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China and the West
7th March 2018
Writings on the world travel in the 13th Century gave different accounts on the
Mongol’s and their way of life. Several of the writings have been based on William of
Rubruck as well as Marco Polo who managed to travel to and from China. The travels made
by Marco Polo, William and Raban Sauma, were made for different purposes which differed
from the other. Additionally, the travels were also made at different times (Dawson, 1955).
William of Rubruck was considered to be one of the diplomatic envoys who has been
sent or was acting under the orders of the French King, Louis IX. William was charged with
giving his report to the king regarding his travel. Gregory (2002) explains that the journey to
the Mongol territory was first made with the intention of offering spiritual comfort to slaves
from Germany who had been caught while they were in Hungary during the 13th Century.
The slaves had been carted off to Aria by the Mongol Invaders.
Another reason for the journey would be to spread Christianity to the Mongol. For the
journey, it is clear from different writings that William had not been traveling alone, but was
with a group under the orders of the king. In William’s journals, he narrates the
misapprehension that had been felt by the Mongol’s towards the group since they were acting
under the official orders of the King (Gregory, 2002).
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Being one of the king’s diplomatic envoys, it is clear that his travel was not affected
by their status. However, on reaching the Mongol territory, the group in which he travelled in
was considered an embassy which led to the misapprehension that was felt by the Mongol
invaders. As a result, his status as a missionary further landed him as a diplomatic envoy for
the Great Khan who was sent with a letter that demanded the submission of King Louis IX.
His party suffered no attacks that were recorded by William as he travelled to China and from
China to France (Dawson, 1955).
Known as one of the famous Westerner who ever travelled to the east, it is clear that
Marco Polo, as well as his writings and influence, are still well known in the world. His
journey to Asia is said to have lasted a period of 24 ye...