few years earlier, in 1292, after a twenty-four year journey, Polo had returned to the West from
Kublai Khan's Eastern empire. Polo's book was an account of this vast empire having a stage of
civilization far more advanced than anything Europeans could imagine.
In medieval times Europe was plagued by inept and corrupt leaders, misguided Crusades, the
Black Death, hunger and lack of hygiene. To this depressing reality, Polo introduced Kublai Khan, a model statesman who presided wisely over a huge empire with fantastic cities, advanced
technology and transportation systems. This was a place where everything that Europe did not
have and greedily desired could be found. However, many people questioned the authenticity of
Polo's accounts and even took them to be fairytales. But much of what Polo wrote, regarded
with suspicion in medieval times, was confirmed by travellers of the 18th and 19th centuries, and
most of the detail has since been corroborated by historians and geographers.
Fiction or not, Polo's book has captured readers for centuries. Although its author received little
recognition in life, he was capable of comprehending cultures completely alien to his own.
Today no one can fail to appreciate the book's celebration of the heterogeneity of nature,
geography and, above all, people. Races are differentiated but not denigrated and the customs of
different cultures are met with enthusiastic curiosity, not with the prejudice prevalent in Europe
at that time.
1. Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No
marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a) Marco Polo wrote his book during his fal11ous journey lo the East.
b) Experts have proved that all the information included in Polo's book was
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Marco Polo said that
Marco Polo, …
The West …
In spite of