TITLE: In the Footsteps of Marco Polo: An International Symposium on Italy-China Cultural Exchange in the 13th-17th Centuries
EVENT DATE: 03/23/2006
RUNNING TIME: 111 minutes
The Asian Division of the Library of Congress and the Embassy of Italy/Italian Cultural Institute, Washington DC presented a symposium titled "In the Footsteps of Marco Polo." Marco Polo is supposed to have arrived in China in 1275. Whether or not he himself was there, his work, "The Travels of Marco Polo," was widely circulated and regarded as containing the sum total of European knowledge of China between the 13th and early 16 centuries and was immensely influential.
In this symposium, in addition to Marco Polo, the literature of travelers and missionaries such as Giovanni da Montecorvino, Odoric da Pordenone, Giovanni de'Marignolli and many others were discussed. With the arrival of Matteo Ricci in 1583, the Jesuit mission reached the peak of this process of cultural exchange, which covered art and architecture, religion and philosophy, science and technology, trade and government, as they existed at that time in Europe and China.