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The Travels of Marco Polo

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A page of "The Travels of Marco Polo"

The Travels of Marco Polo is the usual English title of Marco Polo's travel book, Il Milione (The Milione, short for Polo family's nickname Emilione). The book is his account of his travels to China, which he calls Cathay (north China) and Manji (south China). Polo dictated the book to a romance writer, Rustichello da Pisa, while in prison in Genoa in 1298-1299.

The Travels is divided into four Books. Book One describes the lands of the Middle East and Central Asia that Marco encountered on his way to China. Book Two describes China and the court of Kublai Khan. Book Three describes some of the coastal regions of the East: Japan, India, Southeast Asia, and the east coast of Africa. Finally, Book Four describes some of the recent wars among the Mongols and some of the regions of the far north, like Russia.

The Travels was a rare popular success in an era before printing. They were translated into many European languages within Marco Polo's lifetime, but the original manuscripts are now lost.

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