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Colonialism in chronology I.

1.1. Vikings - crusades - mendicant order - Marco Polo

Viking ship
Viking ship [5]

by Michael Palomino (1998 / 2003 / 2005 / 2007 / 2009 / 2014)



The chronology presented here shows the beginning colonialism with Vikings up to Columbus, with Marco Polo' China trip, with compensative Portuguese seafaring along the African coast line to India and Spanish competition. This chronology also gives a comprising view about the supposed reasons for colonialism, about expansion policy, about exchange trade and about robbery as a mean against crises in Europe.

Arab colonialism is happening at the same time down to the "Philippines" and Molucca Islands.

Add to this some world maps are shown demonstrating the European idea of the world of these times.

About Marco Polo there are some scientific indications that his trip was not true because in his descriptions of hit trip some impossibilities could be found. All in all European history does not change much when Marco Polo's trip has not happened. Only Italian pride is reduced a little bit.

Michael Palomino
1998 / October 2003 / April 2005 / December 2005 / May 2007 / 2009, translation in 2012

Reinhard, Wolfgang
: Geschichte der europäischen Expansion.
- Bd.I: Die Alte Welt bis 1818. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart/Berlin/Köln/Mainz 1983
- Bd.II: Die Neue Welt. Verlag W.Kohlhammer GmbH, Stuttgart, Berlin, Köln, Mainz. Verlagsort: Stuttgart, 1985
Huby, Felix. Traumreisen; Auf den Spuren grosser Entdecker. Deutscher Bücherbund GmbH, Stuttgart, Hamburg, München, 1980

about Columbus: Internet: H.Mückler: Kolumbus, Christoph:

about Philippines: Internet: Payer, Margarete: Chronik zur Geschichte der Philippinen

further sources:
Internet: R.H.Ossian: Pirate King's Library

Internet: http://web.history.ufl.edu/west1/expan.htm

maps: Seibold, Jim: Cartographic Images: The Late Medieval Maps 1300-1500
Internet: http://www.iag.net/~jsiebold/carto.html

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First Scandinavian ships on Iceland and Greenland and on the "American" continent

Favorable winds are the precondition for trans continental seafaring
Transcontinental discoveries during the sailing ship period can only be performed where the winds are favorable. First transcontinental trips over the Atlantic are performed in the regions with polar east wind on the level of Norway and Greenland. Second, transcontinental trips are by Portuguese ships on the level of the equator in the region of north east trade wind which was detected then and gets important for European world (Reinhard, vol. II., p.32).

Since 7th century monks from Ireland are living on Iceland (Reinhard, vol. II., p.32).

Hunger as a reason for the development of Scandinavian seafaring
In Scandinavia with it's continent made of primary rock has not much pasture land and agriculture land. The population growth provokes difficulties in Scandinavia. Shortage of food is provoking fights about soil withing the Scandinavian populations. And the tribes are collaborating in fighting coalitions:

-- there is the obligation for blood revenge
-- murder, manslaughter and fire attacks are bequested from tribe to tribe over generations
-- fleeing from murder commands is only possible living on the sea shore with fishing and detecting new coast lines
-- and therefore Scandinavians are more and more familiar with the sea, become fishermen, hunters and "discoverers" over generations (Huby, p.25).

9th / 10th century
Nordic raids and occupations
Erik the Red is one of the traditional navigators. He has got a loyal "team" on his ship. Erik the Red is a huge man, unconquerable, rowdy and reckless (Huby, p.25).

From 9th century on Norwegian navigators are going on with robbery and occupations on Iceland (Reinhard, vol. II., p.32).

Sighting of land west of Iceland
Viking navigator Gunnbjörn Ulfsson is sighting Greenland but is not landing there. There is no written history yet and there are passed down only oral reports (Huby, p.25).

Manslaughter and 3 years ban for Erik the Red - discovery of "Greenland" - Eystribygd and Vestribygd
On Iceland Erik the Red is condemned because of manslaughter to a 3 years ban.
->> the tribe of the victim is pursuing him
->> but the tea of Erik the Red is still loyal to him
->> and therefore Erik the Red can take a flight leaving Iceland on his ship and can shake off his persecutors
->> and the ship of Erik the Red is on unknown ways (Huby, p.25).

The ship with the refugees of the group with Erik the Red is detecting land west of Iceland. The conditions are the following ones:
-- the soil is very stony, there are juniper shrubs, birch trees, alder and surfaces with moss
-- there is a limited possibility for the construction of wooden houses
-- there is much fish and deer: reindeer, polar fox, bears, seals
-- temperatures at the southern top of the newly found land is in summer +10º and in winter -10º, only far in the north there are 30º C (Huby, p.25).

Climate of these times is more favorable than today and the ice free zone is bigger [Effective of 1985] (Reinhard, vol. II., p.32).

End of the ban of Erik the Red - new settlement project
In summer of 985 ends the ban for Erik the Red. But now he has settlement projects respectively wants even to lure more people there, and that's why he calls the newly detected land "Greenland" (Huby, p.26).

