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Classics Illustrated is a comic book series featuring adaptations of literary classics such as Moby Dick, Hamlet, and The Iliad. Created by Albert Kanter, the series began publication in 1941 and finished its first run in 1971, producing 169 issues. Following the series' demise, various companies reprinted its titles. The first five titles were published irregularly under t Classics Illustrated is a comic book series featuring adaptations of literary classics such as Moby Dick, Hamlet, and The Iliad. Created by Albert Kanter, the series began publication in 1941 and finished its first run in 1971, producing 169 issues. Following the series' demise, various companies reprinted its titles. The first five titles were published irregularly under the banner "Classic Comics Presents" while issues six and seven were published under the banner "Classic Comics Library" with a ten-cent cover price. Arabian Nights (issue 8), illustrated by Lillian Chestney, is the first issue to use the "Classics Comics" banner. With the fourth issue, The Last of the Mohicans, in 1942, Kanter moved the operation to different offices and the corporate identity was changed to the Gilberton Company, Inc.. Reprints of previous titles began in 1943. Wartime paper shortages forced Kanter to reduce the 64-page format to 56 pages.


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Classics Illustrated is a comic book series featuring adaptations of literary classics such as Moby Dick, Hamlet, and The Iliad. Created by Albert Kanter, the series began publication in 1941 and finished its first run in 1971, producing 169 issues. Following the series' demise, various companies reprinted its titles. The first five titles were published irregularly under t Classics Illustrated is a comic book series featuring adaptations of literary classics such as Moby Dick, Hamlet, and The Iliad. Created by Albert Kanter, the series began publication in 1941 and finished its first run in 1971, producing 169 issues. Following the series' demise, various companies reprinted its titles. The first five titles were published irregularly under the banner "Classic Comics Presents" while issues six and seven were published under the banner "Classic Comics Library" with a ten-cent cover price. Arabian Nights (issue 8), illustrated by Lillian Chestney, is the first issue to use the "Classics Comics" banner. With the fourth issue, The Last of the Mohicans, in 1942, Kanter moved the operation to different offices and the corporate identity was changed to the Gilberton Company, Inc.. Reprints of previous titles began in 1943. Wartime paper shortages forced Kanter to reduce the 64-page format to 56 pages.

30 review for The Adventures Of Marco Polo

  1. 4 out of 5

    Foad

    ماركو پولو، فرزند هفده ساله ى نيكولو پولو، تاجرى ونيزى است كه بيشتر به قصد سياحى (و بعداً به منظور سفارت) پايش به چين باز مى شود و با حيرت شاهد دربار پر هييت خان مغول "قوبيلاى قاآن" مى گردد. خان مغول، همچون كودكى هشتاد ساله كه حوصله اش سر رفته و پيوسته به دنبال چيزهاى جديد است، از اين مسافران غريب شديداً استقبال مى كند و نمى گذارد به كشورشان برگردند. اين است كه نيكولو پولو و پسرش و برادرش قريب به دو دهه در پايتخت حكومت مغول، "خان باليغ" ماندگار مى شوند. در اين مدت، ماركو با دقت سرشار يك نوجوان پر ماركو پولو، فرزند هفده ساله ى نيكولو پولو، تاجرى ونيزى است كه بيشتر به قصد سياحى (و بعداً به منظور سفارت) پايش به چين باز مى شود و با حيرت شاهد دربار پر هييت خان مغول "قوبيلاى قاآن" مى گردد. خان مغول، همچون كودكى هشتاد ساله كه حوصله اش سر رفته و پيوسته به دنبال چيزهاى جديد است، از اين مسافران غريب شديداً استقبال مى كند و نمى گذارد به كشورشان برگردند. اين است كه نيكولو پولو و پسرش و برادرش قريب به دو دهه در پايتخت حكومت مغول، "خان باليغ" ماندگار مى شوند. در اين مدت، ماركو با دقت سرشار يك نوجوان پرشور، ريزه كارى هاى مراسم ها و عقايد و جنگ ها را نگاه مى كند و به حافظه مى سپرد تا سى سال بعد، در گوشه ى زندانى تاريك در فرانسه براى رفيقش تعريف كند و رفيقش اين سفرنامه را بنويسد. چيزى كه مرا شيفته ى كتاب كرد، گزارش مهيجى بود كه راجع به جزئيات دربار مى داد. اين كه در جشن هاى روزهاى عيد لباس همه ى سران بايد همرنگ لباس انتخابى خان مغول باشد، يا به نورچشمى هاى خان لوحه اى زرين مى دادند كه بتوانند از هر نگهبانى بگذرند و به هر شهرى سفر كنند، حاكم موظف باشد خوراك و مسكن و زن برايشان مهيا كند يا سرود خواندن دسته جمعى مغول ها در روز جنگ يا خريد ساليانه ى دخترها از منطقه اى كه به خوبرويى معروف بودند و كيفيت كارشناسى ميزان زيبايى دختران تا متناسب با زيبايى چهره و رفتارشان (خرناس كشيدن يا نكشيدن در خواب يا بد بو بودن يا نبودن عرق و...) به خيل معشوقگان خان بپيوندند يا گلدوزى و آشپزى بياموزند و تأكيد مى كند كه نبايد اين كار را غير انسانى بدانيم، چرا كه خانواده هاى فقير آرزويشان است كه آينده ى دخترشان با ورود به دربار تأمين شود و... اين جزئيات است كه به تصويرى كه از زندگى گذشتگان داريم، روح مى دمد. مى فهميم كه آن ها هم مانند ما انسان بودند و زندگى اى داشتند، نه چون بازيگران عصا قورت داده ى تئاتر كه جملاتى پر طمطراق مى گويند.

