He grew up in a Catholic family and lived his early life alone with his mother.
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During this time, young Polo would receive an informal education, learning the mercantile business and how to read and write Italian. Meanwhile, Marco Polo tells us in his book that his father and uncle after several years of trading in Constantinople present day Istanbul, Turkey would travel further southeast, spending time in present-day Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, and China.
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Kublai Khan is said to have been very intrigued by these two European men Europeans were very rare in China at the time , and officially invites them to spend time with him in China so that he can learn more about Europe. In order to learn more about Christianity and Western culture, Khan sends the Polo brothers back to Italy with the task of asking the Pope for learned Westerners and oil from the lamp of the Holy Sepulcher. During their trip back to see the Khan, the Polos are delayed in their journey as the Pope Pope Clement IV dies in and they had to wait until the new Pope was elected in Instead of sending scholars, the Pope only sends two Dominican friars as he believed the journey was two dangerous to send so many men.
It would take the Polos three years to reach Asia, following the Silk Road, a network of trade routes that linked Europe to Asia. They would travel from Venice to the city of Acre present day Israel and would continue by caravan through present-day Armenia, Anatola, Georgia, and Baghdad. While crossing present-day Iran, the caravan would encounter sandstorms and bandits, leaving some members of their caravan captured or killed. Early into the journey, the two Dominican friars leave the group and head back to Italy, frightened by Muslim raiders and bandits.
Marco Polo provides a rich description of the Mongolian culture, including their government, food e. He also notes practices the Mongols had borrowed from the Chinese including their extensive message delivery system and use of coal and paper money. These were all new and foreign to Polo. Marco Polo would report getting sick as they moved east through Afghanistan and crossed the Pamir Mountains. These mountains at the time were believed by the travelers to be the highest mountains in the world and the long strenuous journey across these mountains took 52 days!
However, Marco Polo notes that the cold pure mountain air helped cure him of his illness. The Polos finally arrive in China and young Marco encounters many Chinese trading posts. As he travels in China, Marco is very surprised by the sheer number of people in China much more populous than Europe at the time , the riches jade, silk, furs, spices, weapons , and complexity of their society.
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The last imposing stretch of the journey occurs when the threesome must now cross the large, arid Gobi desert. Setting off on camels, they ride through the desert and Marco talks about how weary travelers may see mirages and hear voices that can divert them from their paths and led them to stray into the depths of the desert. The grounds around the palace are full of streams, fountains, gardens, birds, and wild animals.
Polo tells us that Kublai Khan rides on his horse through the grounds to hunt with hawks and a leopard riding behind him on his horse. Kublai Khan takes a strong liking to young Marco and tasks him to deliver messages and make reports on other areas of the country. Marco even reports being a governor of the city of Yanghou from to this is greatly disputed.
Meanwhile, Marco reports that his father and uncle serve as military advisers to the Mongol emperor and even help win a battle.
Over the next 17 years, Marco travels throughout China, witnessing the use of silkworms to make silk, the dangers of tigers, the great ceremonies of monks in Tibet, great tombs and pagodas made of silver and gold in Mien, the Burmese use of gold on their teeth and tattoos, the use of elephants for battle, magicians in Bangladesh, and all kinds of strange wild beasts and fauna that were completely foreign to Europeans.
In , the Polos finally head back to Venice. Marco writes that Kublai Khan did not want the Polos to leave as he enjoyed their company, but allows them to leave in order to escort a Mongolian princess bride to the Khan of Persian and to then visit their families in Venice with the expectation they would then return to China. The three Polos set off in a fleet of boats with golden tablets from Kublai Khan that guarantee them safe passage and special treatment throughout the Empire.
The Polos end up needing to stop on the island of Sumatra for a while and then land in India, where they continue the rest of their journey on land. After safely escorting the princess, they learn that Kublai Khan has died and the Polos return home to Venice in Marco Polo had left Venice at age 17 and did not return to his home city until age 41! Marco would spend three years in prison, where he would meet fellow prisoner and Italian romance writer Rustichello da Pisa.
