Did Marco Polo visit China or was he
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Did Marco Polo visit China or was he an extraordinary liar? In 1298, Marco Polo of Venice was arrested and put in prison in Genoa. Venice and Genoa were involved in a civil war and Polo was charged with serving the Venetian army. He was imprisoned without a trial. Polo offered a unique defense. He argued that he owed no loyalty to Venice since he had been gone for over 20 years. Further, he claimed that those 20 years were spent in China. While in jail, he told his story to his cellmate, Rustically, who wrote the story in a book called Description of the World and later, The Travels of Marco Polo. Even in his time, people doubted the stories in the book. They seemed far too fantastic to the people of Europe. It is important to note, however, that Europe had not yet seen the Renaissance and, in many ways, their technology was well behind that of China. What seemed like “magic” to them was simple science to the Chinese. Also, it is impossible to know exactly what parts were added by Rustically to simply add excitement to the story. However, Polo swore on his deathbed that his story was true, adding “I have not even told you half of what I saw. ” While most historians have chosen to accept that Polo did visit China, there are many who continue to argue that he did not. Your job is to examine the evidence and determine the answer. Did Marco Polo ever reach China or did he simply make up the story based on what he heard from other travelers? Agent: _______ Period: _____
Station 1: Marco Polo’s Will Examine the excerpts from Marco Polo’s Last Will and Testament. 1. Based on the evidence, do you think Polo received a Golden Tablet from the Khan? Support your response. 1. Based on the evidence, do you think Polo had a servant that travelled from China? Support your response. 1. Do you believe someone would lie in their will? If so, what might their motivation be? If not, why not? q Polo was honest. q Polo lied.
Station 2: The Missing Pieces Examine the elements of Chinese culture and human geography that were omitted from Polo’s writing. 1. How could you account for (explain) the absence of the Great Wall from Polo’s writings? 1. Why might Polo have not enjoyed a cup of tea or made use of chopsticks? 1. Which items shown here do you think Polo would have definitely written about if he had actually seen them? List at least two and discuss your reasoning. q Polo was honest. q Polo lied.
Station 3: Rustichello da Pisa Examine the provided excerpts from Rustichello’s lesser known works. 1. What types of books does Rustichello write? Provide evidence to support your answer. 1. Since Rustichello was mostly a fiction writer, defending the truthfulness of his Marco Polo accounts may be difficult. But, you aren’t here to have an easy go of things. Defend the truthfulness of Rustichello’s accounts. 1. If you can argue one side, you can argue both sides. Defend the opinion that Rustichello’s accounts of Marco Polo’s travels are pure fiction. q Polo was honest. q Polo lied.
Station 4: The Annals of Yuan Shih (A census) Examine the provided copy of the census from Medieval China. 1. Does Marco Polo’s name appear within the census? If so, in which column and on what page did you locate it? q Polo was honest. 1. Based on your answer to the previous question, does this lead you to believe that Polo did or did not reach China? q Polo lied. 1. If you believe the opposite of your response to question number 1 is true, how would you support your response? Include your reasoning.
Station 5: The Beijing Bridge Examine the primary source provided in which Polo describes the Beijing Bridge. Compare his description with what you witness in the video at this station. 1. To what extent does the written description of the Beijing Bridge match what you see in the video? Discuss. 1. Does the amount of detail provided by Polo make you think that he did or did not reach China? Support your response. 1. If his accounts of China proved to be accurate, does it mean Polo traveled to China? How else could the accuracy of his accounts be explained? q Polo was honest. q Polo lied.
Station 6: Interactive Map Follow the alleged path of Marco Polo on the smart board map - http: //edsitement. neh. gov/sites/edsitement. neh. gov/files/M_Polo_Rte_Quiz _Revsd 02. swf). As you answer each of the 20 questions on the map, record the correct responses below. 1. ___ 11. ___ 2. ___ 12. ___ 3. ___ 13. ___ 4. ___ 14. ___ 5. ___ 15. ___ 6. ___ 16. ___ 7. ___ 17. ___ 8. ___ 18. ___ 9. ___ 19. ___ 10. ___ 20. ___ A) Do you believe that Marco Polo could have traveled as far as he did in the time frame associated with his travels? Consider the rough terrain he crossed as you discuss your answer below. Include specific physical features he would have encountered in his travels. q Polo was honest. q Polo lied.
INDICTMENT THE GRAND JURY CHARGES THAT MARCO POLO DID/DID NOT VISIT CHINA IN THE 1200 s. WE OFFER THE FOLLOWING AS EVIDENCE: (What stations prove your argument? What do they show? ) EXHIBIT _______ SHOWS…
Follow-Up Research On loose-leaf, create a T-chart labeled “Evidence for Polo” and “Evidence Against Polo. ” As you read the articles provided, add to your T-chart and be sure to cite your evidence. An invitation to a dinner party with Marco Polo is forthcoming.