After watching the lecture video on Medieval Europe and its connections to the larger world, answer the following question. Your response should be at least 150 words in length.
10 points
After watching the Lecture Video read “Two Travel Accounts” on page 342 – 343 of your textbook, which compares excerpts from Marco Polo and John de Mandeville. What does Marco Polo focus on in his account of Java? What does John de Mandeville focus on in his account of the Kingdom of Prestor John? Considering their focus, which travel account would be more useful to someone wanting to know more about the world? And which account would be more exciting for a reader? Why?




Sample Answer

Sample Answer


Exploring the World Through Medieval Travel Accounts: A Comparative Analysis

In Marco Polo’s account of Java, his focus primarily lies on the island’s wealth and resources, highlighting the abundance of gold, pearls, spices, and exotic animals present in the region. He delves into the local customs and practices, emphasizing the opulence and prosperity of Java. On the other hand, John de Mandeville’s narrative centers around the mythical Kingdom of Prestor John, a land of wonders and marvels where fantastical creatures and mystical occurrences abound.

From a practical standpoint, Marco Polo’s account of Java would be more useful to someone seeking to understand the world in a historical context. His detailed descriptions of the geography, economy, and culture of Java provide valuable insights into the trading networks and resources of the region. In contrast, John de Mandeville’s account of Prestor John, while captivating and imaginative, lacks the concrete details and factual basis that make Polo’s narrative more informative.

In terms of excitement and intrigue, John de Mandeville’s account of the Kingdom of Prestor John would likely captivate readers more. The fantastical elements, such as giants, headless beings, and miraculous events, add a sense of adventure and mystery to his narrative, making it a thrilling read for those interested in fantastical tales and imaginative storytelling.

In conclusion, while both Marco Polo and John de Mandeville offer unique perspectives on the world through their travel accounts, Polo’s detailed and factual portrayal of Java makes it a more informative resource for understanding historical contexts. On the other hand, de Mandeville’s fantastical narrative of Prestor John may appeal more to readers seeking excitement and wonder in their exploration of medieval travel accounts.


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