Populated "Greenland"
Erik the Red can win 300 emigrants. There are coming 35 ships with cattle, agriculture instruments and seeds. But a storm provokes the destruction of 19 ships, and only 16 ships are reaching Iceland. The settlers "found" West Bygd and East Bygd living with stock breeding (above all sheep), agriculture and fishing (codfish, halibut) (Huby, p.26).

Eystribygd and Vestribygd both are dispersed settlements (Reinhard, vol. II., p.32). Greenland has got it's first Viking state under Erik the Red. But wood is scarce because the cripple forests are soon eliminated by house constructions [resp. they are exterminating the trees] (Huby, p.26).

                  example of Narsaq: mountains, houses, sea, but no
Greenland: example of Narsaq: mountains, houses, sea, but no trees [1]
There is forest land in the west of "Greenland" but it's hardly mentioned
There are more Norwegian navigators as for example Bjarni Herjulfsson making trips between Norway and Iceland, and he wants to emigrate to "Greenland" with his father. But during the trip there is much fog and he is driven away from the route by the northwester. After five days Herjulfsson can see hilly forest land (today's "South Labrador").

But Herjulfsson does not land but is driving more to the north and the land is more and more flat, but always forest land (today's "North Labrador").

Instead of landing Herjulfsson is driving to the east passing another island (today "Baffin Island") arriving in "Greenland" four days later.

What seems strange is that the knowledge about the forest land west of "Greenland" is not spread (Huby, p.26).

Christianization of the second son of Erik the Red - information about the forests west of "Greenland"
The second son of Erik the Red, Leif Eriksson, has a visit with pious Norwegian king Olav Tryggvason and thereafter he is adapting Christendom in Norway. King Olav Tryggvason is telling to Leif Eriksson that western neighboring land of "Greenland" is rich forest land (Huby, p.26).

King Olav Tryggvason sends Leif Eriksson with a priest to "Greenland" introducing Christendom there [this is well possible in combination of the message of the forest land].

Forest is needed in "Greenland" as building timber and firewood (Huby, p.27).

from 999 on
"Christianization" and commerce on "Greenland"
From 999 on Norwegian church on "Greenland" is "christianizing" the population. Political order is only a basic one. One time every year a Norwegian ship comes with iron and grain. Greenland is paying with ivory of walrus and narwhal (Reinhard, vol. II, p.37).

Erik the Red is getting the news of the rich forest land west of "Greenland"
told by his second son, Leif Eriksson (Huby, p.26).

Expedition project from "Greenland" westwards - and Viking settlement
The second son of Erik the Red, Leif Eriksson, is purchasing the ship of Bjarni Herjulfsson and driving to the west with 35 men, and is making the counter route of the route before 14 years, passing today's "Baffin Island". Leif Eriksson names the island "Helluland" (English: "flat stones"). Passing today's "North Labrador", Leif Eriksson is naming it "Markland" (English: "Forest Land").

After that the expedition is coming to "Bell Isle", driving through the sound between "Belle Isle" and "Cape Bauld" to the north and looking for a support point for later trips. The ship is torn up a river reaching a lake, and on these shores the first tent settlement is established. Then the long Viking houses ("Budirs") are built. The expedition's settlement is called "Leifbudir", according to the chief of the expedition (Huby, p.27).

Leif Erikson: portrait on a coin
Leif Erikson: portrait on a coin [2]
Leif Erikson: map with the trip from
                          Greenland to Newfoundland
Leif Erikson: map with the trip from Greenland to Newfoundland [3]

from 1000 on

Norwegian wood robbery in Newfoundland
The Norwegian expeditions are reaching today's Newfoundland where wood is cut and transported regularly from about the year 1,000 on. The settlements on today's Newfoundland are not constant (Reinhard, vol. II, p.38).

Surviving of Vikings in "Leifbudir"
There are possibilities to survive:
-- there is salmon in huge quantities
-- the vegetation also gives animal feed until late autumn (Huby p.27)
-- and wheat is well growing and more (Huby p.28).

During their expeditions the dwellers also detect wild raisin
-- so the Vikings call the land "Vinland" (English: "Wine Land"), and with wine a survival seems to be well possible
-- the expedition members are called until today as the "Vinlandaders", and the location is presumed in today's "Massachusetts" where is growing wild wine until today (Huby, p.27).

Map of Europe with Vinland Map of Europe with Vinland [4]

  Viking ship [5]

Viking ship

Trip home of Scandinavian expedition
The expedition is driving home to "Greenland", with much wood, berries and cracked grain. In the region of Greenland Leif Eriksson also safes 15 shipwrecked men, and therefore he is also called "the lucky". Father Erik the Red is excited, but he is hurt by a fight and very old already. But despite of all he wants to see "Vinland".

The priest is baptizing Erik the Red. Leif stays with his father instructing his brother Thorwald Eriksson for a next trip to "Vinland" (Huby, p.28).

Expedition from "Greenland" to "Vinland" under Thorwald Eriksson
This expedition to Vinland has got 60 men and five women and can find "Vinland" and "Leifbudir" without a long search. the expedition can stay for two winters there (Huby, p.28).

