- from Marco Polo
Kublai Khan was a gracious and generous host to the Polos, but he was also an insistent one. After 17 years in China, the three men were eager to return home, but Kublai was just as eager to keep them in China.
The Polos got a lucky break when the ruler of Persia (now Iran), a great-nephew of Kublai, sent representatives to ask Kublai to find him a Mongolian bride. Kublai selected a 17-year-old princess named Kokejin. Local wars made the Persians unwilling to go home by land. But Marco had recently returned from a sea voyage to “Indie” (India or the Indies). So the Persian representatives begged the khan to let the Polos accompany them back to Persia by sea. Kublai reluctantly agreed. He was in his 70s, with failing health, so it seemed unlikely he would ever see them again.