Marco Polo: a Venetian traveller and diplomat in the court of the Great Khan, Kublai, or a made-up figure? The jury is still out, 25 years after a historian published a book that cast doubt on his journey to China and questioned whether he ever existed. Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images Marco Polo: a Venetian traveller and diplomat in the court of the Great Khan, Kublai, or a made-up figure? The jury is still out, 25 years after a historian published a book that cast doubt on his journey to China and questioned whether he ever existed. Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images
Marco Polo: a Venetian traveller and diplomat in the court of the Great Khan, Kublai, or a made-up figure? The jury is still out, 25 years after a historian published a book that cast doubt on his journey to China and questioned whether he ever existed. Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images

Marco Polo’s book on China omits tea, chopsticks, bound feet – even the Great Wall. Why does his myth endure, 25 years after author sowed doubt the ‘great explorer’ travelled east – or ever existed?

  • Marco Polo, a Venetian adventurer, is famous for travelling to and around China in the 13th century and co-writing a book on his journey while imprisoned
  • Despite evidence to the contrary, Polo and the experiences he recounts are considered historical facts

Topic |   Chinese history
Marco Polo: a Venetian traveller and diplomat in the court of the Great Khan, Kublai, or a made-up figure? The jury is still out, 25 years after a historian published a book that cast doubt on his journey to China and questioned whether he ever existed. Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images Marco Polo: a Venetian traveller and diplomat in the court of the Great Khan, Kublai, or a made-up figure? The jury is still out, 25 years after a historian published a book that cast doubt on his journey to China and questioned whether he ever existed. Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images
Marco Polo: a Venetian traveller and diplomat in the court of the Great Khan, Kublai, or a made-up figure? The jury is still out, 25 years after a historian published a book that cast doubt on his journey to China and questioned whether he ever existed. Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images
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