Expedition from "Vinland" to the north and to the east - killing natives
In 1005 Thorwald Eriksson is chief of an expedition to the north. They are encountering the first natives who are driving with kayaks. Vikings are killing them without communication. One of the natives succeeds with his flight organizing revenge which is also successful. Thorwald Eriksson is hurt deadly. The surviving Vikings are erecting a cross at a cape and are burying him at the cape which is called "Kossanes" ("Cross Cape") (Huby, p.28).

Returning without Thorwald - trial to bring back Thorwald's dead body has no success
The expedition is returning without Thorwald, but they have much wood and berries.

In summer the third son of Erik the Red, Thorstein Eriksson, has got a project for bringing back Thorwald's dead body to "Greenland".

But the expedition is not successful by storms and fog and they can be lucky that they are driven back to "Greenland" (Huby, p.28).

Again crossing to "Leifbudir"
An expedition under the Iceland's chief and merchant Thorfin - who has married the widow of Thorwald, Gudrid Eriksson - this Thorfin is reaching "Vinland" with 250 men in three ships and with two Scottish slave ships. The Scottish slaves are the messengers for detecting new land being in "contact" with the natives.

1008 / 1009
Hard winter in "Leifbudir"
This winter is very cold. There is a fight for food coming up. Ten men try to go back but are lost forever. The rest is sailing back to the south in spring 1010 reaching a mouth of a river where is growing wild wheat and fish, but they are fought by the natives. Add to this the situation is always more difficult because there are hardly women.

->> Karlsefnis is going back to "Greenland" because of inner difficulties without having installed a second settlement (Huby, p.28).

Crossing to "Leifbudir" under Fredis
Under the command of the daughter of Erik the Red, Fredis, one more expedition is coming to "Leifbudir". But there is a strong envy because she has got a strong ship with the name "Knarr". And in the fight about the ship half of the people of Fredis' group is manslaughtered. The expedition itself is coming back to "Greenland" in 1012 with rich ware (Huby, p.28).

The settlement "Leifbudir" is not successful - and Iceland looses it's population
Conflicts beneath the tribes of the first population and a bad climate change are making impossible the existence of the settlements at the end (Reinhard, vol. II., p.38).

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Crusades and mendicant order - development of a colonial administration from about 1000 to 1291

The crusader states become the first Christian "colonies" (Reinhard, vol. II, p.39).

Purposes of crusades and colonizations
Since the crusades almost every colonial occupation [until today!] has got the following colonial aims:
-- richness by slavery of the colonized state
-- rise of the position in the homeland
-- rise of the reputation in the homeland and in the colonized state
-- power in the colonized state.

It comes out that these aims can be reached all in a relatively short time. And there is not one single thought of the spiritual life of the peoples of other believes (Huby, p.23).

Chronologies about racist crusades of "Christian" church can be found in the chapter of terror church.

Ship development
Until this period Roman galley is used in Mediterranean Sea, a very agile rowing ship (Reinhard, vol. II, p.29).

There is also the development of sailing boats which can adapt much to the present situation but they are not that agile. Later the movable rudder at the back side of the ship is developed (a proof can be found at Romanesque baptismal font of Winchester cathedral of 1180). The rudder at the back is said having been known in China already 1,000 years before...

Step by step more types of sailing ships are developed: carrack with big ware space, caravel (little but very agile) and from 16th century on the galleon, a war ship with low coachwork (Reinhard, vol. II, p.31).

Already with Vikings and Polynesians there must have been a great wisdom about navigation (Reinhard, vol. II, p.33). Italian and Portuguese sailors developed an orientation system with the polar star developing quadrant instruments and a "Jacob rod" (p.35). On southern half of Earth this polar star is not visible any more, and therefore the sailors get their orientation with angle tables calculating with the sun (Huby, p.36).

12th to 14th century
Italian towns are colonial rulers in Mediterranean Sea
Besides Italian sailor states Venice and Genoa are occupying some territories
-- Cyprus resp. Chios
-- Chaffa (Theodosia) on Crimea.

During these times the basic forms of financing and administration of colonial expeditions are probed: distribution of land, economic use, plantation economy, slave economy with slaves from Palestine and Cyprus (Reinhard, vol. II, p.39).

Italian slave trade and plantation growing
Italian sailor towns of Genoa and Venice are supporting slave trade, but their "slave catching territories" are more and more little the more "Christianization" is going on. They are catching people of other believes on Crimea and are making war prisoners with Tatar, Kirghizian and Georgian people.

But after Islamic the occupation of Constantinople no slaves can be brought from the Black Sea any more. "Slave stream" from "Eastern World" is closing (Huby, p.22).

13th century
Missionary terrorism and mendicant order coming up as alternative to the Pope terrorist church

As a competition organization of the terrorist Pope's church the mendicant order of the Dominicans and Franciscans are found with the aim terrorizing the people as apostles:
-- Franciscans are the followers of Francis of Assisi are terrorizing North Africa and the Middle East with their "missions"
-- Dominicans are terrorizing Ethiopia and Nubia with their "missions".

These "mendicant monks" (or "begging monks") are traveling much passing Asia and later also on ships to "America".

Marco Polo should follow the routes of the "mendicant monks" later (Huby, p.23).

