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Search > Learning Exercise Results > Marco Polo and China Under the Mongols

Learning Exercise: Marco Polo and China Under the Mongols

Marco Polo and China Under the Mongols
A sophisticated web site on the history and impact of the Mongols. Separate pages deal with such topics as the nature of nomadic life, key figures, the Mongol conquests, and the impact of the Mongols on China and the World. An image gallery and set of historical maps as well as other materials and readings add to the value of the site. That one of the leading experts on the Mongols, Morris Rosabe, was a consultant gives the site much creditability.
Course: World Civilization


Submitted by:
William Paquette
Date Last Modified:
March 18, 2003


Venetian traveler Marco Polo (1254-1324) traveled to Asia and spent considerable time in a China ruled by the Mongols. This exercise is designed to provide a more in-depth understanding about Polo's travels and the China he knew. Current scholarship questions whether or not Polo actually made the trip. This issue will be examined.

The site has considerable information about the Mongols and their rule of China and much of Asia. This exercise will ONLY use the site links associated with Marco Polo: KEY FIGURES: Marco Polo (sections on the assessment of Polo's writings and whether or not Polo went to China); CLASS MATERIALS: Marco Polo in China, 1271-1295; RELATED LINKS: Marco Polo and His Travels; READINGS: Marco Polo: The Glories of Kinsay (Chapters 8-11, 22-24, 26, 46) and In the Footsteps of Marco Polo.

Write a 5-7 page paper answering the following questions.

1. Describe the route that Marco Polo, his father, and uncle travled to China.
2. Why did the Polos go to China?
3. Describe in detail the China discovered by Marco Polo.
4. Describe the court of Khubailau Khan at the time of the Polos' visit.
5. Did Marco Polo really travel to China?
6. What was the impact of the Polo trip on Italy and Europe?



  • College General Ed
  • College Lower Division
  • High School


Humanities/History/Area Studies/Asia/Central Asia



Learning Objectives

To illustrate global interaction in the 13th century.
To acquaint students with the travels of Italian Marco Polo and how China influenced him and ultimately Italy.

Type of Task

  • Individual
  • Student-centered
  • Supplemental activity
  • Unsupervised

Technical Notes