Marco Polo was the most famous traveller of his time. His voyages began in 1271 with a visit to China, after which he served the Kubilai Khan on numerous diplomatic missions. On his return to the West he was made a prisoner of war and met Rustichello of Pisa, with whom he collaborated on this book. The accounts of his travels provide a fascinating glimpse of the different societies he encountered. He tells the story of the holy shoemaker, the wicked caliph and the three kings, among a great many others, evoking a remote and fascinating world with colour and immediacy. In his introduction, R. E. Latham examines Marco Polo's background to explain how he understood and classified the people, races, cultures and religions he describes in The Travels. This edition also contains an index and maps.