  2. 5 out of 5

    William2

    I find it interesting how Marco Polo's description of the Middle East of more than 700 years ago is pretty much a reflection of the way it is today. That is to say, in thrall to the same old tribal passions. Sad, that. The text is perhaps most remarkable for its narrator's incuriousness. We know the richness of these regions from the writings of subsequent travelers and historians, but Polo makes them all seem strikingly similar. The narrative is thin and repetitive. The only thing that makes th I find it interesting how Marco Polo's description of the Middle East of more than 700 years ago is pretty much a reflection of the way it is today. That is to say, in thrall to the same old tribal passions. Sad, that. The text is perhaps most remarkable for its narrator's incuriousness. We know the richness of these regions from the writings of subsequent travelers and historians, but Polo makes them all seem strikingly similar. The narrative is thin and repetitive. The only thing that makes the text special is its provenance. Not without interest, but too repetitive to sustain my own. Stopped reading page 200.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    Chronology Introduction & Notes Further Reading A Note on the Text Maps --The Travels List of Abbreviations Appendix Notes Index

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hadrian

    Intriguing, although a touch repetitive. It's interesting to pick apart the details and see what the author gets right and wrong. He gets the most obvious facts about Islam wrong, and still vainly hopes for the existence of a Christian King in the East, a Prester John. He once confuses the Tigris and the Volga rivers, but then he has an excellent description of the Chinese salt trade. It's a fun read, though one which survives across vast distance.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    On the face of it this the classic account of traveller Marco Polo's journey from Venice to China and back again is pretty straight forward. Man makes journey, writes book, has mint named after him. Yet it is still controversial over what it alleges, contains and does not contain. The book has a complex and unclear textual history. That names of persons, places and offices are in a Persian form is remarkable given the claim that the Polos were active at the court of the Mongol Khan in China. The On the face of it this the classic account of traveller Marco Polo's journey from Venice to China and back again is pretty straight forward. Man makes journey, writes book, has mint named after him. Yet it is still controversial over what it alleges, contains and does not contain. The book has a complex and unclear textual history. That names of persons, places and offices are in a Persian form is remarkable given the claim that the Polos were active at the court of the Mongol Khan in China. The involvement of noted writer of courtly Romances Rustichello of Pisa, the two apparently spent some time together in prison and it has been suggested that possibly he was the author or compiler of the work. Though in which case one might wonder why the Travels aren't more literary and courtly in flavour. Some early commentators were disturbed that Polo doesn't mention what we now call 'The Great Wall of China', but since it wasn't built until the seventeenth century after the Mongols what persuaded to mount up and seek out pastures new that seems a reasonable omission, others were sceptical of the Polo's claim to have worked in government service in China. But it seems there are enough examples in the Mongol world of employing, not necessarily Italians, but non-locals as administrators , judges and officials for this to be plausible and not just the idle boast of someone who knows their story can never be fact checked. Another theory is that the book in fact was intended to be a kind of pre-Baedeker gazetteer to travel and trade in Asia for go getting ambitious European business men - I feel one would have to effectively reconstruct the text to get practical use out of it, like the number of days between towns, types of goods available in different entrepôts, ideal times of year to travel, deserts to avoid, that kind of thing - the information is there but not immediately accessible. Having said that other medieval manuals (view spoiler)[ thinking for example of The Goodwife of Paris (hide spoiler)] are not user friendly either by contemporary standards. We are left with the facts that the thing plainly exists, and that it is what it is. The problem perhaps is us and what we expect and look for. It also contains a mildly garbled account of the rise to power of Genghis Khan and his Mongols. (view spoiler)[ I'd be inclined to give this a Ted score of two, unless it was an illustrated edition, in which case three (hide spoiler)]

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    I loved it. He was lying most of the time about India, however... I mean, it's hot here in the tropics, but boiling eggs in the river? And dog-headed people?? But they were such colourful and entertaining lies. 😊

  7. 5 out of 5

    David

    Here's a book that looks fantastic on the cover: it's the story of Marco Polo's incredible travels to the East, told by the man himself. Then you open the book and look into it a bit and realize that it might be boring against all odds. For one, it isn't the tale of his adventure. Instead, it's a systematic description of all the countries one can find east of Italy. Check that: no narrative. Then you actually start reading and you find out that no one--not Marco Polo, not the scribe who wrote do Here's a book that looks fantastic on the cover: it's the story of Marco Polo's incredible travels to the East, told by the man himself. Then you open the book and look into it a bit and realize that it might be boring against all odds. For one, it isn't the tale of his adventure. Instead, it's a systematic description of all the countries one can find east of Italy. Check that: no narrative. Then you actually start reading and you find out that no one--not Marco Polo, not the scribe who wrote down his account as they both languished in prison--could bleach the book of its wonder. I'm not kidding. Despite their best efforts to not write an adventure, the adventure shines through. I read this book in long spurts, careful not to worry about soaking up the long, listlike information on each country, instead letting the sheer weirdness of the world wash over me. I flew through reports of roads manned by bandits and directions from oasis to oasis in the deserts (much of the book reads like a seven-hundred-year-old Lonely Planet guide) so I could slow down and marvel at stories like his account of the first assassins--young men drugged and taken to a paradise of women and wine they were told was heaven. After a week there they were drugged and returned to the real world, only to be told that getting back depended on their unbending devotion to the potentate who controlled access to "heaven." Alexander the Great shows up from time to time as well, the truth of his legacy already twisted by history. But all of that pales to what Marco tells us about the great Khan's court: I was floored. Let me put it into context for you. I always wanted to be completely dumbfounded by the great wonders of human construction--things like the Eiffel Tower or Stonehenge--and it never happened to me until I stood in the courtyard at the main palace in Seoul. Something about the wide expanse paved by huge stones, all done for the love and reverence a people had for a king, knocked me senseless. I could write an essay extolling the wonder of the place, something meant to celebrate the number of man hours and the immense wealth necessary to construct such a wonder. My essay could easily be one-upped by one explaining the pyramids or the Great Wall, pushing the immensity of human achievement to the limit. But whatever any essay totes as the end-all--skyscrapers, space shuttles, lost continents, you name it--Marco Polo's account of Kublai's empire will smash it. It was to big, too great, too much. And to top it all, the emperor seems like a decent guy. And that's only half of the book. Polo gets to wander around for another eighty pages or so before concluding that he's covered the known world. My verdict: entirely worth it. And there's no test at the end, so you can breeze through all the geography (though having a map handy can be quite fun--I can only imagine what a dedicated Google Earthling could do) and just enjoy the feeling of peeking in on a world of culture that has more or less disappeared completely.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chiara

