Humans live in the information age. The information was an important factor current as well as in the past. These days, new information is found quickly and easily obtain. Therefore in the past, the only way to get information was direct reporting from people who felt and saw new things. New or unknown regions, culture and people had been become known by many explorers. In the 13th century, the one of important people, who introduced the Orient to Europeans, was Marco Polo.
He was not an explorer or traveler. He just went to the East to sell items with his family. In 1254, He was born into a wealthy merchant family in Venice, Italy. Therefore he learned many subjects such as reading, writing, math, accounting, theology, and French. These things had been a lot of help on his journey in the future. His father and uncle were traveling and trading with the Eastern countries for the first time, so he had the opportunity to travel to the East.
When he was 17, in 1271, he started to travel to the East with his family. For three years, they passed throughout some countries, mountains, the Gobi Desert and on the Silk Road in China. Marco father introduced him to Kublai Khan. He was the Emperor of Mongolia and ruled two-thirds of Asia’s. Marco Polo gained the Emperor’s trust, because of his wisdom, behavior and his ability to learn Asian customs and languages quickly. He became a special envoy of the Emperor. For that reason he visited many countries of the Orient such as China, Burma, India and Persia. His journey was a major cause to explain the East.
In 1295, finally, his family returned to hometown, Venice, after they escorted the princess of Mongolia to her wedding to Persia. At that time, there was a war between Genoa and Venice. He fought as a commander based on a variety of his skills and experience in the war. Unfortunately he was caught by the enemy and become a prisoner of war for 1 year. Then he met Rustichello, who had really good writing skill. Marco Polo talked to him about the journey to East, eventually Rustichello wrote a book, which is called “The Travels of Marco Polo”. At that time, the book failed to obtain a good response by people. Most of people did not believe his stories because nobody could know truth. People knew that his book was true since many people had visited to the Orient. The book became a guide for people, who wanted to travel to East, because it had a lot of accurate information.
Marco Polo traveled to many unknown places in the East and wrote much information such as the route, maps, distance, terrain, weather, and features. Important elements of modern information are promptitude, accuracy and availability. However, in the past, it was the accuracy. People were understood the Orient by Marco Polo’s information. Introduction of the East for the first time was not important thing. The information was the most important thing. Therefore, he was the important person to introduce the Orient accurately to the Western countries.