Marco Polo

In 1271, 17-year old Marco Polo, would 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. When he returned, he recount his tales, which would be written down, and in the process, becoming one of the most important pieces of literature in western history – The Travels of Marco Polo. The book would provide Europe with one of the first comprehensive looks into the lands of the Far East, including China, Persia, India and Japan.


Marco Polo – Part 1
In part 1 of our series, we first take a look at the journey of Marco’s father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo Polo, who traveled to China and met the great Kublai Khan. We then follow the Polo family as they prepare for a return mission into the heart of the Mongol Empire.

Download this episode or listen online.


People and Places

  • Marco Polo – Venetian merchant and explorer
  • Niccolò Polo – Father of Marco Polo
  • Maffeo Polo – Brother of Niccolò, uncle of Marco
  • Kublai Khan – Emperor of the Mongol Empire
  • Teobaldo Visconti – Papal Legate in Acre – later Pope Gregory X
  • Venice – City State in Italy. Home of the Polos
  • Constantinople – Former capital of the Byzantine Empire
  • Acre – City on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea in modern-day Israel
  • Ayes – City on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea in modern-day Turkey
  • Khanbaliq – Capital of Mongol Empire (modern-day Beijing)
  • Bukhara – City on Silk Road located in modern-day Uzbekistan

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