Marco Polo (1254 - 1324)
Marco Polo (/ˈmɑrkoʊ ˈpoʊloʊ/; Italian pronunciation: [ˈmarko ˈpɔːlo]; c.1254 – January 8-9, 1324) was a Venetian merchant traveler whose travels are recorded in Livres des merveilles du monde, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned the mercantile trade from his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, who traveled through Asia, and apparently met Kublai Khan. In 1269, they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time. The three of them embarked on an epic journey to Asia, returning after 24 years to find Venice at war with Genoa; Marco was imprisoned, and dictated his stories to a cellmate. He was released in 1299, became a wealthy merchant, married and had three children. He died in 1324, and was buried in San Lorenzo.
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