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The Medieval Globe

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Full-Text Articles in Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture

The Painter, The Warrior, And The Sultan: The World Of Marco Polo In Three Portraits, Sharon Kinoshita Dec 2015

The Painter, The Warrior, And The Sultan: The World Of Marco Polo In Three Portraits, Sharon Kinoshita

The Medieval Globe

In the wake of Edward Said’s Orientalism and postcolonial theory, Marco Polo is often cast as a quintessentially Western observer of Asian cultures. This essay seeks to break his text out of the binaries in which it is frequently understood. Returning the text to its original title, “The Description of the World,” it reconstructs the diversity of late thirteenth-century Asia through the portraits of three figures who were Marco’s contemporaries.