Revisiting the Silk Road

Despite vivid accounts of Eastern wonders relayed by traders along the Silk Road, there was always suspicion in the Occidental mind about whether the fabled bounty of the trade link truly existed. It wasn't until Nicolo Polo and his son Marco returned from their second trip along the legendary route laden with the treasures and innovations that Nicolo had claimed to see on previous journeys that Venetians began to believe the tales. Even then, at Marco's deathbed, a priest came to ask whether he would be willing to confess his falsehoods. "I did not tell half of what I saw," Marco...

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