The authoritative translation
The Great Khan received the brothers honorably and welcomed them with such lavish hospitality after a year's journey. The curious Khan asked the brothers about their Emperors, about the government of their dominions, about the maintenance of justice, about the Pope and practices of the Roman Church, and about the Latin customs. He decided to send emissaries to the Pope, and asked the brothers to accompany on the mission with one of his barons. He entrusted them a letter written in the Turkish language for the Pope and asked him to send a hundred prominent men learned in the Christian religion to condemn idolaters' performances and shun devil. These well versed were to demonstrate for the idolaters their capability of doing diabolic arts but would not, because only evil spirits performed such enchantments.
As the brothers approached Egypt, they got wind of the Pope's death and so they would go to Venice and visit their families pending the election of a new Pope.Read more ›
One of the most fascinating aspects of "The Travels" is not just some of the factual innaccuracies, but the apparent perceptions of Marco Polo, fully willing to believe he had found the final resting place of the first man, Adam, and the wizardry of other peoples, the ability to do magic, and a legend of giant "Rocs" near Madagascar, and how the Khan sent a small expedition to investigate the rumors of such.
If you want a book that makes you ask searching questions about humanity, cultural bias, and the importance of lore and myth in cultures, this book is invaluable.