O'Brien Medieval and Early Modern Studies Lecture Series with Sharon Kinoshita, Co-Director, UC Santa Cruz Center for Medieval Studies
Today a household name, Marco Polo is best remembered as an adventurer and travel writer, the first European to see China. Drawing on my recent translation of his work, my talk returns Marco Polo's text to its earliest medieval title, Le Devisement du monde/The Description of the World. Situating Marco in historical context--the late thirteenth-century networks of trade, travel, and exchange enabled by the Mongol conquest of Eurasia--we will take sheep (!) as a lens to illuminate the distinctiveness and diversity of this cosmopolitan world.