring cultural awareness in different parts of the world, for example, and it informed Europeans of the Chinese culture. Despite the seeming accuracy of Marco Polo’s account of his travels, the debate and controversy that surround them are legitimate. The omissions and inconsistencies that surround Polo’s narrations are unexplained and illogical if one is to believe that he made the travels and did not give his narrations out of hearsay. The evidence that the current manuscripts may have been manipulated by way of adding information that was not originally there also points to the fact that Marco Polo may not have made the alleged travels around the world. There is need to eliminate the sources of falseful information that stores the invaluable information regarding Marco Polo. The evidence that exists is enough to conclude that the account by Marco Polo may only be a retelling of other people’s stories. Never-the-less, no one can argue against the fact that Marco Polo’s narrations have been significant in shaping world history.

Works Cited

Edwards, Mike. "Wonders and whoppers (Marco Polo)." SMITHSONIAN 39.4 (2008): 82-88. Print.
Shi, Jianjun. A Textual Research of Historical Facts about Bangala in the Travels of Marco Polo. Journal of Chinese Historical Geography; 01 (2012): 59-72. Print.
Wood, Frances. Did Marco Polo Go to China? Journal of World History, 10.1 (1999): 20-54. Print.

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