Human Circus

Human Circus
Hosted by Devon Field
A narrative history podcast following the journeys of medieval travellers and their roles in larger historical events. Telling great stories, showing the interconnected nature of the medieval world, and meeting Mongols, Ottomans, Franciscans, merchants, ambassadors, and adventurers along the way.
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Human Circus

Marco and the Polos 4: Did You Go to China, Marco?

In this episode, I look at the question of whether Marco actually went to China (some have thought he did not at all, or only made it to the capital), and, if so, what he was doing there.
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Sources:

  • The Travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian, translated by William Marsden, edited by Thomas Wright. George Bell & Sons, 1907.
  • The Travels of Marco Polo: The Complete Yule-Cordier Edition,translated by Henry Yule and revised by Henri Cordier. Courier Corporation, 1993.
  • Haw, Stephen G. Marco Polo’s China: A Venetian in the Realm of Khubilai Khan. Routledge, 2006.
  • Larner, John. Marco Polo and the Discovery of the World. Yale University Press, 1999.
  • Man, John. Marco Polo: The Journey that Changed the World.HarperCollins, 2009.
  • Olschki, Leonardo. Marco Polo’s Asia. University of California Press, 1960.
  • Rossabi, Morris. Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times. University of California Press, 1988.
  • Vogel, Hans Ulrich. Marco Polo was in China: New Evidence from Currencies, Salts and Revenues. Brill Academic Pub, 2012.


Marco and the Polos 3: Marco and the Great, Great Khan

Marco and the Polos 3: Marco and the Great, Great Khan Human Circus

April 24, 2018 • Marco Polo was a tremendous admirer of Kublai Khan and of his Genghisid legacy more generally. This episode, we explore that admiration, the character of Kublai, and the anecdote...

| April 24, 2018

Marco and the Polos 2: Of Assassins and Other Things

Human Circus

April 4, 2018 • The three Polos depart for the summer palace of Kublai Khan. There'll be Assassins, baked corpses, and papal elections along the way!Twitter: www.twitter.com/circus_humanEmail:...

| April 4, 2018

Marco and the Polos 1: From Venice to the World

Human Circus

March 10, 2018 • The journey of Venice's most famous merchant and traveller begins today, but we won't see much of him in this episode. We'll look at Venice in the early 13th century and touch on...

| March 10, 2018

To See the Mongols 7: Mongol Civil War

Human Circus

February 21, 2018 • It’s a busy episode. We’re catching up on the Mongol world and all that was happening away from the specific journeys of European friars. That means the rise of Hulagu and...

| February 21, 2018

To See the Mongols 6: The Road from Karakorum – Human Circus: Histories

Human Circus

February 1, 2018 • Friar William wraps up his affairs at the court of Mongke Khan and heads for home. Today, we cover his last audience with the khan, cross the walls of Alexander, and advise King...

| February 1, 2018

To See the Mongols 6: The Road from Karakorum

Human Circus

February 1, 2018 • Friar William wraps up his affairs at the court of Mongke Khan and heads for home. Today, we cover his last audience with the khan, cross the walls of Alexander, and advise King...

| February 1, 2018

To See the Mongols 5: The Great Debate – Human Circus: Histories

Human Circus

January 19, 2018 • Friar William goes through stone-cracking cold, frozen toes, and the threat of demons to reach the camp of Mongke Khan. There, his interpreter causes him more problems, and he...

| January 19, 2018

To See the Mongols 5: The Great Debate

Human Circus

January 19, 2018 • Friar William goes through stone-cracking cold, frozen toes, and the threat of demons to reach the camp of Mongke Khan. There, his interpreter causes him more problems, and he...

| January 19, 2018

To See the Mongols 4: A William Leaves Town – Human Circus: Histories

Human Circus

January 5, 2018 • We go east again this episode, in the company of a friar who carried a letter to the son of Batu Khan. Was he there on behalf of King Louis IX? Was his mission more personally...

| January 5, 2018

To See the Mongols 4: A William Leaves Town

Human Circus

January 5, 2018 • We go east again this episode, in the company of a friar who carried a letter to the son of Batu Khan. Was he there on behalf of King Louis IX? Was his mission more personally...

| January 5, 2018

To See the Mongols 3: An Interregnum – Human Circus: Histories

Human Circus

December 9, 2017 • Today, a quick rewind into what it means to be a Mongol, some early reactions to the Mongol invasion, some King Louis IX, the death of a khan, and the question of who is to be...

| December 9, 2017

To See the Mongols 3: An Interregnum

Human Circus

December 9, 2017 • Today, a quick rewind into what it means to be a Mongol, some early reactions to the Mongol invasion, some King Louis IX, the death of a khan, and the question of who is to be...

| December 9, 2017

To See the Mongols 2: A New Khan – Human Circus: Histories

Human Circus

November 16, 2017 • Giovanni Carpine returns, to the podcast, and to Lyon. This episode we hear about his journey to the kurultai, the great council which raised Guyuk as the new great khan, his...

| November 16, 2017

To See the Mongols 2: A New Khan

Human Circus

November 16, 2017 • Giovanni Carpine returns, to the podcast, and to Lyon. This episode we hear about his journey to the kurultai, the great council which raised Guyuk as the new great khan, his...

| November 16, 2017

To See the Mongols 1: Giovanni Carpine Goes East – Human Circus: Histories

Human Circus

November 2, 2017 • Giovanni Carpine starts off a new series and a new set of travellers in the surprisingly interconnected world of the 13th century. Over the next number of episodes, I'll be...

| November 2, 2017

To See the Mongols 1: Giovanni Carpine Goes East

Human Circus

November 2, 2017 • Giovanni Carpine starts off a new series and a new set of travellers in the surprisingly interconnected world of the 13th century. Over the next number of episodes, I'll be...

| November 2, 2017

Edward Webbe: His Trials, Travels, and Job Application – Human Circus: Histories

Human Circus

September 13, 2017 • Edward Webbe was, maybe, a 16th-Century adventurer who moved in and out of captivity and other forms of trouble. His troubles took him from Elizabethan England to Muscovy, Crimea,...

| September 13, 2017

Edward Webbe: His Trials, Travels, and Job Application

Human Circus

September 13, 2017 • Edward Webbe was, maybe, a 16th-Century adventurer who moved in and out of captivity and other forms of trouble. His troubles took him from Elizabethan England to Muscovy, Crimea,...

| September 13, 2017

Thomas Dallam 7: A Concert for the Sultan

Human Circus

August 17, 2017 • Thomas Dallam's travels conclude, or at least the part of them that I'll be covering here. There will be comedic chaos on the trip up the Hellespont, awkward interactions with the...

| August 17, 2017

Thomas Dallam 7: A Concert for the Sultan – Human Circus: Histories

Human Circus

August 17, 2017 • Thomas Dallam's travels conclude, or at least the part of them that I'll be covering here. There will be comedic chaos on the trip up the Hellespont, awkward interactions with the...

| August 17, 2017

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