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When the Polos set out to visit the Mongol emperor Kublai Khan again, Marco went with them. In China, he became the Khan’s ambassador. On his eventual return to Europe, Marco Polo wrote a record of what he had seen, including beautiful cities, unicorns, and bandits who used magic to cause sandstorms. His account became one of the most famous travel books in history.

He is brought up by his aunt and uncle. 30 TRAVEL WITH THE GREAT EXPLORERS 1271 merchants People who buy and sell large quantities of goods, often involving overseas trade Middle Ages The period in European history lasting from the 5th to the 15th century mirages In a desert, illusions of water in a dry area Muslims People who observe the Islamic religion nomads People who travel from place to place and have no permanent home pilots Sailors who steer a vessel, often in dangerous waters quadrant An instrument for navigation in the shape of a quarter–circle raided Attacked or suddenly invaded spices Plants such as pepper or cinnamon that are used to flavor food unicorns Legendary animals similar to a horse with a single, long horn on their foreheads yurts Round, flat-roofed tents made from animal skins The travelers reach China, where they are welcomed by Kublai Khan.

Marco used some of his wealth to buy a warship, called a galley. But when he sailed to fight for Venice he was captured by the Genoese. They threw him into prison. 28 TRAVEL WITH THE GREAT EXPLORERS ! Family CHANGING TITLES + Author’s account all lies: Shocking My Explorer Journal Claim Marco Polo’s book was the first real information Europeans had about China from someone who had actually been there. It had various titles. It was called Description of the World or Book of the Marvels of the World.

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