Lesson 5: On the Road with Marco Polo: Marco Polo in China

In the 13th century, a young Venetian named Marco Polo set out with his father and uncle on a great adventure. Following a series of trade routes, they traveled across the vast continent of Asia and became the first Europeans to visit the Chinese capital (modern Beijing). Marco so impressed the reigning emperor of China, Kublai Khan, that he was appointed to the imperial court. For the next 17 years, Marco was sent on missions to many parts of Kublai's sprawling empire. The Polos finally returned to Venice via the sea route. Marco later wrote a book about his experiences, which inspired new generations of explorers to travel to the exotic lands of the East.

Guiding Questions

What routes did Marco Polo follow to China?

What sorts of natural environments did he travel through?

What were the major products China when Marco Polo was there?

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson, students will have: A basic knowledge of the Mongol Empire and China at the time of Mongol domination

A basic knowledge of Marco Polo's role as an official of Kublai Khan.