- from Marco Polo
Most likely, we would never have known about Marco’s journey if he hadn’t gone to jail.
Venice and Genoa had been fighting for control of the Mediterranean Sea for a while. Marco was captured by the enemy in a battle. In a prison in Genoa, he met a writer named Rustichello of Pisa. He agreed to write Marco’s memoirs. Within 100 years, the book had been translated into most European languages. Not everyone believed Marco’s stories. Some called him Il Milione (Marco Millions), maybe because of his wealth, but more likely because of his million stories. Asked on his deathbed to confess his “lies,” he supposedly said he’d told only half of what he’d seen.