Psycho terrorism of the "mendicant monks" has got some differences from terrorist Catholic church which is partly working with forced missions with Moors in Spain and also is applying brutal force as "means of conviction".

Franciscan terrorists are performing their "Christian" terrorism by wisdom:
-- are first searching well the foreign countries, animals and humans without changing their will
-- in the monasteries of Franciscan terrorists is offered an education to a "liberal-minded" spirit
-- in the monasteries of Franciscan terrorists is also offered a merchant schooling and partly also an education in sailing.

->> by all this work the deep religiosity is also transmitted on every layman
->> Franciscan monks are the specialists in geography and cosmography in these times
->> and also Columbus will be educated in a Franciscan monastery in astronomy at Tinto river [!] (Huby, p.23).

[The old wisdom of the natives is never mentioned, and not one single Franciscan terrorist is adapting the belief of the natives...]

Franciscan monk Giovanni da Pian del Carpine is in Mongolia at the Great Khan - travel report
Franciscan monk Giovanni da Pian del Carpine is on a psycho terrorist mission stay at Mongolian Great Khan. His travel report "Historia Mongolorum" ["Mongolian History"] is an important source for Asia in these times (Huby, p.23).

Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, profile
Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, profile [6]

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Immigration to the "Philippines" - power of racist "Christian" Venice - Tatar empire - Marco Polo - Iceland and Norway

[According to latest research the travel of Marco Polo is not safe because of some impossibilities in his travel report].

13th century
"Philippines": immigration comes from Borneo - "foundation" of a Chinese branch

13th century
Venice is the greatest commercial power of the world [?] - Niccolo and Matteo Polo with jewel commerce
Racist "Christian" Venice is developing itself to be the greatest commercial power of the world [China and Japan?]
-- and is collecting an incredible richness by Venetian merchants
-- has got distributed branches in many countries
-- is merchandising with all what brings profits
-- and there are also the merchant brothers Niccolo and Matteo Polo specialized in jewel commerce (Huby, p.39).

Rise of Tatar empire: Genghis Khan has got his residence in Karakorum
In 1220 Genghis Khan is electing Darakorum as his residence, because this is a central point and this position is well for more occupation raids. 40 years long will be Tatar occupation raids in the neighbor lands (Huby, p.42).

Niccolo and Matteo Polo in Constantinople - business on Crimea is not working - Niccolo and Matteo Polo at Mongolian prince Barka
Niccolo and Matteo Polo are visiting the jewelry branch in Constantinople. Returning home is in project because Niccolo's wife is pregnant.

Niccolo and Matteo Polo
Niccolo and Matteo Polo [7]

In Constantinople the two Polo brothers are offered a jewelry purchase with much profit in Sudak on Crimea. There is said that there should come a caravan from Far East.

->> instead returning home to Venice the two brothers, Niccolo and Matteo Polo, go to Crimea to Sudak

->> but at Volga river this caravan is forced to return by terrorist Mongolian prince Barka governing big parts of Southern Russia

->> but Niccolo and Matteo Polo don't give up and feel business with the Mongolian prince Barka, are traveling to his residence to Bolgary and Saray where they make business at Barka's house for one year (Huby, p.39).

1255 appr.
The impossible direct return of the Polos to Venice - victory of Hulagu Khan defeating Barka - the two Polos are "taken" to Beijing
Niccolo and Matteo Polo have the return to Venice in project (Huby p.39). But several conditions make the return impossible:
-- Barka is loosing a war against the East Tatar chief Hulagu Khan
-- in Armenia the Mongols are fighting against the Muslims
-- and Greek forces have occupied Constantinople driving out Venice there.

->> so, both Polos are looking for a way home passing the West Siberian steppe and Persia. In Samarkand they meet Hulagu's ambassador who is on the way to Beijing. This ambassador is convincing the two Venetian men coming to Beijing because they would get a "honorful reception and rich parcels" (Huby, p.39).

Map with the Silk Road before the Chinese silk
                    monopoly fell
Map with the Silk Road before the Chinese silk monopoly fell [8]

1256 appr.

Niccolo and Matteo Polo on their travel to Beijing - reception in Beijing at Kublai-Khan - project of Kublai-Khan against Muslims and message for the Pope in Rome
During their trip the Polo brothers are learning Tatar language. They get a reception in Beijing with Kublai-Khan and they are the first Italians in Beijing. Kublai-Khan feels new politic possibilities by a connection with Venice against Moslems / Muslims because the Muslims are blocking the sea route to Europe.

->> Kublai-Khan wants to have contact with the Pope, and Niccolo and Matteo Polo should be the mediators (Huby, p.42).

Kublai-Kahn, portrait
Kublai-Kahn, portrait [9]

Tatar empire: new residence of Kublai-Khan is Taidu and Kambaluk = Beijing

Kublai-Khan elects the Chinese town Taidu as his seat of government. Next to Taidu he effectively is constructing a second main town "Kambaluk" (English: "Town of the Ruler"), later called "Town of Mongolians", also "Forbidden Town" and "Town of the Great Palace". Kambalu and Taidu are forming "Beijing". Kambalu itself begins to decline (Huby, p.42).

