About Marco Emilio Polo
Marco Polo c. 1254 – January 8, 1324) was a merchant from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and met Kublai Khan. In 1269, they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time. The three of them embarked on an epic journey to Asia, returning after 24 years to find Venice at war with Genoa; Marco was imprisoned, and dictated his stories to a cellmate. He was released in 1299, became a wealthy merchant, married and had 3 children. He died in 1324, and was buried in San Lorenzo. Il Milione was translated, embellished, copied by hand and adapted; there is no authoritative version. It documents his father's journey to meet the Kublai Khan, who asked them to become ambassadors, and communicate with the pope. This led to Marco's quest, through Acre, and to the Mongol court in China. Marco wrote of his extensive travels throughout Asia on behalf of the Khan, and their eventual return after 15000 miles (24000 km) and 24 years of adventures. Their pioneering journey inspired Christopher Columbus and others. Marco Polo's other legacies include Venice Marco Polo Airport, the Marco Polo sheep, and several books and films. He also had an influence on European cartography, leading to the introduction of the Fra Mauro map. Contents [hide] 1 Life 1.1 From childhood through to Genoese captivity 1.2 Death 2 Travels of Marco Polo 2.1 Narrative 3 Legacy 3.1 Further exploration 3.2 Commemoration 3.3 Cartography 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 Bibliography 8 Further reading 8.1 Television 9 External links Life
From childhood through to Genoese captivity See also: Niccolò and Maffeo Polo and Battle of Curzola The exact time and place of Marco Polo's birth are unknown, and current theories are mostly conjectural. One possible place of birth is Venice's former contrada of San Giovanni Crisostomo, which is sometimes presented by historians as the birthplace, and it is generally accepted that Marco Polo was born in the Venetian Republic with most biographers pointing towards Venice itself as Marco Polo's home town. Some biographers suggest that Polo was born in the town of Korčula (Curzola), on the island of Korčula in today's Croatia. The most quoted specific date of Polo's birth is somewhere "around 1254".[Note 2] His father Niccolò was a merchant who traded with the Middle East, becoming wealthy and achieving great prestige. Niccolò and his brother Maffeo set off on a trading voyage, before Marco was born. In 1260, Niccolò and Maffeo were residing in Constantinople when they foresaw a political change; they liquidated their assets into jewels and moved away. According to The Travels of Marco Polo, they passed through much of Asia, and met with the Kublai Khan. Meanwhile, Marco Polo's mother died, and he was raised by an aunt and uncle. Polo was well educated, and learned merchant subjects including foreign currency, appraising, and the handling of cargo ships, although he learned little or no Latin.
Map of the journey In 1269, Niccolò and Maffeo returned to Venice, meeting Marco for the first time. In 1271, Marco Polo (at seventeen years of age), his father, and his uncle set off for Asia on the series of adventures that were later documented in Marco's book. They returned to Venice in 1295, 24 years later, with many riches and treasures. They had traveled almost 15,000 miles (24,000 km). Upon their return, Venice was at war with Genoa. Genoese admiral Lamba D'Oria overwhelmed a Venetian fleet at the Battle of Curzola near the island of Korčula, and Marco Polo was taken prisoner. He spent the few months of his imprisonment dictating a detailed account of his travels to fellow inmate, Rustichello da Pisa, who incorporated tales of his own as well as other collected anecdotes and current affairs from China. The book became known as The Travels of Marco Polo, and depicts the Polos' journeys throughout Asia, giving Europeans their first comprehensive look into the inner workings of the Far East, including China, India, and Japan. While the book describes paper money and the burning of coal, it fails to mention the Great Wall, chopsticks, and footbinding raising a veracity issue. Marco Polo was finally released from captivity in August 1299, and returned home to Venice, where his father and uncle had purchased a large house in the central quarter named contrada San Giovanni Crisostomo. The company continued its activities and Marco soon became a wealthy merchant. Polo financed other expeditions, but never left Venice again. In 1300, he married Donata Badoer, the daughter of Vitale Badoer, a merchant. They had three daughters, called Fantina, Bellela and Moreta. Death