List of travelers
Many readers found it to be an enlightening account of Eastern culture and it would even inspire other famous explorers such as Christopher Columbus and traders to head East to cash in on the vast riches of the Orient. However, many other readers found the travelogue to be filled with unbelievable tales invented by two lying Italians. Marco Polo earned the nickname Marco il Milione, suggesting that Marco was a man who invented a million stories.
In the will, he leaves money to his wife and daughters and various religious and local institutions and releases a Tartar slave potentially someone who he met during his travels in Asia from servitude. Are the stories real?
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Did Polo ever make it to China? Marco Polo does not show up in any of the detailed records kept by the Vatican or the Chinese during this time. Much less noteworthy visitors to China are noted during this time but no mention of the Polos. Similarly, there is almost nothing in Venice, except the will and some say this just demonstrates someone with the same name existed. A few sections of the book are contrary to surviving Chinese records, including the claim that Marco Polo was a Chinese governor records show otherwise or that his uncle and father helped the Mongols win an important Chinese battle again, records show otherwise.
Skeptics also point to striking omissions of certain things in the book that any visitor to China would certainly have seen and would have been noteworthy, such as the Great Wall, chopsticks, calligraphy, foot binding, and tea drinking. The general lack of personal details, lack of precision about the route taken, and use of Mongol and Turkish words instead of Chinese have also led people to doubt whether Marco Polo ever visited China.
Duncan Williamson died of a stroke on the 8th November, He is survived by his ten children and his wife Linda Williamson, who still tours Scottish storytelling centres, keeping Duncan Williamson's legacy alive. Duncan Williamson came from a family of Scottish Travellers, who told traditional stories around the campfire for entertainment. Duncan Williamson believed that stories have an important role in education and growing up. Duncan Williamson said that, as a child, he learned how to behave through his family's stories.
Duncan Williamson said that 'My father's knowledge told us how to live in this world as natural human beings — not to be greedy, not to be foolish, not to be daft or selfish — by stories. Duncan Williamson said that 'by listening, by learning and listening to the old people, you had a better knowledge of the world you had to live in'.
As well as the role of storytelling in his upbringing, Duncan Williamson was a firm believer in the power of stories as things which transcend time and remain with a person for life. Telling a child a story implants a seed in their mind, and you know when you are gone from this world that that child is going to tell the tale you told them, and remember you.
When Duncan Williamson died in he left behind a worldwide legacy of stories collected on his travels, not only from his own community but from people from all walks of life. Duncan Williamson was not just a story collector, his way of telling a story and his understanding of storytelling culture and craft has been celebrated through numerous publications of his work and by those who remember him.
The Coming of the Unicorn is a wonderful collection of Duncan Williamson's traditional Scottish stories for children, collected during his sixty years of travelling all over Scotland and features traditional Scottish mythical creatures such as broonies, unicorns, ogres as well as stories about kings, warriors and storytelling animals.
The Coming of the Unicorn is the first posthumous collection of Duncan Williamson's stories published and is the first collection compiled specifically with children in mind. Linda Williamson, Duncan Williamson's wife, edited the collection.
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More Information and See Inside. In this collection, Duncan passes on some wonderful children's folk and fairy tales, collected from sixty years of travelling around Scotland. This collection includes stories about silver horses and golden birds, cunning lions and trilling nightingales, brave princesses and magic scarecrows, the four seasons and old Father Time. At the heart of each story is a lesson about life and what it means to be a good person. The stories have been written down as faithfully as possible to Duncan's unique storytelling voice, full of colour, humour and life. This is a list of notable travelers , consisting of people that are known for their travels or explorations.
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Travel is the movement of people between relatively distant geographical locations, and can involve travel by foot, bicycle, automobile, train, boat, airplane, or other means, and can be one way or round trip. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries. Biography portal Lists portal. Global nomad List of explorers List of female explorers and travelers List of space travelers by name List of space travelers by nationality Mekong Expedition of Mughal travelers Technogypsie Transport.
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