Marco Polo
In 1271, the Venetian merchant Marco Polo set off with his father and uncle on a legendary trek across Asia. Over the course of his 24-year journey, Polo would become one of the first Europeans to chronicle the cities, cultures and technology of the Far East. Discover 11 fascinating facts about the life of one of history’s greatest explorers.
but
 There is no real record of the explorer Marco Polo. 
  • Nowhere is he mentioned in Chinese writings and the Chinese were well known for documentation  and certainly they would have documented at least something about Marco Polo especially as he was claimed to be a mayor of some small province.
  • A Man called Marco Polo did live in Venice but that was not the Marco Polo we learned about.
  • What a disappointment!

In a book published in 1995, “Did Marco Polo Go to China?”, Frances Wood, the head of the Chinese section at the British Library, also argued that he probably did not make it beyond the Black Sea.

She pointed out that despite being an acute observer of daily life and rituals, there is no mention in Marco Polo’s chapters on China of the custom of binding women’s feet, chopsticks, tea drinking, or even the Great Wall.

“There’s nothing in the Venetian archives to say that the Polo family had direct contact with China at all,” Dr Wood told The Daily Telegraph. “Nothing from China has ever been found in the possessions they left behind.

“One theory is that Marco Polo copied a sort of guide book on China written by a Persian merchant. Only about 18 sentences in the entire manuscript are written in the first person – it is extremely rare for him to say ‘I saw this with my own eyes’.

“I believe that rather than being one person’s account, it’s a sort of medieval database of European knowledge of the Far East at the time.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/8691111/Explorer-Marco-Polo-never-actually-went-to-China.html

you can also read all about MP in Wikipedia of course. That is if you never read his travels.

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