Iceland is submitting to Norway
because it is dependent on iron and grain (Reinhard, vol. II, p.37).

Trip home of Niccolo and Matteo Polo from Beijing to Rome
Niccolo and Matteo Polo are traveling home with the message of Kublai-Khan for Rome, indicating that the Muslims should be defeated in common. Again three years are passing (Huby, p.40).

Death of Pope Clement IV
Shortly before the arrival of the two Polos, Pope Clement IV [with his terrorist Bible]. And the episcopate in Rome is looking for a successor. There is no possibility for taking any resolutions (Huby, p.40).

1268 appr
The Polo brothers reaching Rome and Venice: Marco Polo is 15 years old
Niccolo and Matteo Polo cannot speak with the Pope Clemens IV any more. They are heading to Venice where Niccolo's wife also had died in the meantime, but the son Marco has grown to a 15 years old fellow.

Election of the Pope is delayed. Also in 1270 there is no new Pope elected (Huby, p.40).

New trip of Niccolo, Matteo and Marco Polo heading for China - 1271: new Pope Gregor X - Polos coming back to Rome
The Polos don't want to wait for another Pope and are traveling in a group of three to China.

1271: When they arrive in Armenia they get the news that there is a new Pope elected, Gregor X, and he would like to speak with the merchant diplomats. So, the Polos are returning to Rome (Huby, p.40).

Pope Gregor X is handing out a Papal document and two monks are given to the Polos' group with the right blessing priests, naming bishops and giving absolutions (Huby, p.40).

Marco Polo in young years
Marco Polo in young years [10]

Trip of the Polos with 2 monks heading to Beijing - war in Armenia: the monks give up, the Polos are going on traveling passing today's Iraq to Hormuz

With ships the group is arriving Armenia landing near Ajas (today's Accon). In Armenia is war. Sultan of Cairo Bundoktari is leading a brutal war in name of Islam. The two monks are returning because they are in fear of life, but the Polos are traveling on passing Armenia which

<has got many towns, fortresses and castles and there is no shortage concerning men and food and commodities.> (Huby, p.40)

Niccolo, Matteo and Marco Polo are visiting the towns Iconium (today Konya), Caesarea (today Kayseri) and Sebaste (today Sivas), and they detect the tremendous oriental tapestry production and silk painting (Huby, p.40) and also horse breeding of "Turki".

They are passing Ararat mountain coming to the healing springs near Erzican (today Arzingan), are circumventing Van Lake and at the border to Georgia they see an oil lake where people are coming harvesting the natural oil, as a component of healing creams or as fuel for lamps. There is no indication about exertions (Huby, p.41).

The Polos are traveling by foot passing Baghdad reaching port town of Hormuz (Huby, p.41). Hormuz is the Arab commercial center for ware from India: spices, jewels, pearls, brocade and silk clothes are sold (Huby, p.43).

There was a trip on a ship in project but the Polo brothers change their plans considering that a ship would not be safe because fixing elements are only wooden pins and no metal nails because this would split the wood:

<The vehicles built in Hormuz are primitive and it's dangerous trusting them. Because in their construction nails are not permitted because the wood is that heard and light and the wood would split like normal ware.> (Huby, p.41)

Trip on foot from Hormuz passing Afghanistan and Mongolia
The Polo brothers are marching back to the mesa passing Afghanistan passing passes as high as the Mont Blanc. Marco Polo is noticing that cooking water is not so hot any more as in the plain because "the air is so sharp".

In the highlands of Pamir and in the stony desert they are marching 1 1/2 months reaching Mongolia on a caravan path north of Himalaya where they can watch robbery policy of Tatar government against civil population, but the population is concealing their storages burying them deeply or they take a flight to the desert.

<When Tatar army is passing the country and the population is not on the side of the Tatars, they are plundered, but when they are friends of the Tatars, so their cattle is killed and eaten. That's why the whole population is taking a refuge with all their cattle taking a trip of two days when an arrival of foreign troops is reported. The flight is reaching to a location in the desert with fresh water. By the same reason the inhabitants are hiding their storages of food in caverns under the sand, and every month they are taking out only that much as they need for their life. Nobody but they themselves know the locations for their flight because the wind is destroying their tracks immediately.> (Huby, p.41)

The Polos in the desert of Lop and in fertile land of Camul - the town of Karakorum, seat of former Genghis Khan - Altai mountain range, Siberia and cultures of hunters
The Polo brothers are marching on the caravan route for 30 days passing the desert of Lop reaching the country of Camul at southern slope of Karlik-tag mountain range, which is similar to a huge oasis with a very hospitable population. And then the Polos reach Orkhon river reaching the former residence town of Genghis Khan: Karakorum.

The group is leaving Karakorum, passing the winter in Altai mountain range and stepping Siberia where they see reindeer and reindeer hunter the first time in their life. Hunters are living like Tatars

-- without fixed domicile
-- in the summer on cooler regions
-- in winter in warmer regions
-- in round huts and tents with a wooden frame covered with felt
-- with polygamy until 20 women (Huby, p.42).