San Lorenzo di Venezia church in the sestiere of Castello of Venice, where Polo was buried. The photo was taken after the church was rebuilt. In 1323, Polo was confined to bed, due to illness. On January 8, 1324, despite physicians' efforts to treat him, Polo was on his deathbed. To write and certify the will, his family requested Giovanni Giustiniani, a priest of San Procolo. His wife, Donata, and his three daughters were appointed by him as co-executrices. The church was entitled by law to a portion of his estate; he approved of this and ordered that a further sum be paid to the convent of San Lorenzo, the place where he wished to be buried. He also set free a "Tartar slave" who may have accompanied him from Asia. He divided up the rest of his assets, including several properties, between individuals, religious institutions, and every guild and fraternity to which he belonged. He also wrote-off multiple debts including 300 lire that his sister-in-law owed him, and others for the convent of San Giovanni, San Paolo of the Order of Preachers, and a cleric named Friar Benvenuto. He ordered 220 soldi be paid to Giovanni Giustiniani for his work as a notary and his prayers. The will, which was not signed by Polo, but was validated by then relevant "signum manus" rule, by which the testator only had to touch the document to make it abide to the rule of law, was dated January 9, 1324. Due to the Venetian law stating that the day ends at sunset, the exact date of Marco Polo's death cannot be determined, but it was between the sunsets of January 8 and 9, 1324. Travels of Marco Polo
Further information: The Travels of Marco Polo
A miniature from Il Milione. An authoritative version of Marco Polo's book does not exist, and the early manuscripts differ significantly. The published versions of his book either rely on single scripts, blend multiple versions together or add notes to clarify, for example in the English translation by Henry Yule. Another English translation by A.C. Moule and Paul Pelliot, published in 1938, is based on the Latin manuscript which was found in the library of the Cathedral of Toledo in 1932, and is 50% longer than other versions. Approximately 150 variants in various languages are known to exist, and without the availability of a printing press many errors were made during copying and translation, resulting in many discrepancies. Narrative
A page from Il Milione, from a manuscript believed to date between 1298-1299. The book starts with a preface about his father and uncle traveling to Bolghar where Prince Berke Khan lived. A year later, they went to Ukek  and continued to Bukhara. There, an envoy from Levant invited them to meet Kublai Khan, who had never met Europeans. In 1266, they reached the seat of the Kublai Khan at Dadu, present day Beijing, China. Khan received the brothers with hospitality and asked them many questions regarding the European legal and political system. He also inquired about the Pope and Church in Rome. After the brothers answered the questions he tasked them with delivering a letter to the Pope, requesting 100 Christians acquainted with the Seven Arts (grammar, rhetoric, logic, geometry, arithmetic, music and astronomy). Kublai Khan requested that an envoy bring him back oil of the lamp in Jerusalem. The long sede vacante between the death of Pope Clement IV in 1268 and the election of his successor delayed the Polos in fulfilling Khan's request. They followed the suggestion of Theobald Visconti, then papal legate for the realm of Egypt, and returned to Venice in 1269 or 1270 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.
Polo wearing a Tartar outfit, age of print unknown. In 1271, Niccolò, Maffeo and Marco Polo embarked on their voyage to fulfill Khan's request. They sailed to Acre, and then rode on camels to the Persian port of Hormuz. They wanted to sail to China, but the ships there were not seaworthy, so they continued overland until reaching Khan's summer palace in Shangdu, near present-day Zhangjiakou. Three and one-half years after leaving Venice, when Marco was about 21 years old, Khan welcomed the Polos into his palace. The exact date of their arrival is unknown, but scholars estimate it to be between 1271 and 1275.[Note 3] On reaching the Yuan court, the Polos presented the sacred oil from Jerusalem and the papal letters to their patron. Marco knew four languages, and the family had accumulated a great deal of knowledge and experience that was useful to Khan. 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. Kublai Khan declined the Polos' requests to leave China. They became worried about returning home safely, believing that if Khan died, his enemies might turn against them because of their close involvement with the ruler. In 1292, Khan's great-nephew, then ruler of Persia, sent 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 around the southern tip of India, eventually crossing the Arabian Sea to Hormuz. The two-years voyage was a perilous one - of the six hundred people (not including the crew) in the convoy only eighteen had survived (including all three Polos). The Polos left the wedding party after reaching Hormuz and travelled overland to the port of Trebizond on the Black Sea, the present day Trabzon. Legacy
Handwritten notes by Christopher Columbus on a Latin edition of Polo's book.