    Che viaggio! Più di un mese di lettura... del resto Marco Polo ci ha messo poco meno di vent'anni, quindi tutto sommato è andata bene... A Marco Polo, grandissimo personaggio, viaggiatore straordinario, autore di una delle opere più importanti della storia, voto 5 su 5, e anche più! Al Milione, o Libro delle Meraviglie del Mondo, come da tradizione francese, o The Travels of Marco Polo, com'è noto dagli anglosassoni, 5 stelle meritatissime. Il racconto di una vita passata a esplorare terre lontan Che viaggio! Più di un mese di lettura... del resto Marco Polo ci ha messo poco meno di vent'anni, quindi tutto sommato è andata bene... A Marco Polo, grandissimo personaggio, viaggiatore straordinario, autore di una delle opere più importanti della storia, voto 5 su 5, e anche più! Al Milione, o Libro delle Meraviglie del Mondo, come da tradizione francese, o The Travels of Marco Polo, com'è noto dagli anglosassoni, 5 stelle meritatissime. Il racconto di una vita passata a esplorare terre lontane un mondo, assimilare nuove culture, per poi rendere il preziosissimo dono all'Occidente antico di narrare il tutto per iscritto, permettendo una nuova apertura tra popoli (e anche merci: il ruolo di mercanti della famiglia Polo è fondamentale, sia per l'accuratezza con cui viene assegnato un valore ad ogni mercanzia trattata, sia perché apre nuove possibilità di scambio) e rendendo note le meraviglie d'Oriente. I temi trattati sono innumerevoli: dalle battaglie all'illustrazione di usi e costumi di varie culture, dalla descrizione di città e province a quella di grandi personaggi e le loro corti, il libro mantiene la struttura di un diario, che a tratti entusiasma, mentre in alcuni punti risulta un po' pesante da assimilare. Tra le cose più affascinanti, la descrizione della città di Quinsai, allora capitale della Cina meridionale, l'ammirazione per Kublai e la storia della sua ascesa al trono, la caratterizzazione delle varie religioni incontrate, con tanto di spiegazione dei diversi culti e leggende, e il ruolo della donna nella società, che Marco puntualmente nota e riporta. E poi soprattutto, la prima menzione del Giappone, di cui mai si era sentito parlare nell'Europa occidentale. Il Milione è frutto di una mente straordinaria (Messer Polo non scherzava: partito a quindici anni, parlava quattro lingue; dopo circa quattro anni di viaggio arriva alla corte di Kublai Khan, di cui riesce a diventare ambasciatore) e della penna di Rustichello da Pisa, che ascoltò la testimonianza di Marco durante la prigionia genovese. Purtroppo, essendo perduto il manoscritto originale, di tutte le versioni esistenti, non si sa quali siano effettivamente le frasi pensate da Marco Polo, quali quelle aggiunte da Rustichello, quali aggiunte poi - o addirittura modificate - dai diversi traduttori. Ne risulta una lettura poco scorrevole in vari punti, almeno nella versione edita dalla BUR, che riporta varie versioni della stessa storia, parecchie in francese, altre in volgare toscano, con tanto di inutilissime note a piè di pagina che rimandano il lettore a vedere la precedente nota in tal capitolo LXXIV, 250 pagine prima, per capire quel termine. Eh sì, perché nonostante Marco Polo fosse veneziano, ho scoperto essere molto più facile leggere il Milione in altre lingue, ad esempio, in inglese: noi abbiamo ancora la traduzione di circa sei secoli fa, se non sette (che per me non ha senso, visto che l'originale era comunque in francese, non c'è niente di straordinario nel volerlo per forza vendere in volgare, visto che si tratta comunque di una traduzione). Tutto sommato una lettura imperdibile per gli appassionati di viaggi, di storia o per chi volesse approfondire le culture orientali, che sono soddisfattissima di aver portato a termine

