Death of Marco Polo



8 January 1324

Marco Polo was a merchant from Venice who traveled to Central Asia, Persia, India and China. The famous and very popular 13th century travelouge "The Travels of Marco Polo" tells the stories of his adventures. The text claims that Marco Polo became an important member of the Mongol leader Kublai Khan's close circle - although some modern scholars debate about how much of the account is accurate.

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    Copy of an idol venerated in the Temple of the Five Hundred Genii in Canton, China. The idol is an effigy of early traveller Marco Polo (1254-1324), who spent 12 years at the court of Kublai Khan (1214-1294),Mongolian ruler of China. Wood, gilded. See also 40-08-03/20

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    Marco Polo with a caravan. Illustration from the "Catalan Atlas". Around 1375.

    03-08-03/16

    Cathay and the Empire of the Great Khan. Cathay is the Anglicized version of "Catai", the name that was given to northern China by Marco Polo (he referred to southern China as Manji). From the World Map by Fra Mauro, 1459.

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    Portrait of Marco Polo (1254-1324). Cover of the first printed edition of The Travels of Marco Polo. Illumination; 1477.

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    Embossed leather, travels of Marco Polo, 1577 ES 223

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    Marco Polo (1254-1324) before the Grand Khan of the Tartars.Canvas; 1863.

    39-15-06/54

    Copy of an idol venerated in the Temple of the Five Hundred Genii in Canton, China. The idol is an effigy of early traveller Marco Polo (1254-1324), who spent 12 years at the court of Kublai Khan, Mongol ruler of China (1214-1294). Wood, gilded.

    40-08-03/20

    Wounded warrior. Fresco from Pendjikent, Tadjikistan; 8th century CE.

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    The Mongolian seige of Bagdad in 1258. Double-page from Rashid al-Din's (1247 - 1318) enormous universal history, the "Jami al-Tawarikh". 320 x 230 mm Herat, Afghanistan; around 1430-1434 The Jami al-Tawarikh was commissioned by Mahmud Ghazan, begun as a history of the Mongols and their dynasty and then expanded to include history from Adam to Rashid al-Din's present day. It was completed during the reign of Oljeitu in 1307-1316. The Jami' al-Tawarikh is perhaps the single most comprehensive Persian source on the Mongol period. Sayf Al-Vahedi, who worked as painter in the workshop-library of Baysonqor, is the author of the majority of the illustrations of this manuscript. Realized on a double page, this painting illustrates the siege of Baghdad by the Mongolian armies of Hulagu Khan in 1258. Caliph Al-Musta'sim crosses the bridge on the Tigris, ready to meet Hulagu Kahn (grandson of Genghis Khan). On the top of the walls of the city a Persan poem written by Sayf Al-Vahedi celebrates the charm of Baghdad.

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    Mongol warriors on horseback from Rashid Al-Din's (1247 - 1318) enormous universal history, the "Jami al-Tawarikh"; 14th Century CE. The Jami al-Tawarikh was commissioned by Mahmud Ghazan, begun as a history of the Mongols and their dynasty and then expanded to include history from Adam to Rashid al-Din's present day. It was completed during the reign of Oljeitu in 1307-1316. The Jami' al-Tawarikh is perhaps the single most comprehensive Persian source on the Mongol period.

    03-04-01/53

    Joan Blaeu's "Atlas Major", published in Amsterdam in 1662, consists of 593 plates bound in nine to twelve volumes. Volume 2: Russia. Map of the Volga, Mongolians with tents and camels.

    32-01-02/17

    The Great Wall of China was begun by the first Emperor of the united country, Qin Shihuangdi, around 210 BCE. Its disconnected parts are about 5.000 kms long. The wall is 7 to 8 m high and its paved top is 5,5 m wide. There is a watchtower every 120 m. See 05-01-02/1-12

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