The Polo brothers passing Hwang Ho river and Shang-Tu reaching Beijing
At the end the Polo brothers pass the Yellow River (Hwang Ho) and the town of Shang-Tu, the summer's residence of Mongolian ruler Kublai Khan. This summer palace
-- is built of marble
-- has got a protecting wall of 16 miles
-- has got huge parks with brooks, with stags and deer, with about 200 hawks and sparrow hawks trained for hunting (Huby, p.42).

The last part of their trip from Shang-Tu to Beijing the Italians are protected by a life guard of Kublai Khan (Huby, p.42).

Niccolo, Matteo and Marco Polo reaching the residence of Kublai Khan in Beijing
They were 3 1/2 years traveling. Marco Polo is 21 years old (Huby, p.39).

Mongolian empire of Kublai Khan is reaching
-- from the Mediterranean to the Pacific Ocean
-- from Siberian taiga to Himalaya mountains (Huby, p.39).

Map of the
                    Mongolian empires in Asia, next to it Europe and
Map of the Mongolian empires in Asia, next to it Europe and Africa [11]

This empire of Kublai Khan is partly superior to Europe and is one of the highest cultures of the world:
-- considering finances: there exists paper money
-- considering architecture: there are buildings with several floors
-- considering industry: there is coal mining
-- considering traffic: trees are aside the streets marking the streets in winter and cooling them in summer (Huby, p.39)
-- and there are wonderful parks and an incomparable richness on the court (Huby, p.47)
-- and there is a mail system with over 10,000 mail posts, with over 200,000 horses providing a speedy express delivery

-> by all this the Great Khan gets information of all his 34 provinces

-- and the towns are well organized: there exist mega cities as for example Quinsai [today's Hangzhou]
oo with 1.6 million inhabitants
oo with paved streets
oo with channels in parallel order to the avenues
oo with 12,000 bridges
oo with 10 well organized market places (Huby, p.39).

-- and there is the great tradition of silk embroidery (since about 800)
-- and there is well organized agriculture
oo with sophisticated irrigating systems
oo with well developed rice cultures (Huby, p.47).

Marco Polo is making career with Kublai Khan, because he is
-- linguistically gifted
-- is a charming person
-- is highly intelligent
-- is a profit orientated merchant
-- is a well operating politician

->> so he is chief diplomat of the Khan
->> he is becoming a province governor of Kiang-nan
->> he is becoming administrator of finances of the royal funds (Huby, p.39).

Marco Polo as a diplomat in Quinsai [today's Hangzhou]
Marco Polo is accompanying the Khan on his trips and during his wars and is supporting diplomatic missions. He is visiting also the neighboring town of Shanghai: Quinsai, "Venice of Chinese empire" (Huby, p.42). .

Map with the position of Hangzhou, today
Map with the position of Hangzhou, today China [12]

Marco Polo as a diplomat about the not successful attacks against Zipangu (today's Japan)
There is a rumor in China about Zipangu, that an occupation would bring much "profit" because this empire would have a tremendous richness, gold and pearls. Among other things
-- the palace is said being roofed with gold
-- there is said that there are golden tables in the rooms
-- there is said that they have found a huge quantity of pearls and richness of this island has increased yet.

Kublai-Khan takes the resolution to attack Zipangu.

Kublai-Khan's attack against Japan happens in 1274 under two generals, Abbakatan and Voscacin, coming from the ports of Zaitun and Quinsai with huge war fleets. But Japanese are defending well. At the same time the rivals Abbakatan and Voscacin are acting in a destructive way blocking each other at the end. Only one settlement can be occupied, but this settlement is destroyed by a typhoon. The Tatars want to take the flight, but now only some of their ships are succeeding with their flight (with two generals), all other ships are sinking. Only 30.000 Tatars can save themselves to the islands 4 km from the Japanese coast line (Huby, p.42).

Now Japanese war ships are pursuing the Tatars and after the typhoon they are beginning the persecution. Tatars are hiding themselves in the inner of the islands until the Japanese are leaving their ships, then the Tatars are occupying their ships in the ports driving to Japan under the Zipangu's flag. They are welcomed in the ports of the settlement believing that there are Japanese on the ships. But now the few Japanese who remained in the coastal town are killed all or are driven out, and women are kept "to use them".

But the Tatars are encircled now on the main island. Japanese are sieging them 6 months in the coastal town. Then the Tatars have to give up (Huby, p.43).

According to this report Kublai Kahn lets decapitate his general Abbakatan, and the other general is sewed into a fresh buffalo skin which is contracting during the drying process and is crushing to death the body (Huby, p.43).

On behalf of Kublai Khan Marco Polo also is making an expedition to India (Huby, p.43).

1289 appr.
The marriage project between Kublai Khans' daughter with Marco Polo
Kublai-Khan means that his daughter, the 17 years old princess Kökatshim, should marry Arghun of Persia and Khorasan.

Marco Polo can take this event as an occasion for a liberation of his father and his uncle. Add to this he can convince him for sending the group by ship because seaway would be the safest and cheapest travel. Kuhlai Khan is reluctantly agreeing but is requiring that the Polo brothers should come back later (Huby, p.43).

