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Marco Polo (1254 to January 8, 1324) was a Venetian explorer known for the book "The Travels of Marco Polo", which describes his voyage to and experiences in Asia. Polo traveled extensively with his family, journeying from Europe to Asia from 1271 to 1295 and remaining in China for 17 of those years.
Marco Polo’s stories about his travels in Asia were published as a book called "The Description of the World", later known as "The Travels of Marco Polo". Just a few years after returning to Venice from China, Marco commanded a ship in a war against the rival city of Genoa. He was eventually captured and sentenced to a Genoese prison, where he met a fellow prisoner and writer named Rustichello. As the two men became friends, Marco told Rustichello about his time in Asia, what he'd seen, where he'd travelled and what he'd accomplished.
The book made Marco a celebrity. It was printed in French, Italian and Latin, becoming the most popular read in Europe. But few readers allowed themselves to believe Marco's tale. They took it to be fiction, the construct of a man with a wild imagination.