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Marco Polo and His ‘Travels’1

  • Peter Jackson (a1)

The year 1998 marks the seven-hundredth anniversary of the initial composition of the book associated with Marco Polo, Le devisament dou monde. As the first European to claim that he had been to China and back (not to mention that he had travelled extensively elsewhere in Asia), Polo has become a household name. He has been credited with the introduction of noodles into Italy and of spaghetti into China. With perhaps greater warrant, he has been cited as an authority onȔinter aliaȔthe capital of the Mongol Great Khan Qubilai, on the Mongol postal relay system, on the trade in horses across the Arabian Sea, and on political conditions on the north-west frontier of India in the mid thirteenth century. The Marco Polo bibliography published in 1986 contained over 2,300 items in European languages alone.

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Martin Gosman , ‘Marco Polo's voyages: the conflict between confirmation and observation’, in Martels Zweder von (ed.), Travel fact and travel fiction: studies on fiction, literary tradition, scholarly discovery and observation in travel writing (Leiden, 1994), 7284 (see especially pp. 76–7, 83–4)

John K. Fairbank (ed.), The Chinese world order (Cambridge, Mass., 1968)

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Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
  • ISSN: 0041-977X
  • EISSN: 1474-0699
  • URL: /core/journals/bulletin-of-the-school-of-oriental-and-african-studies
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