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carlos Bazzano

    Marco Polo, fue uno de los personajes que más admiración despertaban en mí cuando era niño (recuerdo cierto programa de televisión en forma de dibujos animados que relataba sus aventuras, el nombre se me ha ido), quizá la leyenda más que el personaje histórico en sí mismo. Muchas veces había oído hablar del relato de sus grandiosos viajes y la curiosidad siempre me había conducido a buscar tales relatos y tardé en dar con ellos. Confieso que, de haber leído El libro de las maravillas en mi infan Marco Polo, fue uno de los personajes que más admiración despertaban en mí cuando era niño (recuerdo cierto programa de televisión en forma de dibujos animados que relataba sus aventuras, el nombre se me ha ido), quizá la leyenda más que el personaje histórico en sí mismo. Muchas veces había oído hablar del relato de sus grandiosos viajes y la curiosidad siempre me había conducido a buscar tales relatos y tardé en dar con ellos. Confieso que, de haber leído El libro de las maravillas en mi infancia o adolescencia lo habría encontrado tremendamente aburrido, no es que ahora no su lectura no me haya resultado aburrida, pero lo habría sido mucho más habida cuenta de la ingente cantidad de descripciones y el nulo contenido de aventuras que un chico habría esperado. Ahora, a mis 31 años al fin puede leer esta obra que, valga la aclaración es un tremendo clásico, considero que a pesar de todo el sopor que me ocasionó este libro, extremadamente lento y profuso en descripciones, avanzar por sobre el aburrimiento ocasionado por el carácter monótono del libro, ha valido la pena poder ver el mundo a través de los ojos de uno de los personajes más destacados del siglo XIII, sus valores, su reporte de la realidad que, de tan peculiar que parece hoy día, viene a relativizar nuestra experiencia de la realidad misma. El libro en sí cuenta con un ritmo lento y tedioso – lo cual deriva, como ya he dicho de la excesiva cantidad de descripciones y del tono utilizado en la narración – no obstante, debo decir que la inteligencia de Marco Polo me ha conquistado. Todo cuanto hace parece tener una razón, un motivo oculto que va más allá de apenar obtener lo necesario, busca siempre ir más allá, aprender, conocer y no quedarse únicamente con la respuesta básica, sino que intenta siempre conocer el funcionamiento de las cosas. Con relación a sus viajes debo decir que me hubiera encantado formar parte de dicha expedición, si bien los relatos de tales viajes cuentan con un claro tono fantasioso, resulta perfectamente compatible con el imaginario europeo de la Edad Media. En este punto conviene aclarar que este libro contiene una de las leyendas gastronómicas más difundidas: la cual indica que supuestamente Polo introdujo los spaguettis a Italia desde China, leyenda que investigaciones más recientes han desmentido. Este libro no contiene apasionantes relatos de grandes aventuras, es un buen documento histórico eso sí, pero no más.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    The Travels of Marco Polo may be perhaps the most challenging travelogue ever put together. While Marco Polo was not the first to write about lands distant and alien to one’s own, he wrote of a journey of immense challenge and difficulty. Difficulty that is difficult to appreciate in our modern world. First of all, the most notable controversy; was Maro Polo a fraud? This reader disagrees. While some regard it as suspect that he traveled to Yuan Dynasty China and did not mention the largely Han The Travels of Marco Polo may be perhaps the most challenging travelogue ever put together. While Marco Polo was not the first to write about lands distant and alien to one’s own, he wrote of a journey of immense challenge and difficulty. Difficulty that is difficult to appreciate in our modern world. First of all, the most notable controversy; was Maro Polo a fraud? This reader disagrees. While some regard it as suspect that he traveled to Yuan Dynasty China and did not mention the largely Han practice of foot binding, one needs to remember that he was employed in the court of Kubilai Khan, a Mongol Emperor who headed a very multicultural court. While this reader is not a first class scholar of medieval China, the narrative through which Marco Polo describes the China of then corresponds somewhat to the cultural mosaic of today. While in the Southwest of China, he describes people of rather relaxed sexual practices, which have an eery similarity to the Naxi of Yunnan Province, he describes a religious mosaic that regularly alternates between either Christian, Muslim or, as he terms it, idolatory, he describes funerary practices, the choice of clothing, and dietary practices. Therefore, this reader rules favorably in the authenticity of Marco Polo’s account. The book in itself is mainly a travelogue, and describes everywhere from Armenia and the Caspian Sea region, China, India, the Middle East, and in the final chapter, Russia. Toward the end, the book becomes something of a commentary of the then current affairs, describing a conflict in what was then an area close to Russia’s frontier, and earlier parts of the book describe the conflict and intrigue in the court of the Great Khan. However, the book, for the most part, is a travelogue. The book is an immensely entertaining and readable account. With just simple relaxation and the right approach, one feels themselves there with Marco Polo, exploring unknown lands, and traveling a greater distance traveled by no man since the creation, in the words of the introduction. Marco Polo’s Travels, or to give it it’s actual title, Il Milione, is a timeless classic. A timeless work of inquiry and observation that is both intriguing and fascinating, and a pleasure for the soul.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stacia

    I feel like my reading of this book has taken as long as Polo's travels! (Mostly, though, it was because I got sidetracked by the extensive footnotes & subsequent internet research on various topics found in Polo's book.) Polo's tales are an eclectic mix of geography notes, merchant/business observations, descriptions of plants/animals/governments/cultural customs interspersed with strange & outrageous tales (many true) along with plenty of gossip & hearsay (plenty false). It's almost I feel like my reading of this book has taken as long as Polo's travels! (Mostly, though, it was because I got sidetracked by the extensive footnotes & subsequent internet research on various topics found in Polo's book.) Polo's tales are an eclectic mix of geography notes, merchant/business observations, descriptions of plants/animals/governments/cultural customs interspersed with strange & outrageous tales (many true) along with plenty of gossip & hearsay (plenty false). It's almost like a mix of a dry textbook, a National Geographic documentary, a royal edict, Twitter, & the National Enquirer stirred to create his unique story. The complete mish-mash of information & mix of the mundane with the extraordinary reminded me a bit of the structure & jumble of Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Even though some parts are repetitive or boring recitations of business/trading/government facts, there are a lot of gems & fantastic observations... enough to make me overlook the slower parts in favor of the rest of it. Five stars for Polo's sheer chutzpah in living his life large & telling about it so that, even today, we can still enjoy his amazing travels.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    This is the narrative of one of the most famous explorers in history, describing his adventures in the Far East as a sort of emissary for the great Kublai Khan. In it he describes all of the strange cities and peoples he comes across in his years wandering through the exotic locales encompassed by the Khan’s extensive empire. I’m sure that when this narrative was first published, it would have been considered fascinating reading by the general public, as it describes places, peoples and things th This is the narrative of one of the most famous explorers in history, describing his adventures in the Far East as a sort of emissary for the great Kublai Khan. In it he describes all of the strange cities and peoples he comes across in his years wandering through the exotic locales encompassed by the Khan’s extensive empire. I’m sure that when this narrative was first published, it would have been considered fascinating reading by the general public, as it describes places, peoples and things that were vastly different from what the average person was familiar with. For those people, Asia may as well have been on another planet. Most of this narrative is broken down into sections, each focusing on a specific city, describing its notable geography and architecture, its imports and exports, and the people who live there and their customs. Since most of the cities were really not notable, and since they generally shared the culture of all of the other cities around them, this tends to get kind of repetitive after awhile. A lot of the descriptions read: “In the city of _______, the inhabitants are pagans and worship idols. They burn their dead. They have a diet of rice and millet. They are great producers of silk”, or something to that effect. Then the next city is described in exactly the same way. And the next one. And the next one. Occasionally there would be a comment thrown in like: “The women here are very beautiful” or “The country produces fine cattle”. Which is all well and good, as this served to create a record of places that had never been recorded before. However, it makes for some dry reading. What made it interesting for me were the little anecdotes thrown in about the exploits of this king or that king who waged this war and used this trick to make his enemies surrender, and so on and so forth. I think personally it would have been fascinating if the work had been more autobiographical, including more of Marco Polo’s personal exploits. Though the main gist of what he did is outlined, it doesn’t go into any details. I’m sure, given as much as he did in his life, they would have been really interesting reading. Ah well, I’m sure many proper historians have said the same thing to themselves. The veracity of this work has been questioned by some, who say that Marco Polo was a fake and never actually went to any of these places. There was a guy, I think around the same timeframe, who wrote a book and said he went places where people had dog’s heads and mouths in their stomachs (or something to that effect, I’m remembering this all very vaguely). It seems to me that if Marco Polo were going to just make something up, he would have made up something more creative than “The people worship idols, and burn their dead, and eat millet”. Not that I’m a professional historian, here, but that’s just a thought that crossed my mind. Anyway, I think it was a good book to read once, just to be able to say I did it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    It took me forever to finish this. A massive book of facts without flesh. It was like reading a phonebook -- dry, repetitive, lacking depth and in need of a good editor. And every so often, you'd come across odd statements like this: "But, now that we have embarked on this topic, we have had second thoughts about setting it down in writing; for after all it is very well known to many people. So let us drop the subject and start on another one…" It was very strange to me how any traveler to these f It took me forever to finish this. A massive book of facts without flesh. It was like reading a phonebook -- dry, repetitive, lacking depth and in need of a good editor. And every so often, you'd come across odd statements like this: "But, now that we have embarked on this topic, we have had second thoughts about setting it down in writing; for after all it is very well known to many people. So let us drop the subject and start on another one…" It was very strange to me how any traveler to these fascinating places could make them seem so dull.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karolina Kat

