Sunday, 8 March 2015

Marco Polo by Marina Montesano

pp. 336
novembre 2014
Storia e cultura medievale. Ricerca storica
ISBN. 978-88-8402-945-4

Up to now there are few biographical reconstructions of the profile of Marco Polo. We know that he was on the road, away from Venice for about 25 years, but within that period of his life there are few safe chronological scans. The Milione is still a mysterious book. It is a travelogue? A mixture of fantastic and real? It is a text of mercantile practice? To answer these questions, we start from the background of the Venetian: the Mediterranean in the second half of the thirteenth century, and follow him on a journey, along the Silk Road to China and India. We will retrace the places that he visited to find out a look much closer to reality than we might think; a look that did not dwell only on the goods and riches, but that communicated to the West new details on anthropology, customs, rituals, of the society observed. 
If there are still doubt about the journey of Marco Polo, the position of this book is clear: the Venetian visited Asia and described it as no one had ever done before him. 

Marina Montesano teaches medieval history at the University of Genova. Among her publications include Storia medievale 2006. 

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