Famous Explorer, Marco Polo

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Among these explorers, the one I most admire is Marco Polo, who lived through 1254 to 1324 in Venetian Republic-Italy because of his contributionto introducing Europeans to China, his influence on later explorers, and his good head for business.

The first thing to be said about Marco Polo is his introduction Europeans to China. In 1271, at the age of 17, Marco Polo accompanied his father and his uncle left Venice for China on the series adventures. In 1295, they returned to Venice after 24 years of a 15,000-mile expedition. Unfortunately, Marco Polo was imprisoned upon his return because Venice was at war in the meanwhile. The most remarkable thing is that during his imprisonment, Marco Polo met one of the cellmates, Rustichello Da Pisa, who worked with him to write a book based on information and stories of his travels to China. As a matter of fact, the book, so called “The Travels of Marco Polo” was widely known to Europeans since it gave them a general view on China, particularly on culture, trading practices, natural life, etc. Shortly speaking, Marco Polo has contributed to providing Europeans with their first extensive look into inner development of China.

Together with the contribution to introducing Europeans to China, Marco Polo has had his strong influence on later explorers. There is no doubt that during his series of adventures to China, Marco Polo has taken down what he had witnessed and experienced, which then covered in his book, The Travels of Marco Polo. In fact, Marco Polo’s travels described in the book were influential in helping later explorers on their explorations. For example, explorers from various nations like John Cabot, William Moorcroft, just a few to name, searched for a sea route to Asia; many of them used at least some parts of Marco Polo’s travels to guide them. That does not end there, some Marco Polo admirers, like Christopher Columbus, in the search for Cathay and on other voyages, actually carried the manuscript and used it as a guide book. After all, Marco Polo, with his skill at telling a good story of his adventures, was able to influence on and inspire next-generation explorers.

Last but not least, Marco Polo had a head for business. Basically, Marco Polo was well educated and was good at merchandising such as foreign currency and cargo-ship handling because he was born into a noble family of Venetian merchants. Additionally, in his seventeen in 1271, Marco Polo began long experience through his father’s realistic adventures to China, whereby he had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to broaden his horizons, especially on foreign trade. And the most notable feature is that after having been released from jail in 1299, Marco Polo returned to Venice and started to forge ahead with the silk business, which his father and uncle passed on to him. Thanks to his good skill at the business, soon after, Marco Polo became a wealthy merchant. Broadly speaking, that is to say Marco Polo’s merchandising achievements marked a turning point in his career because of his good head for business.

All in all, though Marco Polo is not now present in this world, his strong influence on later explorers as well as his achievements of business and voyages to China will still live on. Personally, I have a great admiration for Marco Polo in terms of his considerably positive contribution to European society. In general, to some extent, the story of Marco Polo’s series of adventures inspires me with enthusiasm and confidence in how to do something useful and contributory to my community.

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