*Includes quotes from The Travels of Marco Polo describing Kublai Khan and some of the things Marco Polo saw, including rhinoceros, crocodiles, coal, and more. *Explains how Marco Polo's travels influenced cartographers and subsequent explorers like Columbus. *Includes maps and pictures of important people and places in Marco Polo's life and travels. *Includes a Bibliography for further reading.*Includes a Table of Contents. I have not told half of what I saw. Marco PoloA lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of historys most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors Legends of the Middle Ages series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of important medieval men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. Marco Polo (1254-1324) is an instantly recognizable name, and he is known for his travels, but its safe to say that his influence and importance has been greatly overlooked in the nearly 700 years since he died. Born in Venice, Marco Polo was in a fortuitous position to participate in the Mediterranean trade, but he was still a young man when he went on the journey that would make him famous and greatly inspire the Age of Exploration. Though he was destined to become famous, Marco Polo was simply following in the footsteps of his own family, and its believed that he was already a teenager before he met his father and uncle, who had been traveling to the Far East and, according to Marco Polo, had met Kublai Khan, the famous grandson of Genghis Khan. A few years later, they set off for Asia again, this time with Marco Polo, and they would not return to Venice for 24 years. When they came back, they had allegedly traveled about 15,000 miles and brought back plenty of riches and treasure. Marco Polo was hardly the only European merchant or trader who traveled to the Far East, but it was his written account of his travels that would generate extreme interest in Asia. Having described such a rich land full of desired resources, Marco Polos travels became a source for European cartographers of the era, and they became the impetus for men like Christopher Columbus, who added his own annotations to Marco Polos account and used it as a reference for his own legendary expedition in search of the Far East. Centuries later, historians have scoured over the account and what was written in an effort to validate its authenticity, leading to sharp debates today. Legendary Explorers: The Life and Legacy of Marco Polo chronicles the life and travels of the Venetian merchant, while analyzing how his account influenced subsequent explorers. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Marco Polo like you never have before, in no time at all.