Marco Polo Was in China: New Evidence from Currencies, Salts and Revenues

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BRILL, Nov 21, 2012 - Business & Economics - 643 pages
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In "Marco Polo was in China" Hans Ulrich Vogel offers an innovative look at the highly complex topics of currencies, salt production and taxes, commercial levies and other kinds of revenue as well as the administrative geography of the Mongol Yuan empire. The author s rigorous analysis of Chinese sources and all the important Marco Polo manuscripts as well as his thorough scrutiny of Japanese, Chinese and Western scholarship show that the fascinating information contained in "Le devisament dou monde" agrees almost pefectly with that we find in Chinese sources, the latter only available long after Marco Polo s stay in China. Hence, the author concludes that, despite the doubts that have been raised, the Venetian was indeed in Khubilai Khan s realm.
 

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Professor Vogel gives a brilliant analysis of the case for Marco Polo in China. He uses a scholastic method that challenges and responds to the traditional historiography of the period. The traditional historical emplotment had been a compilation of various sources to create an adventure story. The use of the "ghost writer" would galvanize a credible tale of travel. The ultimate goal would be to circulate an "Arthurian legend" of China. The purpose of the journey mythology would extend into the varied nature of chivalry literature.
The problem that is created by the "Chinese legend" is that it creates anomalies that contradict the journey genre. Marco Polo is going outside the boundaries of medieval society and creating a new definition of historical mores and folkways. His grasp of Chinese dates and places gives a new powerful looking into Khubliai Khan empire. The key evidence to support the case for Marco Polo is still within the Chinese records. The Chinese records that have been misplaced or hidden by the Khan will eventually be discovered and vindicate Professor Vogel.
 

Contents

Chapter One Introduction
1
Chapter Two Paper Money in Yuan China
89
Chapter Three Cowry Monies Circulating in Yunnan and Southeast Asia
227
Chapter Four Salt Production and Salt Monies in Yunnan and Tebet
271
Chapter Five Production Revenue and Trade of Salt in Changlu and Lianghuai
331
Chapter Six Tax Revenue of Hangzhou and its Territory
365
Chapter Seven AdministrativeGeographical Divisions in Yuan China
399
Chapter Eight Conclusions
419
Appendices
427
Bibliography
547
Index
629
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About the author (2012)

Hans Ulrich Vogel, Ph.D. (1983) in Sinology, Z rich University is Professor for Chinese History and Society at T bingen University. He has published monographs, articles and translations mainly on the history of society, economy, science and technology in premodern China.

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