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Publicizing Discoveries: The Studies and the Story of Marco Polo

February 13, 2012

By Sketched97, Silver Spring, MD

Marco Polo is famous for his heroic venture through the Mongol Empire, for his travel of the Silk Road, and for the detailed account of the East that he brought back to Europe. His publication of The Travels of Marco Polo and his narrative of the adventure brought him to fame when it spread across Europe. Polo was considerably more famous than his contemporaries because of both his study of Asia and because of his story about it. He influenced politics, banking, and mapmaking, and he made a society that was once only interested in continental trade seek global trade routes. By being one of the first westerners to travel the Silk Road, Marco Polo broke the limits of exploration in Asia and provided the most detailed account of Asian culture that Europe had ever seen; in addition, his writings advanced cartography, and – most importantly – sparked a European interest in further exploration of the world.

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