In Polo’s early life, his father wasn’t present because he was traveling with his brother. His mother died shortly between his age of six and fifteen to leave Polo to be raised by his aunt and uncle. His father returned when he was fifteen years old where they waited another two years before embarking on a journey to Cathay. They traveled through Armenia, Persia, and Afghanistan, over the Pamirs, and all along the Silk Road to China (Silkroad Foundation, The Long and Difficult Journey to Cathay, 1997-2000). Along the journey, rather than going the same route as before, they went around that led Polo to get an illness and was forced to stay in Badakhstan for a little over a year. This was when the Pamirs, or the “highest place in the world” was discovered.
Along the journey while traveling through the Gobi desert, the Polo family learned how large and wide it really was. "This desert is reported to be so long that it would take a year to go from end to end; and at the narrowest point it takes a month to cross it. It consists entirely of mountains and sands and valleys. ...
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...rocades of silk and gold, exactly as stated in the stories in his book. “Many people took his accounts with a grain of salt and some skeptics question the authenticity of his account. Many of his stories have been considered as fairytales: the strange oil in Baku and the monstrous birds which dropped elephants from a height and devoured their broken carcasses.” (Silkroad Foundation, The Book, Life in Venice and Controversies, 1977-2000).
Many Asian sources never mentioned Polo’s name. Nor did he mention any of the popular traditions that occurred in China; such as women’s foot-binding, chopsticks, or the Great Wall. (History.com, Marco Polo, 2015). Many people then began questioning whether Polo actually went on these travels that he has written about in his book. A small amount of historians as well, are wondering whether Polo’s book is a reliable source.
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