Marco Polo

Marco Polo – The Great Traveler and Merchant

Marco Polo – The Great Traveler and Merchant

Around 1254 (according to some sources on September 15, 1254 [1]) Venetian merchant traveler Marco Polo was born. He is best known for his journeys to Central Asia and China, narrated in the book “Il Milione” (‘The Book of the Wonders of the World‘). “I have not told half of what I saw.” – Marco Polo, On his death-bed, when urged to retract “some of the seemingly incredible statements he made in his…
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Ibn Battuta and the Marvels of Traveling the Medieval World

Ibn Battuta and the Marvels of Traveling the Medieval World

On 24 February 1304, Muslim Berber Moroccan scholar, and explorer Ibn Battuta was born. Over a period of thirty years, Ibn Battuta visited most of the Islamic world and many non-Muslim lands, including Central Asia, Southeast Asia, India and China. Near the end of his life, he dictated an account of his journeys, titled A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Traveling. “I arrived at…
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William of Rubruck and his Adventurous Journey to Karakorum

William of Rubruck and his Adventurous Journey to Karakorum

On January 4, 1254, Flemish Franciscan missionary and explorer William of Rubruck was granted the privilege of an audience at the great Mongol Möngke Khan in his court in Karakorum. The Franciscan explorer was one of the first Europeans to study the culture of the Mongols. William of Rubruck – Crusader and Missionary The Flemish William of Rubruck, born in Rubrouck, Flanders, had joined the Franciscan Friars Minor at an early age, studied in Paris…
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In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a Stately Pleasure-Dome Decree

In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a Stately Pleasure-Dome Decree

On September 23, 1215 AD Kublai Khan, the second son of Tolui and Sorghaghtani Beki, and a grandson of Genghis Khan, was born. Considering the Mongol Empire at that time as a whole, his realm reached from the Pacific to the Black Sea, from Siberia to modern day Afghanistan – one fifth of the world‘s inhabited land area. Kublai’s Way to Power Although the prince had Chinese educators and advisors, he still lived…
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Abel Tasman and the Discovery of Tasmania

Abel Tasman and the Discovery of Tasmania

On November 24, 1642, Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant Abel Tasman sighted the west coast of Tasmania, north of Macquarie Harbour. He named his discovery Van Diemen’s Land after Antonio van Diemen, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Service in the Dutch East India Company Abel Tasman was born in 1603 in Lutjegast in what is now the province of Groningen, the Netherlands. He received a sufficient education to enable him to express…
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