    The Travels by Marco Polo are without question one of the most important texts of our culture. The text reveals not only how little the 13th century man knew about the world outside his own domain but also how he perceived the world around him. In Polo's work reality mixes with the perception of magical and unknown. All in all, a very enriching reading.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Valentina Markasović

  16. 4 out of 5

    Arwen56

    Libro decisamente anomalo, direi, per diversi motivi: 1) In primo luogo, non è stato neppure redatto nel volgare italiano, bensì, a quanto mi risulta, principalmente in francese antico (lingua d'oïl). Di conseguenza, il testo che leggiamo è una delle tante traduzioni esistenti. Quanto possa essere fedele all’originale è da vedersi. 2) Non è neanche stato scritto dallo stesso Marco Polo, ma dettato a Rustico da Pisa nel carcere in cui entrambi allora si trovavano. Quanto sia possibile attribuire al Libro decisamente anomalo, direi, per diversi motivi: 1) In primo luogo, non è stato neppure redatto nel volgare italiano, bensì, a quanto mi risulta, principalmente in francese antico (lingua d'oïl). Di conseguenza, il testo che leggiamo è una delle tante traduzioni esistenti. Quanto possa essere fedele all’originale è da vedersi. 2) Non è neanche stato scritto dallo stesso Marco Polo, ma dettato a Rustico da Pisa nel carcere in cui entrambi allora si trovavano. Quanto sia possibile attribuire al primo o sia invece frutto dell’elaborazione del secondo è dunque abbastanza dubbio. 3) Il testo originale non esiste più. Esistono invece circa centocinquanta versioni diverse, ognuna delle quali ha subito l’intervento di chi l’ha rimaneggiata. 4) In tempi recenti, sono sorti diversi dubbi sulla veridicità di quanto, in teoria, vissuto in prima persona da Marco Polo, poiché non si hanno riscontri oggettivi a ciò che narra. In fin dei conti, direi che ci troviamo di fronte ad una di quelle opere “spurie”, o “corali” se preferite, in cui il confine tra chi ha detto questo o fatto quello oppure tra chi ha partecipato o non ha partecipato a un determinato evento è molto labile. Al posto del nome di Marco Polo potremmo in fondo metterne un altro qualsiasi, chè la sostanza non cambierebbe comunque. Il risultato è una sorta di sovrascrittura continua, in cui la realtà va persa a favore delle personali inclinazioni di chi vi ha posto mano, seguendo l’agio delle proprie convinzioni e delle proprie credenze. Una sorta di canovaccio, in base al quale i diversi attori hanno recitato la loro parte.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Interesting for both it's accuracies and inaccuracies and the insight provided on the medieval point of view of foreign cultures. Unfortunately, Polo tends to simplify nearly every culture he encounters into one very large pot. In example, he seems to be under the impression that all 'idolaters' (read non-christians, non-muslims, non-jews) all follow one giant pan-asian religion. These kind of assumptions make a lot of his observations nearly useless, revealing more about the author than the sub Interesting for both it's accuracies and inaccuracies and the insight provided on the medieval point of view of foreign cultures. Unfortunately, Polo tends to simplify nearly every culture he encounters into one very large pot. In example, he seems to be under the impression that all 'idolaters' (read non-christians, non-muslims, non-jews) all follow one giant pan-asian religion. These kind of assumptions make a lot of his observations nearly useless, revealing more about the author than the subject. Add to that the fact that a great deal of the information is based on hearsay and presented as unvarnished truth while being demonstrably false. Polo's assertion of a Mongol victory over the Tran Dynasty in what would become Vietnam is a good example of an outright falsehood present as truth. Lastly, the writing style can be summarized as "This is what I'm going to tell you. This is what I'm telling you. This is what I just told you." Multiplied and repeated ad nauseam for every. single. subject. This combined with Polo's tendency to reuse entire passages applied to different subjects repeatedly makes for an often frustrating and uninteresting read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    Come non appassionarsi allo straordinario racconto di Marco Polo, del suo viaggio e di tutte le stranezze che incontra? Come non desiderare di aver visto con i propri occhi le meraviglie del palazzo di Ciandu, o il ponte di marmo sul fiume Pulisanghin? Ecco, se non lo avete mai fatto, vi consiglio di leggere il "Milione" e di lasciarvi trasportare sulle ali della fantasia (o sulla groppa di un destriero dei Tartari, come vi pare).

