China was a powerful country in the 13th century. At that time, merchants and travelers from all over the world came to China to do business and to travel. Among them was the famous amateur, Marco Polo, from Venice, Italy. He lived in China for 17 years.
In the year 1275, Marco Polo, at the age of 15, came to China together with his father and uncle after 3 years' traveling. He quickly grasped Mongolian and Chinese, and travelled to almost every city in China. He kept a travelling journal that recorded everything wherever he was. The emperor at the time of Marco's visit, Yuan Shizu,liked him very much and frequently dispatched him to other countries on errands.
Ten years passed, the three Polos missed their homeland very much and made a request to go back home to the emperor, and the emperor agreed. The three Polos had been away from Venice for about 20 years and all the citizens thought they had already been dead. When their relatives saw that they came back after so many years, they were shocked and excited.
In the year 1298, Marco Polo was put into prison during the war between Venice and Genoa. When the Genoese heard that he was a famous traveler and had been to the East and China, they all went to the prison to visit him and asked him to talk about the East with them. Marco Polo told his story again and again, and dictated his story to the writer, Rustichello of Pisa, who shared the same prison. The book was later published as Description of the World. It told and praised about the prosperity and civilization of China, and had detailed descriptions of the scenaries of Beijing, Yangzhou, Suzhou, Hangzhou. The publishing of the book spread through Europe, and aroused the longing for the Chinese civilization among Europeans. And because of this very book, Mask Polo became famous. In the year 1299, he was set free.
From then on, communications between China and Europe and Arabia became more frequent. The compass, printing and gunpower were introduced to Europe.