In 1271, 17-year old Marco Polo, set out from Venice with his father and uncle on a journey into the Mongol Empire that would last 24 years and cover more than 15,000 miles. His story would become of the most important pieces of literature in western history – The Travels of Marco Polo.
Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza and the Exploration of Central Africa
In the latter decades of the 1800s, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza would explore the region of central Africa, in what is Gabon and the Congo. He would be praised for this thoughtful and compassionate approach towards the African peoples – and eventually be hailed at France’s greatest explorer.
Xu Fu and the Exploration of Japan
In 219 BCE, Xu Fu, a Chinese explorer and alchemist, would set out in search of the elixir of life on the legendary island of Penglai – the home of the Immortals. Xu would go on to reach Japan – and perhaps set himself up as the island’s first emperor.
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