  19. 4 out of 5

    Corinne

    For a reading challenge I had to read the book that has been on my to-read list the longest. When I pulled up my Goodreads, lo and behold there was "The Travels." I was a bit wary of it, but I know I added this when I read The Muqaddimah which I very much enjoyed. When I first started this book I was a bit nervous as it is written a bit dry and straightforward. Soon though, the thought of stepping into all these different cultures in the 13th century really fascinated me. I found myself digging For a reading challenge I had to read the book that has been on my to-read list the longest. When I pulled up my Goodreads, lo and behold there was "The Travels." I was a bit wary of it, but I know I added this when I read The Muqaddimah which I very much enjoyed. When I first started this book I was a bit nervous as it is written a bit dry and straightforward. Soon though, the thought of stepping into all these different cultures in the 13th century really fascinated me. I found myself digging more into these cultures (as well as the veracity of Polo's claims). 2018 Reading Women Challenge - The book that has been on your TBR the longest

  20. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    This novel is among the 501 MUST READ BOOKS and it was written in 1298. So, next to the Holy Bible this is now the 2nd most oldest book that I've ever read. In fact, in the travel book that I read last month about the travels of Ferdinand Magellan, this book was mentioned several times as the Magellan fleet brought this book. It was the same case for Christopher Columbus because both the world navigators came after the travels of Marco Polo, his father Nicolo and his uncle Maffeo that happened i This novel is among the 501 MUST READ BOOKS and it was written in 1298. So, next to the Holy Bible this is now the 2nd most oldest book that I've ever read. In fact, in the travel book that I read last month about the travels of Ferdinand Magellan, this book was mentioned several times as the Magellan fleet brought this book. It was the same case for Christopher Columbus because both the world navigators came after the travels of Marco Polo, his father Nicolo and his uncle Maffeo that happened in 1271 to 1295. There are so many fascinating facts in this book. Prior to this, what I knew about Marco Polo was that he should be a chinese man (not a Venetian) because Marco Polo is a name of a chinese restaurant that used to be popular here in the Philippines in the 70s or 80s. All I knew about Genghis and Kublai Khan was that they are Chinese conquerors and they look so barbaric. This book gave me a better picture on rich they were, how big was their kingdoms (almost half of the earth!) and how many wives each of them had (more than a thousand)! 500 years have passed since the first publication of this book and they are still as fascinating as probably how Magellan and Columbus felt reading them for the first time. I am glad to have read this book and knew about the people and places then compared to how they are now. For one, Japan use be called Zipangu. During Marco Polo's visit the Japanese were cannibals! No wonder, they were still barbaric during the WWII....

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mariel Zani Begoña

    This book was a lot better than I was expecting. It's not definitely a one-sitting-read because it can be a little repetitive, But I didnt hate it. Este libro fue mejor de lo que me esperaba. No es definitivamente un libro para leer en una sentada poruqe puede tornarse un poco repetitivo. No lo odié, de todas formas This book was a lot better than I was expecting. It's not definitely a one-sitting-read because it can be a little repetitive, But I didn´t hate it. Este libro fue mejor de lo que me esperaba. No es definitivamente un libro para leer en una sentada poruqe puede tornarse un poco repetitivo. No lo odié, de todas formas

  22. 4 out of 5

    dbd

    Very interesting historical account of Polo's travels to Mongolia and China, He spent much more time there than I had known, not all of it by design. He was highly regarded by Kublai Kahn for his knowledge of western culture which was of great interest to the Kahn. Polo was surprised, as was I, by the sophistication of the Mongolian culture.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gordan Karlić

    Imagine reading this book in 14 century, Europe is filled with plague, sickness, death and here Marco Polo is describing worlds filled with riches and life. I can only imagine how many people thought Marco Polo was lying (sure he exaggerated and not everything he said was true). It must have been an amazing journey.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Individualfrog

