Travel History: Marco Polo, the World’s First Great Travel Writer? - Independent Travel Cats
Niccolò and Maffeo set forth back to Asia to fulfill their promise to Kublai Khan, but this time, with year-old Marco Polo in tow. This would be. Kublai Khan is the leader and emperor of the Mongolian Empire. Relationships But after some time, Kublai warms to Marco and begins to trust his advice. The Mental Garden of Kubla Khan and Marco Polo As if Marco Polo was Scheherazade and Kublai Khan the Sultan, the latter cannot stop.
During Phagspa's absence in Tibet, the Tibetan monk Sangha rose to high office and had the office renamed the Commission for Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs. Antong of the Jalairs and Bayan of the Baarin served as grand councillors fromand Oz-temur of the Arulad headed the censorate. Borokhula's descendant, Ochicher, headed a kheshig Mongolian imperial guard and the palace provision commission. In the eighth year of ZhiyuanKublai officially created the Yuan dynasty and proclaimed the capital as Dadu Chinese: His summer capital was in Shangdu Chinese: To unify China,  Kublai began a massive offensive against the remnants of the Southern Song in and finally destroyed the Song inunifying the country at last.
Chinese opera flourished during Yuan China. Most of the Yuan domains were administered as provinces, also translated as the "Branch Secretariat", each with a governor and vice-governor.
It was considered the most important region of the dynasty and was directly governed by the Zhongshu Sheng at Dadu. Tibet was governed by another top-level administrative department called the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs. Kublai promoted economic growth by rebuilding the Grand Canalrepairing public buildings, and extending highways.
However, his domestic policy included some aspects of the old Mongol living traditions, and as his reign continued, these traditions would clash increasingly frequently with traditional Chinese economic and social culture. Kublai decreed that partner merchants of the Mongols should be subject to taxes in and set up the Office of Market Taxes to supervise them in Inmaritime trade was put under the Office of Market Taxes. The main source of revenue of the government was the monopoly of salt production.
To guard against devaluation, the currency was convertible with silver and gold, and the government accepted tax payments in paper currency. InKublai issued a new series of state sponsored bills to finance his conquest of the Song, although eventually a lack of fiscal discipline and inflation turned this move into an economic disaster.
It was required to pay only in the form of paper money. To ensure its use, Kublai's government confiscated gold and silver from private citizens and foreign merchants, but traders received government-issued notes in exchange. Kublai Khan is considered to be the first fiat money maker.
The paper bills made collecting taxes and administering the empire much easier and reduced the cost of transporting coins. Later Gaykhatu of the Ilkhanate attempted to adopt the system in Iran and the Middle East, which was a complete failure, and shortly afterwards he was assassinated. Several Europeans visited the empire, notably Marco Polo in the s, who may have seen the summer capital Shangdu. From that time up until the Yuan dynasty, there were two Duke Yanshengs, once in the north in Qufu and the other in the south at Quzhou.
The title was taken away from the southern branch after Kong Zhu rejected the invitation, so the northern branch of the family kept the title of Duke Yansheng.The Life Story of Marco Polo in Under 3 Minutes
Confucius's descendants in Quzhou alone number 30, Thirty Muslims served as high officials in the court of Kublai Khan. Eight of the dynasty's twelve administrative districts had Muslim governors appointed by Kublai Khan.
He was a well learned man in the Confucian and Daoist traditions and is believed to have propagated Islam in China. Kublai Khan patronized Muslim scholars and scientists, and Muslim astronomers contributed to the construction of the observatory in Shaanxi. Muslim cartographers made accurate maps of all the nations along the Silk Road and greatly influenced the knowledge of Yuan dynasty rulers and merchants.
Muslim physicians organized hospitals and had their own institutes of Medicine in Beijing and Shangdu. Avicenna 's works were also published in China during that period.
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. Kublai Khan is said to have been very intrigued by these two European men Europeans were very rare in China at the timeand 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, the current Pope dies in and the Polos are delayed in their journey back to Khan as they must wait until the new Pope is 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.
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.
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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 cross 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 timethe riches jade, silk, furs, spices, weaponsand complexity of their society. 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.
MARCO POLO AND KUBLAI KHAN
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. Polo related his memoirs orally to Rustichello da Pisa while both were prisoners of the Genova Republic.
Rustichello wrote Devisement du Monde in Langues d'Oila lingua franca of crusaders and western merchants in the Orient. A year later, they went to Ukek  and continued to Bukhara.
There, an envoy from the Levant invited them to meet Kublai Khanwho had never met Europeans. Kublai received the brothers with hospitality and asked them many questions regarding the European legal and political system.
Kublai Khan requested that an envoy bring him back oil of the lamp in Jerusalem. They followed the suggestion of Theobald Visconti, then papal legate for the realm of Egyptand returned to Venice in or to await the nomination of the new Pope, which allowed Marco to see his father for the first time, at the age of fifteen or sixteen. They sailed to Acreand then rode on camels to the Persian port of Hormuz.
The Polos wanted to sail straight into China, but the ships there were not seaworthy, so they continued overland through the Silk Roaduntil reaching Kublai's summer palace in Shangdunear present-day Zhangjiakou.
In one instance during their trip, the Polos joined a caravan of travelling merchants whom they crossed paths with. Unfortunately, the party was soon attacked by banditswho used the cover of a sandstorm to ambush them. The Polos managed to fight and escape through a nearby town, but many members of the caravan were killed or enslaved. It is possible that he became a government official;  he wrote about many imperial visits to China's southern and eastern provinces, the far south and Burma.
They became worried about returning home safely, believing that if Kublai died, his enemies might turn against them because of their close involvement with the ruler. InKublai's great-nephew, then ruler of Persiasent representatives to China in search of a potential wife, and they asked the Polos to accompany them, so they were permitted to return to Persia with the wedding party—which left that same year from Zaitun in southern China on a fleet of 14 junks.
The party sailed to the port of Singapore travelled north to Sumatra and sailed west to the Point Pedro port of Jaffna under Savakanmaindan and to Pandyan of Tamilakkam.