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vustudents
09-07-2011, 02:22 AM
Q. 5 Give a summary of Marco Polo’s adventures in the East.
Answer: “The road to the East” narrates the story of Marco Polo’s adventurous journey to China in a simple but interesting manner. In the thirteenth century, China was a far-off land for the inhabitants of Europe. Polo’s journey to China was nothing less than a dangerous adventure which could be undertaken only by men of extra-ordinary courage. It was in the middle of 13th century that two merchants of Venice, Nicolo Polo and Maffeo polo, set out to sell their goods in the countries of Asia Minor. Year after year passed but the brothers did not return to their native city. One day a ship came to the port of Venice and from it two strangers stepped out. Nobody recognized them but they were the Polo’s. they told a strange story about their travels. They said that they had gone to certain cities of Asia Minor and sold their goods. When they were about to return, they learned that their way was blocked by the savage tartars. So they travelled onwards and reached Bokhara and then the land of Cathay. The emperor of China, Kublai Khan received them with kindness. He gave them a golden tablet. On it was engraved his command that his subjects must help them to come to his court again and bring with them one hundred Christian missionaries and some oil from the holy lamp in Christ’s tomb. When Niolo and Maffeo polo set sail from Venice once again to go to China, Nicolo’s son. Marco polo, accompanied them. They had the holy oil with them but only two preachers agreed to set out with them. In 1271, the five adventures boarded a ship and reached Laiassus on the shore of the Mediterranean sea, now they had to travel overland to reach China. The road was rough. The two missionaries refused to travel further and turned back. Marco polo, his father and uncle went on. They travelled for three years facing terrible cold, heavy snows and many other perils, and reached the edge of the Gobi desert. Many persons advised them not to travel through the desert. They said that the water was scarce and the desert was haunted by evil spirits. But the polos went forwards fearlessly. They had planned their journey carefully and at last reached the court of the Emperor Kublai Khan. Kublai Khan received them with honour. He liked Marco Polo and employed him to travel through his country and report on the state of affairs in different cities and provinces. Marco soon learned all the languages of China and did his job to the satisfaction of the Emperor. Marco polo’s account of his travels gives us much information about China and Kublai Khan. The emperor was a handsome man with fair complexion, black eyes and well shaped nose. He was renowned for his magnificent feasts. Marco Polo relates a wonderful thing. A large lion was led into the emperor’s presence. As soon as it saw him, it dropped down and made a sign of deep humility, and moved about without chains. Peking, Marco Polo tells us, was surrounded by a wall twenty four miles long with twelve gates, each gate protected by one thousand soldiers. The streets, he adds, were so straight than a man standing on one gate could see the opposite gate on the other side of the city, six miles away. The polos remained in the service of Kublai Khan for seventeen years. When they returned to Venice, they had with them a great treasure of precious stones which Kublai Khan given them.