The Fra Mauro map, published c. 1450 by the Venetian monk Fra Mauro. See also: Age of Discovery, Europeans in Medieval China, and Rafael Perestrello Other lesser-known European explorers had already travelled to China, such as Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, but Polo's book meant that their journey was the first to be widely known. Christopher Columbus was inspired enough by Polo's description of the Far East to visit those lands for himself; a copy of the book was among his belongings, with handwritten annotations. Bento de Góis, inspired by Polo's writings of a Christian kingdom in the east, travelled 4,000 miles (6,400 km) in three years across Central Asia. He never found the kingdom, but ended his travels at the Great Wall of China in 1605, proving that Cathay was what Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) called "China". Commemoration The Marco Polo sheep, a subspecies of Ovis aries, is named after the explorer, who described it during his crossing of Pamir (ancient Mount Imeon) in 1271.[Note 4] In 1851, a three-masted Clipper built in Saint John, New Brunswick also took his name; the Marco Polo was the first ship to sail around the world in under six months. The airport in Venice is named Venice Marco Polo Airport, and the frequent flyer program of Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific is known as the "Marco Polo Club". The travels of Marco Polo are fictionalised in Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne's Messer Marco Polo and Gary Jennings' 1984 novel The Journeyer. Polo also appears as the pivotal character in Italo Calvino's novel Invisible Cities. The 1982 television miniseries, Marco Polo, directed by Giuliano Montaldo and depicting Polo's travels, won two Emmy Awards and was nominated for six more. Marco Polo also appears as a Great Explorer in the 2008 strategy video game Civilization Revolution. Cartography Marco Polo's travels may have had some influence on the development of European cartography, ultimately leading to the European voyages of exploration a century later. The 1453 Fra Mauro map was said by Giovanni Battista Ramusio to have been partially based on the one brought from Cathay by Marco Polo: That fine illuminated world map on parchment, which can still be seen in a large cabinet alongside the choir of their monastery (the Camaldolese monastery of San Michele di Murano) was by one of the brothers of the monastery, who took great delight in the study of cosmography, diligently drawn and copied from a most beautiful and very old nautical map and a world map that had been brought from Cathay by the most honourable Messer Marco Polo and his father. —Giovanni Battista Ramusio[33
Marko Polo (Korčula?/Mletci?, 1254. - Mletci, 8. siječnja 1324.), mletački trgovac, koji je postao poznat zbog zapisa o svom putovanju kroz Kinu. Vjeruje se da je rođen na otoku Korčuli (prema jednom dokumentu iz 15. stoljeća podrijetlom s Korčule), iako oko toga ne postoji konsenzus. Prema nekim pretpostavkama, obitelj Polo potječe iz grada Korčule. 
Oko mjesta njegovog rođenja postoje mnoga sporenja, vezano uz to je li rođen u Mletcima ili u gradiću Korčuli, no nije sporno to da se rodio u ondašnjoj Mletačkoj Republici.
Naime, ulica i dio grada (po postojećim zapisima koji postoje i danas) u kojem se danas nalazi tzv. kuća Marka Pola, odgovaraju prostoru koji od najranijih dana pripada upravo obitelji Polo. O podrijetlu imena također ima sporenja, talijansko ili hrvatsko podrijetlo, ali najlogičnija se čini pretpostavka da je ime slavenskog (hrvatskog) podrijetla i dolazi od ptice vodarice koja se u tom kraju nazivala pol. Tome u prilog ide i sam grb obitelji Polo koji u sebi sadrži slike četiri ptice vodarice, štoviše i sam Marko se potpisivao s Pol, a ne latiniziranim Polo. Nikola, Markov otac i njegov brat Mate, još prije Markova rođenja postali su bogati i poznati trgovci trgujući na Bliskom Istoku. Godine 1260. su prebivali u Konstantinopolu, te su predvidjevši političke promjene u carstvu, sva svoja bogatstva pretvorili u drago kamenje i napustili grad. Prema zapisima iz knjige Marka Pola uputili su se u Aziju Kublaj kanu. Prevalili su između 1261. i 1269. godine put do Kine, priključivši se poslanstvu perzijskog kana Hulagua velikom mongolskom kanu Kublaju, koji je u to vrijeme imao svoju prijestolnicu u današnjem Pekingu. U međuvremenu je majka Marka Pola preminula i njega su odgajali ujak i ujna. Marko Polo je rastao i učio mnoga trgovačka znanja kao što su strane valute i upravljanje trgovačkim brodovima. Iz Kine su se, otac i brat, vratili kao Kublaj kanovi poslanici papi s pismom u kojem Kublaj kan moli papu da mu pošalje učene ljude koji bi poučavali u njegovu Carstvu. Kad su oni s papinim odgovorom i s dva dominikanca krenuli ponovo prema Mongoliji god. 1271., poveli su sa sobom i 17 godišnjeg Marka Pola. Nakon četiri godine putovanja, god. l275., stigli su do Kublaja. Marko je Polo postao kanov pouzdanik i ostao u njegovoj službi punih 17 godina. Proputovao je mnoge zemlje Dalekog istoka sve do današnje Burme i Vijetnama i upoznao mnoge jezike i običaje tih naroda. Godine 1292. pružila se Marku Polu, njegovu ocu i stricu prilika da se vrate natrag i nakon tri godine putovanja stigoše god. 1295. u Veneciju. Preko 25.000 prijeđenih kilometara i 24 godine trajanja, s koje su donijeli mnoštvo ˝čudesa˝ u Europu, zbir je njihove legendarne odiseje. Tri godine nakon povratka, god. 1298., Marko Polo je zarobljen u sukobu đenovljanskog i mletačkog brodovlja kod otoka Korčule. Odveden je u Genovu i bačen u tamnicu. Tad je Marko Polo imao vremena razmišljati o dogodovštinama sa svog dugog i zanimljivog putovanja po istočnim zemljama. Te svoje doživljaje on priča svom "cimeru" u zatvoru Rustichelliju, koji ih je zabilježio na francuskom jeziku u knjizi: Livre des merveilles du monde. Danas je ta knjiga poznata pod talijanskim naslovom: Il millione, i treća je najprevođenija i najčitanija knjiga u ljudskoj povijesti nakon Biblije i Kur'ana. Tisuće pustolova i istraživača nadahnjivali su se njegovim pričama, te su kretali u nepoznato, željevši vidjeti i doživjeti barem djelić onoga o čemu je Marko pričao. Najpoznatiji među njima je bio Kristofor Kolumbo.
