Introduction

The Book

Marco's World

The Crusades

The Mongols

The Merchants of Venice

The Travels

Kublai Khan

The Voyage Home

Man of a Million Lies?

Timeline

Bibliography

A Note on Religion

A Note on the Texts

Map of Marco's Journey

Links

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Timeline

1095
The First Crusade: Middle East principalities are established with allegiance to the Roman church

1145
The Second Crusade: Saladin drives Crusaders back to the sea

1189
The Third Crusade: Richard the Lionheart retakes Acre

1202
The Fourth Crusade: Constantinople is seized and governed by Venetians

1206
Temujin elected Great Khan - Genghis: Mongols begin building their empire taking eastern Europe, Asia, India and China

1227
The Death of Genghis Khan

1245
Carpini visits the Mongols at their capital, Karakorum in Mongolia

1251
Kublai Khan becomes Governor of China

1253
Roubrouck visits the Mongols at their capital, Karakorum in Mongolia

1254
Marco Polo is born

1258
The Mongols sack Baghdad: end of the Caliphate

1260
First defeat of the Mongols by the Mamluks: brothers Nicolo and Maffeo Polo set sail from Constantinople for the Crimean port of Sudak in search of new markets for their wares

1261
Greek Empire restored in Constantinople

1262
Nicolo and Maffeo Polo are caught in a war between two rival Mongol lords, Hulagu and Barka: they seek refuge at Bukhara where they receive an invitation to Cathay (China) to meet Kublai, khan of all the Mongols

1267
Kublai Khan sets up a new Chinese capital at Daidu (Khan-Balik), now part of modern-day Beijing (Peking)

1268
The Death of Pope Clement IV

1269
Nicolo and Maffeo Polo return to Venice after 15 years: Nicolo's wife has died leaving a son, Marco

1271
New Pope, Gregory X: Marco Polo's travels begin

1273
The siege of Xiangyang (Siang-yang-fu), China

1274
First Mongol invasion of Japan ends in defeat

1275
Marco Polo arrives in Peking

1279
Kublai Khan establishes the Yuan Dynasty in China

1281
Second Mongol invasion of Japan ends in defeat

1292
The Polo's settle in Kaikhatu in the Levant for seven months

1293
First Christian missionaries arrive in Peking

1294
The Death of Kublai Khan: effectively the end of the Mongol empire despite several later attempted invasions by independent khanates

1295
Marco Polo returns to Venice

1298
Marco Polo is imprisoned at Genoa following the battle of Kurzola: there, he meets a writer, Rustichello of Pisa, and together they begin a book of Marco's travels

1299
Marco Polo is released as a prisoner of war in Genoa: at about this time, Marco marries a Venetian, Donata: they have three daughters, Belela, Fantina and Moreta: the death of Nicolo Polo

1307
Giovanni di Monte Corvino becomes the first Archbishop of Peking

1324
Death of Marco Polo

1368
The Ming Dynasty is established in China: the barriers between East and West remain in place for many generations