Photo. One of the greatest explorers in history, Marco Polo, left out descriptions of the Great Wall of China in his book. Why?
Marco Polo (1254-1324) is one of the world’s greatest and most influential travellers. He changed history both though he stories and by bringng new things back to Europe.
Polo was not the first European to explore China, but he was the first who made people aware of China and Asia in general through he writings.
Marco Polo’s account his travels was originally called Description of the World, but is now known as The Travels of Marco Polo. It`s consider to be the first travel book in world. It`s probably also the most fascinating. Many people did`t believe Polo`s incredible stories, and he was sent to jail.
The book was widely translated and circulated and became a medieval version of a bestseller. The account covers Marco Polo's 24 years of travels (17 of them in China). In Italy his book is known by the name Il Millione, a reference to its million tall tales.
Marco Polo's cell mate and the man who wrote the book, was a romance writer named Rustichello. He was known for his stories about chivalrous knights. The book about Marco Polo`s life and journeys was probably written in 1298. Rustichello made some additions and changes.
If Marco Polo spent years exploring China for the Mongol ruler Kublai Khan, as he claims, why didn`t he report anything about the Great Wall, to Chinese tea-drinking ceremonies or to the practice of binding girls' feet to keep them small?
The Great Wall of China is newly reportet to be 8,850 kilometres long and is the only human made constructiion that can be observed from the moon. So it`s hard to believe that Marco Polo didn`t observe or hear anything about this amazing wonder during he 17 years travelling in China. If he travelled in China, where did he actual go? And how big was the Great Wall of China in this period? It`s possible that he missed it?
In a book from 1996, with the title Did Marco Polo Go to China?, the British librarian Frances Wood points out the holes in Polo's account of his years in Asia and suggests that he never made it to China. Her main argument is that Marco Polo never mentioned the Great Wall of China.
Watch video clip on YouTube from the movie about Marco Polo. Here you can watch Marco Polo admire the Great Wall of Cina. Enjoy breathtaking scenes with beatiful music in background composed by Ennio Morricone:
Marco left also out descriptions the Great Wall of China in his book (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/mpolo44-46.html), but geographers believe that Marco's book is incredibly accurate which seems to say that he did go to China. So why didn`t he tell about the Great wall of China?
He wrote it in a Geonese prison when he was older. In this book he writes about his experiences with Kublai Kahn and Mongols in China. This being the only account of his journey everybody will have to trust him.
Stein Morten Lund, 20 February 2010
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The Wall was listed as a Unesco world heritage site in 1987. The structure is a series of walls first linked up more than 2,000 years ago.
The wall, the world's largest man-made structure, was built to protect the northern border of the Chinese Empire, and it`s the only man-made building structure visible from the moon.
A two-year government mapping study found that the wall spans 8,850km (5,500 miles) - until now, the length was commonly put at about 5,000km (April 2009).
Infra-red and GPS technologies helped locate some areas concealed over time by sandstorms, state media said.