Crkva San Lorenzo di Venezia, gdje se nalazi pokopan Marko Polo (fotografija nakon što je crkva obnovljena). U kolovozu godine 1299. pušten je iz zatvora i vratio se u Veneciju, gdje je sa ujakom i ocem radio u trgovačkoj tvrtki i ubrzo postao bogati trgovac. Godine 1300. oženio je Donata Badoer, kćer trgovca Vitale Badoera. Imali su tri kćeri Fantina, Bellela i Moreta. Godine 1323. zbog bolesti Marko Polo bio je prikovan za krevet. Dana 8. siječnja 1324.g. unatoč naporima liječnika preminuo je u svojoj postelji. Njegova obitelj je za izvršenje njegove oporuke zahtjevala Giovanni Giustiniani, svećenika iz San Procoloa. Njegova supruga Donata i kćeri nasljedile su jednake dijelove njegove imovine. Crkva je dobila svoj dio imanja prema tadašnjem zakonu, a sam Marko Polo je odredio da taj dio pripadne samostanu San Lorenzo, mjestu gdje je želio biti pokopan. Također je testamentom pustio na slobodnu roba Tatara koji ga je pratio na putovanjima po Aziji. O knjizi ˝Il milione˝
Markova knjiga imala je presudan utjecaj u doba velikih otkrića. Zemljopisne karte Dalekog istoka stoljećima su izrađivane baš po njegovu putopisu. Njemački je kartograf Johannes Schöner zapisao 1533. godine: "Iza Sinae i Ceresa (mitskih gradova središnje Azije)... otkrića mnogih zemalja zasluga su Marka Pola... obale tih zemalja nedavno su oplovili Kolumbo i Amerigo Vespucci u svojim putovanjima po Indijskom oceanu." Pokazat će se, dakako, da Kolumbo nije stigao do predjela koje je opisao Marko Polo, jer ga je na putu do njih zaustavilo kopno koje će po Amerigu biti prozvano - Amerika. Ali, preko crte obzora, Kolumba i druge velike istraživače privlačili su upravo Markovi živi prikazi. Poznato je da je Kristofor Kolumbo (1451.-1506.) posjedovao jedno latinsko izdanje Markove knjige i u bilješkama koje je pravio tokom putovanja uspoređivao vlastita otkrića s mjestima koja je Marko opisao. Zanimljivost
Poznato je da se riječ (broj) milion (milijun) dovodi u vezu s Markom Polom. Ali zašto? Kada se je vratio u Veneciju pričao je svoje doživljaje, čak i megalomanski uvećavajući činjenice, opise i brojke. Ubrzo je po tome postao poznat, te su dotadašnje "normalne" brojčane oznake i relacije postale premale da bi pratile njegova opisivanja. Ali za broj 1 000 000 tada nije bilo posebnog brojčanog izraza nego se je koristio naziv tisuću tisuća. Kako je njegovo drugo ime bilo Emilio (dakle puno ime: Marco Emilio Polo), to se ubrzo među mletačkim pukom proširila kovanica "emilioni", iz čega je, sitnim modificiranjem, "rođen" novi broj. Podvrsta ovaca Marko Polo (lat. Ovis ammon polii) opisana prilikom njegovo prijelaza planine Pamir nazvana je po njemu. Zračna luka u Veneciji nosi naziv Marko Polo. Godine 1851.g. jedrenjak (kliper) izgrađen u Saint John, New Brunswick nazvan je Marco Polo, a bio je prvi brod koji je oplovio svijet za manje od šest mjeseci. Izvori
↑ http://enciklopedija.lzmk.hr/clanak.aspx?id=31655 (preuzeto 15. kolovoza 2009.) ↑ Opća i nacionalna enciklopedija, XVI. knjiga, Pro leksis, Večernji list, Zagreb, 2007., str. 151, ISBN 978-953-7224-16-5 (preuzeto 15. kolovoza 2009.) Vanjske poveznice
dr. Živan Filippi Marco Polo & Korčula Anđelko (Nedo) Pavešković putopisac Marco Polo
Marco Polo's Timeline
September 15, 1254
Korčula, Dubrovačko-neretvanska, Hrvatska
January 8, 1324
Venezia, Veneto, Italia