Map with
                    (supposed) travel route of Marco Polo
Map with (supposed) travel route of Marco Polo [13]

Beginning of the mission from Beijing to Hormuz
The Polo group is starting with 14 ships with princess Kokatshim under the command of Marco Polo heading for Vietnam, Malacca and Sumatra reaching India in El Maabar (today's Madras). They are sailing around India reaching Hormuz with high losses. They loose about 600 men. Of the messegers of Arghun only is surviving one, but of the women only one is killed. The fleet comprises not more than 30 seamen (Huby, p.43).

Death of king Arghun - princess Kökatshin marrying his son Casan

In the meantime king Arghun has died. Arghun's brother Kaikhatu orders to bring princess Kökatshin to Arghun's son Casan who is controlling at the northern border of the empire with 60,000 men controlling the streets of the Caspan passes. Also this mission of Marco Polo is a success. Thereafter the Polo brothers are living nine months in the residence of Hormuz at Kaikhatu.

Marco Polo traveling home from Hormuz to Venice
This last travel home is passing war territories, and king Kaikhatu is giving escort service to Constantinople where the Polo brothers get the news of Kublai Khan's death. The Polo brothers are relieved because they are not obliged to return again passing war territories. The return to Venice passing Negropont (today's Euboea) where Polo is well coming home "safe and with big richness" (Huby, p.43).

The report of Marco Polo in Europe: rated as "unbelievable!"
Marco Polo is the first European reporting about China and Zipangu (Huby, p.43). He brings the first geographic recognizing report about the "Far East" to Europe (Huby, p.51). The report are that fantastic that nobody believes him, but at the same time his report is the beginning of more research and [terrorist Christian] missions or even traveling to Zipangu (today's Japan) (Huby, p.43).

[According to latest research some connections in Marco Polo's report are really unbelievable and impossible. But then another news is coming affirming that Marco Polo really has been in China].

22.4.2012: Marco Polo is said really having been in China - according to Chinese sources

from: Der Standard online: Marco Polo war tatsächlich in China; 22.4.2012; translation by Michael Palomino;

<"Here is presented the book of royal knight and traveler Marco Polo prescribing the great and wonderful object of this world": this is a text from the first German and of the first printed edition of Marco Polo's travel report.

After profound investigation a German sinologist is absolutely sure that there is no doubt with the trip of this Venetian man.

Always again were historians and laymen uttering their doubts if Marco Polo had really been in China in 13th century. Also when the majority of the experts mean that the travel report of the Venetian man is mainly true and representing the truth, some are uttering their doubts yet meaning that Polo only had reached the Black Sea, Constantinople or the empire of the Ilkhanes in Persia and all his information had been from there recollected by merchants or from Persian handbooks which do not exist any more. Now there is a profound study of Chinese sources by sinologist Hans Ulrich Vogel from Tübingen, and there are convincing points that the most famous traveler of the Middle Ages really has been in Middle Kingdom.

In his book edited by Brill edition in the town of Leiden "Marco Polo was in China: New Evidence from Currencies, Salts and Revenues" Hans Ulrich Vogel is eliminating with all kinds of science the rumor that the Venetian traveler has not been in the Far East. Vogel is professor for sinology at Tübingen University. His book begins with a comprising presentation of the arguments for or against a stay in China. Then the relevant literature is compared from Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French, German and Spanish sources, and then a clear result is coming out: There are some problems with the Polo book, but they can be explained, and there is a big quantity of verified proofs and singular information about China in this Polo report.

Missing indication about the Great Wall

Since the 18th century there are doubts about Polo's stay in China and there are always the same arguments. When the Venetian man really had been in China, so the argument of the doubters, he had also reported the Great Wall. But general science of eastern and western world has already proofed since a long time ago that the Great Wall as we know it today was a product of Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and other walls before were made of clay and were in ruins already, and there was no military sense of a big wall in Mongolian world empire. Another argument which is presented often is that no Chinese source is speaking of Marco, his father and his uncle. But Chinese documentation of Chinese historiography is not that precise. Even Giovanni de Marignolli (1290-1357), an important Papal messenger at the court of the Yuan ruler, is not mentioned in Chinese sources, neither his 32 followers, nor the name of the Pope itself. There is only mentioned a "divine horse" that was given as a tribute from the "Franconian empire".

Then Hans Ulrich Vogel is working in a very complex field which has not been worked out until today, that are Marco Polo's indications about currencies, salt production and income by the salt monopoly. Vogel is coming to the conclusion that no other Western, Arab or Persian writer has reported in such details and right, and therefore this report is absolutely singular about the currencies in Mongolian China of these times. For example the Venetian man is the only one of his contemporaries presenting precisely how the paper of the banknotes was made of bark of mulberry tree (Morus alba L.). He not only describes the rectangular form and the size variations, but also the use of seals and of different purposes when paper money was used.

