(c. 1254–c. 1324)
Italian traveller. Between 1271 and 1275 he accompanied his father and uncle on a journey east from Acre into central Asia, eventually reaching China and the court of Kublai Khan. After service with the emperor and travelling widely in the empire for a decade and a half, Polo returned home (1292–95) via Sumatra, India, and Persia. His book recounting his travels gave considerable impetus to the European quest for the riches of the East.