- from Marco Polo
In 1275, Marco, Niccolo, and Maffeo Polo were warmly welcomed by Kublai Khan at his summer palace, called Shangdu (also known as “Xanadu”).
According to Marco’s book, Kublai was quite taken with him. Over the next 17 years the Khan sent him on many missions throughout the Mongol empire. Kublai complained that the emissaries he sent out didn’t bring back enough information about the places they visited. Marco was determined to do a better job, so the wealth of details in his book is most likely due to his desire to be a good observer for Kublai.
In the painting below, Kublai Khan welcomes Marco Polo.