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Marco Polo: Con Man?

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Back in 1995, an author by the name of Frances Wood penned a book that claimed Marco Polo's recounting of his trips to China in the 13th century were not an accurate depiction and suggested that Marco Polo might have made the entire expedition up. The book was widely panned and the authors claims were never taken seriously by those in academia.

    Fast forward to 2012 when a team of Italian archaeologists attempted to re-trace Marco Polo's steps and came to the conclusion that his descriptions of a multitude of things at the time were inaccurate at best. Add that to the fact that Marco Polo's name shows up in no written history of the Mongol or Chinese records of the time, both of which certainly would have documented him as the emissary that he claimed to be, and one has to question if Mr. Wood was correct this entire time.

    I am certainly not qualified to express an opinion, but I would say that we are often wedded to the things that we are taught and struggle to change those views even when it is proven to be incorrect. I don't know enough about Marco Polo and his travels to suggest he did or didn't visit China, but I do know enough about history to know that it is often not as accurate as many layman thinks it is.