    I'm not sure what caused me to credit the Goodreads reviews of this book which say it is boring and procrastinate on reading this after my brother gave it to me for my birthday last year. I generally make it a rule not to read reviews before reading a book at all, and experience has taught me that most peoples' opinions of Famous Classic Books, especially if they are older than say Jane Austen, rarely match my own. But I did credit them, and sort of anticipated this would be a chore, especially I'm not sure what caused me to credit the Goodreads reviews of this book which say it is boring and procrastinate on reading this after my brother gave it to me for my birthday last year. I generally make it a rule not to read reviews before reading a book at all, and experience has taught me that most peoples' opinions of Famous Classic Books, especially if they are older than say Jane Austen, rarely match my own. But I did credit them, and sort of anticipated this would be a chore, especially as the preface hinted in the same direction as the reviews. It's true that some medieval books I've read have tended that way, like the long flat lists of tediously fantastic, stereotyped tales that are most hagiography. I was all too ready to expect the same, after reading long pages of "it's so boring and repetitive, mindless merchant cataloguing!" here. But really I found it pretty interesting and fun. The chapters are short, the structure of the book quite intelligent and intuitive, the descriptions not really very repetitive at all, and there is almost nothing fantastic in it at all. If Marco Polo did not travel anywhere, as some allege, his sources were very good. He writes, for example, a description of shamanic healing in Siberia, which seems quite accurate as far as my knowledge of the topic goes, and which surely he had no way to anticipate or imagine in Europe. His stories of things like paper money, burning black stones instead of wood, places so far south that the north star is invisible or so high up that fire burns only fitfully, his descriptions of giant Buddha statues and teeming Chinese cities, might well have seemed incredible to his contemporary audience, but of course they don't strike us that way today. For the most part, he seems to have known quite a lot about Asia, and his descriptions of it seem basically straightforward and interesting. He even throws in plenty of money and sex to entertain the reader. He was always ready to talk about how cheap this or that commodity is, how much income Kubilai Khan extracts; and about how this or that ruler has a harem full of every attractive woman in his kingdom, or even more salaciously, about regions where there are no (or anyway different) sexual taboos. I like the brief ethnographic details, as when describing the people of "Tanguth" (the proper names are generally quite strange and I can only trust the endnotes when they explain what the real place is which is being described): "The inhabitants are worshippers of idols, and have their peculiar language. They subsit on the fruits of the earth, which they possess in abundance, and are enabled to supply the wants of travellers. The men are addicted to pleasure, and attend to little else than playing upon instruments, singing, dancing, reading, writing, according to the practice of the country, and the pursuit, in short, of every kind of amusement." (These are clearly my people.) I like the chapter titles: "Of the Province of Carchan, the Inhabitants of Which are Troubled with Swollen Legs and with Goiters", etc. I like the page headings: "EXCELLENT RHUBARB IN SUCCUIR", "HOUSEGUESTS MURDERED AT NIGHT", "THE LEAF INDIANS LIKE TO CHEW". It was a fun read. What it was not was an adventure, or even a travel book exactly. The trip is not really described. Rather, the places along the way. The common name for the book in French, according to the afterword, is The Description of the World, and I think that is a better title than The Travels (although the best is the Italian name of Il Milione). If you come to it with that expectation, you will probably be disappointed. Yet towards the end of reading it I tried listening to the old radio serial loosely based on it, which I had heard an episode or two of before. This dramatizes the story, so that, for example, Marco Polo himself faces the evil "Old Man of the Mountain", aka Rashid ad-Din Sinan, the leader of the notorious Nizari Ismailis known to us as the Assassins (who in fact had been destroyed by the Mongols long before the Polos' journey). Written in cod-archaic midcentury Classico sort of dialogue ("Have courage, Marco! Mayhap it is not the will of this prince that we should die!"), it is much more boring than the real deal, with its cities producing immense revenues of salt and incense, the people of whom consist of idolators, Nestorian Christians, and followers of Mohamet, and pays tribute to the great khan, though it is not part of his dominion.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Procyon Lotor

    Educazione veneziana Libro di viaggi, d'avventure, di storia, geografia, tecnica, economia e sociologia. Collezione d'aneddoti e romanzo di formazione pure, non scordiamo che Marco Polo part� giovinetto e torn� uomo. Ricostruito da filologi d'erudizione sconfinata e poi (questa edizione) ritradotto in un italiano "anticato" dall'ottima Bellonci. Sono brevi scritti, taluni vere e proprie schede geopolitiche, Polo spessissimo cita la citt� (sempre nobilissima e bellissima, un vero PR, salvo poi ne Educazione veneziana Libro di viaggi, d'avventure, di storia, geografia, tecnica, economia e sociologia. Collezione d'aneddoti e romanzo di formazione pure, non scordiamo che Marco Polo part� giovinetto e torn� uomo. Ricostruito da filologi d'erudizione sconfinata e poi (questa edizione) ritradotto in un italiano "anticato" dall'ottima Bellonci. Sono brevi scritti, taluni vere e proprie schede geopolitiche, Polo spessissimo cita la citt� (sempre nobilissima e bellissima, un vero PR, salvo poi nei dettagli fornire gli elementi per giudicare che era in realt� un posto popolato da pezzenti fetenti bastardi, di che vivono, cosa hanno, cosa no, in che credono, se in merito a ci� in cui credono ci s'intende o se prevalgono gli spaccaballe, costumi sessuali, funerari ed educativi, eccetera. Qualche mito, ma in dosi pediatriche. Pi� storie, anch'esse sovente ripetitive di battaglie o di imprese del Gran Kane. Purtroppo la ripetitivit� che Polo percorre non � tanto data da ottusit� sua, ma dal fatto - obiettivo - che le cose serie cui guardare sono pochine e, nelle radici, parte del mondo si somiglia. In ogni caso procedere a schede esalta le differenze importanti perch� spesso utilissime. Molto pi� onesto delle moderne guide turistiche, dove millemila spiaggialbergo identiche vengono magnificate come luoghi di proteiforme bellezza peraltro. Manca l'arte, da mercante sempre confusa coll'artigianato, e la filosofia speculativa o le idee, da mercante sempre riportate solo se cagione di fatti, e ne riporta moltissime. Pochissima autoanalisi, memento per uno stile in voga di taluni libri di viaggio e non solo, che riportano una quantit� abnorme d'impressioni ta lesionare terribilmente il nostro desiderio di proseguire. Il fatto obiettivo che dove militari, ambasciatori, predicatori e missionari fallirono un mercante veneziano riusc�, e pure i suoi parenti - indice che non fu un caso - pu� dare qualche utile indicazione che ieri come oggi, la gabola dell'equivalenza delle culture era per l'appunto una puttanata, come le teste appese a seccare al sole dei deserti dell'asia centrale d'alcuni che vi credettero, o che credettero alla superiorit� della propria, testimoniano ora ed allora. I principali aspetti della cultura cinese (e tartara) sono gi� ben rilevati. Che vi siano tutt'ora giornalisti o politici che giudicano l'Oriente coi criteri buoni per Roccasecca o Montecotrone Scalo desta viepp�� meraviglia. E io pago. Colonna sonora: Thievery Corporation - Culture of Fear.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    This is a book of which I cannot say, "I couldn't put it down!" Many of the 650-year-old accounts of Polo's travels through 13th century Asia were vividly described yet others were very matter-of-fact and well, dry for the most part. For example, most of the places he visited and subsequently dictated to his prison cell mate, Rusticiano, were described in this manner: "...its inhabitants, for the most part Mahometans, with some Nestorian Christians, and the rest idolaters are subjects of the gra This is a book of which I cannot say, "I couldn't put it down!" Many of the 650-year-old accounts of Polo's travels through 13th century Asia were vividly described yet others were very matter-of-fact and well, dry for the most part. For example, most of the places he visited and subsequently dictated to his prison cell mate, Rusticiano, were described in this manner: "...its inhabitants, for the most part Mahometans, with some Nestorian Christians, and the rest idolaters are subjects of the grand khan. Provisions are here in abundance, as is also cotton. The people are expert artisans. The support themselves by trade and manufactures, but they are not good soldiers. In this country there is not anything further that is worthy of observation." There are however some very interesting parts when he relates Kublai Khan's view of Christianity and other religions (the Saracens/Muslims; the Jews and the idolaters). Kublai Khan would have converted to Christianity (he regarded the faith of the Christians as the truest and the best) if the bishops could have performed "magic" like the idolators in his kingdom. Apparently the Pope at the time never sent out "qualified" persons to preach the gospel to the grand khan. In Polo's opinion, he would have converted had he heard. Other interesting social, political, economic customs, traditions, road systems, the grand khan's treatment of the poor, stories of cannibalism, fantastical animals, the religion of the Tartars, cities of great wealth and mention of historical characters make the book enjoyable and worth reading. Hard to imagine Polo could recall his travels in such detail with the sheer amount of miles he covered in his life (maybe he was journaling as he went). It is said that some of his accounts are exaggerated. I would not doubt that. Odd that he didn't mention the Great Wall of China. But, he was a merchant so maybe that did not interest him. The book ends very abruptly...he is describing a battle... "fully sixty thousand men were slain in this battle, but king Toctai, as well as the two sons of Tolobuga, escaped." And that's it. No thoughts to wrap it up. I gave it 4 stars because I love the fact that Marco Polo was a traveler and adventurer and am grateful he was willing to have someone record what he saw so others could benefit. He dared to venture where other men would not go and explore the unknown. The record of his experiences are illuminating and help us to see how others lived so long ago. Makes me appreciate the time and place in which I was born.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hans

