Marco Polo 's : Interpretive Analysis

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Marco Polo in China: Interpretive Analysis Although Marco Polo started out as a humble merchant from Venice, he eventually developed a reputation as one of the world’s greatest explorers (“Marco Polo”). He was much more than just a trader however, providing the Western world with detailed accounts of the foreign society that was Medieval China under the Mongol conquest. These accounts would later become invaluable to historians for centuries to come. Written in ca. 1270 CE, the document titled, “Marco Polo in China” was written first by Marco Polo during his travels, but then transliterated by a professional author when he returned to Venice in 1295 CE (“Marco Polo”). The selection is a piece of descriptive literature detailing the affluent city of Hangchow. According to the document, the city was one hundred miles in circumference and nestled in between a massive river and a freshwater lake. Polo then continued on to describe what the ten marketplaces were like in the city, claiming there were shops galore and a plethora of foodstuffs. In addition, his descriptions of what the housing in the city looked like gives rise to the image of modern-day apartment buildings. In Hangchow, there were paved roads, approximately 12,000 bridges, and even an army that acted as a sort of police force. Marco Polo’s documentation of the city of Hangchow was intended for an audience of educated individuals who had never been to the city. The incredibly detailed description of the city, in

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