- from Marco Polo
It’s unlikely we would have ever known about Marco’s journey if he hadn’t been put in prison!
For some time, Venice and Genoa had been engaged in a rivalry for control of the Mediterranean Sea. In one battle, Marco was captured by the enemy. Imprisoned in Genoa, he met Rustichello of Pisa, a writer of romances, who agreed to write Marco’s memoirs. Within a hundred years, the book had been translated into most European languages. However, not everyone believed Marco’s stories. He was given the nickname Il Milione (Marco Millions), possibly because of his riches, but more likely because he had a million stories to tell. Supposedly, on his deathbed, when asked to confess his “lies,” he said he had told only half of what he had seen.