    This book does not read like a novel, and at times it is a bit arduous to get through, so it has its low points. But in contrast when it is good it is really good. Many of the stories are hard to believe. So many of the cultures he describes have obviously been wiped out of existence so this is a text that testifies of the rich cultural diversity of the planet just under 800 years ago. I envy Marco Polo, and even though many of his tales may be exaggerations I wish I could have lived during his This book does not read like a novel, and at times it is a bit arduous to get through, so it has its low points. But in contrast when it is good it is really good. Many of the stories are hard to believe. So many of the cultures he describes have obviously been wiped out of existence so this is a text that testifies of the rich cultural diversity of the planet just under 800 years ago. I envy Marco Polo, and even though many of his tales may be exaggerations I wish I could have lived during his time and wandered the globe observing the different cultures of the earth. This book is a good read for anyone interested in History or Cultural Studies as he addresses specific customs of now gone peoples. Overall I enjoyed it and found the stories intriguing.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tlsmith

    A translation of Marco Polo's account of his travels through the Middle East and Asia. I have spoken to some people who think that this book is too dry (which may make sense since Polo was a merchant and the stated purpose of his book is to let other merchants know what products and resources were available in these new lands). It could be the translation that I read (I chose the right one here) but it was in no sense dry or boring. Imagining Polo traveling through Baghdad, across the Gobi Deser A translation of Marco Polo's account of his travels through the Middle East and Asia. I have spoken to some people who think that this book is too dry (which may make sense since Polo was a merchant and the stated purpose of his book is to let other merchants know what products and resources were available in these new lands). It could be the translation that I read (I chose the right one here) but it was in no sense dry or boring. Imagining Polo traveling through Baghdad, across the Gobi Desert, and through small Chinese fishing villages is just amazing. The artwork in this book is also great-- beautiful woodcuts. It also pairs very well with Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tomas

    When at first I saw this book, I thought it would be an engaging story about Marco Polo's travels. That is NOT what this book is (nor, indeed, what it's supposed to be). What's it like, then? A dull description of consecutive town, with little to no variation. Admittedly, there were some detailed descriptions of feasts and battles, but it was, for the most part, like 'this is a great town, the people worship this deity and use this currency, now let's move on.' Researching ancient Asia and the S When at first I saw this book, I thought it would be an engaging story about Marco Polo's travels. That is NOT what this book is (nor, indeed, what it's supposed to be). What's it like, then? A dull description of consecutive town, with little to no variation. Admittedly, there were some detailed descriptions of feasts and battles, but it was, for the most part, like 'this is a great town, the people worship this deity and use this currency, now let's move on.' Researching ancient Asia and the Silk Road? Great book to read. Reading in your free time or for a book report? Worst book to read (I would even recommend NOT to read it for a book report, since it's not really a story)!

  30. 4 out of 5

    FP

    Marco Polo, hiciste uno de los viajes más interesantes de tu época, trajiste nueva información del mundo a Europa y fuiste un turista privilegiado. ¿Cómo puedes convertir todo eso en una historia tan aburrida? Supongo que en parte él no era tan buen narrador, pero al parecer el grueso del problema data en que las distintas ediciones copiadas a mano (esto fue antes de la imprenta) variaban mucho unas de otras. También puede estar el problema en quien escribió la historia -Rustichello da Pisa-, a Marco Polo, hiciste uno de los viajes más interesantes de tu época, trajiste nueva información del mundo a Europa y fuiste un turista privilegiado. ¿Cómo puedes convertir todo eso en una historia tan aburrida? Supongo que en parte él no era tan buen narrador, pero al parecer el grueso del problema data en que las distintas ediciones copiadas a mano (esto fue antes de la imprenta) variaban mucho unas de otras. También puede estar el problema en quien escribió la historia -Rustichello da Pisa-, a quien Marco Polo le contó la historia mientras los dos estaban en la cárcel. Supongo que el estar preso puede aturdir la sensación de asombro para algunos.

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