summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they cast doubt on the specific points made in the reading passage.
The article and the lecture both deal with the accountability of the book “The travels of Marco Polo”, written in 1271. Whilst the author thinks that the travels of the Italian merchant in the Far East have never been verified, the lecturer disagrees with the author’s claims. In his opinion, these reasons do not hold water. First, the author highlights the relationship of the main character with Kubhai Khan, grandson of Ghengis Khan who was the ruler of the Mongolian Empire. Furthermore, during this period of time, Polo allegedly became governor, but this notion has never been found in the government record. This proves that Polo never actually became governor. In contrast, the lecturer claims that it was due to the mistranslation from the Italian language that the name of Marco Polo did not appear. In fact, the Italian texts present Marco Polo as ambassador, which position is not as prestigious as the governor one, therefore not worthy of being written down. Second, the author mentions that Polo has never talked about the Great Wall in China, which makes us doubt that the merchant never saw a wall that extends for 20.000 km. On the other hand, the speaker explains how, at the time, the wall was not the main attraction since it was in disrepair, due to the fact that the Mongols had arrived in China. On top of that, he adds that the wall was in fact built to protect China from the Mongol Empire. Finally, the author shows us how in Frances Wood’s book “Did Marco Polo go to China?”, the woman claims that all of Polo’s knowledge comes from books and stories told by merchants that he met during his travels to the trading spots in Constantinople and Persia. The speaker disagrees, since there is no evidence of Wood’s statements. He mentions that it has been proven that at that time, no text talked about Chinese Churches mentioned in Polo’s book. As we can see, the author and the speaker have two different points of view.
Submitted by søphïe on