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Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Marco Polo
  Marco Polo was born in Venice, Italy in the year 1254. He had an education of different skills in accounting, foreign languages, and knowledge of the Christian Church. His background in business and culture and his love for nature made Marco Polo very observant of humans, animals, and plants.

His father, Nicolò (Niccolò), and his uncle, Matteo, were merchants who began their first eastern journey in 1261. They visited Constantinople and made their way to the domain of the
Great Kublai Khan, ruler of China, where they remained for three years. The Emperor became interested in stories of the native land of the merchants; thus, he sent the Polos back to the Pope as his ambassadors with messages of peace and interest in converting areas of China to Christianity.

In 1971 Niccolò and Matteo returned to China with young Marco. Marco Polo lived for about twenty years at the court of the emporer, Kublai Khan, as an ambassador. Upon his return to Italy, Marco Polo told of his findings of jade, porcelain, silk, ivory, and other riches of Asia. He described the festival of the Emperor's birthday in which everything from clothing to ornaments were laced in gold. He also explained how he saw people using black stones for fuel (later known as coal). Unfortunately, all his stories and details of the unimaginable were rejected, and Marco Polo became the "man of a million lies."

When he was near death, a priest entered his room and asked him if he wanted to admit his stories were false. Instead, Marco Polo replied, "I did not tell half of what I saw because no one would have believed me." He died in 1324. (Source: campus.northpark.edu)
(In his book "Il Milione", Marco Polo gives an account f his travels and experiences at the court of Kublai Khan)
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