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Is Marco Polo a Fictional Character? Challenging the Historical Tale of the Merchant Traveler

Saturday, November 5, 2016 2:57
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Deriv; Marco Polo travels by camel caravan and a modern re-imagining of Marco Polo

Based upon historical analyses, it is unlikely that a person named Marco Polo who visited China in the 1200’s existed. 

Before presenting this argument, here is an analogy: if people do not know that Stephen King is an author of fictitious works, they could pick up the book Misery and believe the events actually occurred.  In it, a psychologically deranged woman, Annie Wilkes, holds author Paul Sheldon hostage and, by means of torture, forces him to write.  If readers wanted to verify the information contained within, they could check records and find several people named Paul Sheldon in Maine, where the described events occurred; A couple of them are even writers.  Lending more support to their theory, women named Ann Wilkes live in the same state.  Perhaps there is some record of at least one of them having mental problems.  Such readers could think that Paul Sheldon told Stephen King about his ordeal, who penned the tale.  Skeptical readers will look for factual support outside the narrative.  Finding none, they will look to see what other books Stephen King has written.  Considering that there is no documentation to support the events in the text and the fact that Mr. King’s other books are fictional, readers who think critically will dismiss the tale as fiction.  However, for some reason, people all over the world believe that an Italian named Marco Polo who went to China existed—despite the absence of evidence.

Section: – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past


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