Also the monopolies of gold, silver, pearls and jewels by the state are reported, in connection with forced exchange by paper money, and the penalty for forging delicts, and also the exchange fee of 3 % for finally used banknotes is mentioned, and also the use of banknotes in official and private payments and transactions. Add to this the Venetian man is the only one making clear that during his time these banknotes were not circulating in all parts or the empire, but above all in the north and in the regions along the Yangtze River, but not in Fijian and above all not in Yunnan where according to his words mainly Kauri money, salt money, gold and silver. These unique indications find their confirmation in Chinese texts and archaeological findings of this time. Most of the sources were composed or handed down only after the time of Marco Polo. So, it can be excluded that the Venetian man has got information from these sources. He never could have been able to read them either because he could not read Chinese.

A good advantage for the Khan

These and other data are the proof that Marco Polo really was an employee of the Great Khan, and these date are very precise and never were appreciated. And Chinese sources indicate clearly that Marco Polo was not the only fellow in the government of Kublai Khan (1215-1294) trusting him solving important problems for the empire. Add to this it was politically an advantage for the Mongolian ruler having men from all parts of the known world in his residence giving him the reverence and being in his services, not only by their special knowledge and competence, but the international members in his government were also an important element for his reputation because the legitimacy of his rulership was put into question sometimes by his subjects.

And how is the case with the millions of Marco Polo, for example his indication that only the profit of the salt business of Kinsay and it's territory giving 5.8 million saggy of gold to the Khan every year? This can be calculated in paper money with the well known, official exchange rates, and Vogel comes to the result that also this indication is not at all a fantasy, but can really match with the corresponding Chinese data about the salt monopoly of Liangzhe in the period before 1287. This makes clear that the Venetian traveler not at all has deserved the nickname "il milione", a story inventor, but some informations can only be written when he really had been in China itself and had seen it with his own eyes and heard it with his own ears. So, the conclusion of the book which was worked out in the frame of a DFG investigation group 596 "Monies, Markets and Finance in China and East Asia, 1500-1900" is the following one: Marco Polo was in China. (red, derstandard.at, 21 April 2012)>

Genoese Venetian war
During this war Marco Polo is captive and dictating to his co captive Rusticus from Pisa his travel report in French language (Huby, p.51).

1321: World map of Pietro Vesconte
World map of Pietro Vesconte from 1321:
                      Mediterranean is draining downwards.
World map of Pietro Vesconte from 1321: Mediterranean is draining downwards [14]

                                Polo, portrait in his old ages 8 January 1324
Marco Polo's deathbed: nobody beliefs him yet [15]
Familiar members and also the priest who gives the last rites to Marco Polo, they all are imploring Marco Polo to confess that his great report about the Mongolian empire is a lie in big parts because one does not want to believe how beautiful the Oriental empire is. Marco Polo simply is smiling saying:

"I have not tell half of what I saw."

Then he dies and takes the rest of his mysteries into his grave (Huby, p.39).

[Latest research says that the trip is a lie because of impossibilities].
"I did not tell half of what I saw": http://www.kyrene.k12.az.us/schools/brisas/sunda/great/2amy.htm

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[1] Internet: M.Payer: chronicle about history of Philippines
[2] potatoe history: http://www.kartoffel-geschichte.de/Erste_Furche/Gen_Europa/gen_europa.html
[3] Internet: R.H. Ossian: Pirate King's Library: Christopher Columbus
[4] Internet: R.H. Ossian: Pirate King's Library: Bartholomew Diaz
[5] Internet: H.Mückler: Kolumbus, Christoph
[6] Internet: R.H.Ossian: Pirate King's Library: Francisco Pizarro
[7] Internet: R.H.Ossian: Pirate King's Library: Ferdinand Magellan
[8] http://web.historiy.ufl.edu/west1/expan.htm

Photo sources

Greenland and Vikings
[1] Greenland without trees: http://www.silamut.com/english/narsaq.htm
[2] Leif Erikson: portrait on a coin: http://www.mindekirken.org/LEIF/leif_medallion.htm
[3] Leif Erikson: map with his route from Greenland to Newfoundland:
http://www.asij.ac.jp/elementary/gr5web/c5r/explorer_reports/leif_erikson.htm Wikinger

[4] map of Europe with Vinland: The world before Columbus: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/science/map_2-13.html
[5] Viking ship: http://www.mgar.net/var/explora1.htm

[6] Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, portrait:
[7] Niccolo and Matteo Polo: http://www.monkeytree.org/silkroad/travelers.html
[8] map of "Silk Road" before breakdown of silk monopoly:
[9] Kublai Kahn, portrait: http://www.voyager.in/Kublai_Khan
[10] Marco Polo young: http://www.thetech.org/exhibits_events/online/revolution/winblad/i_a.html
[11] map of Mongolian empire in Asia, aside with Europe and Africa: http://lfa.atu.edu/ssphil/people/ssjw/wc1/mongols.htm
[12] map with the position of Hangzhou, today China: http://www.vizionics.com/DSChina/Images/ChinaMap.jpg;
[13] map with (supposed) travel route of Marco Polo: http://www.yesnet.yk.ca/schools/projects/renaissance/marcopolo.html

[14] world map of Pietro Vesconte 1321: http://www.geog.uni-heidelberg.de/~ttavk/weltkarten/1321-PietroVesconte01.jpg

[15] Marco Polo as an old man: http://www.kyrene.k12.az.us/schools/brisas/sunda/great/2amy.htm