by Stefano Schiavi
The news, in itself surprising, went around the world a few years ago when the papers appeared a strange story: Marco Polo discovered America?
Something to scratch the icon Christopher Columbus and the discovery of the American continent official dated by the official history in 1492? Or simply thrown to the news media just to shake a little 'water?
Obviously, as it was launched so the hypothesis disappeared to most. But is it so farfetched an eventual discovery by the Venetian traveler Messer 200 years before Columbus?
Personally I do not find so much shocking or terribly absurd. If it was not only because the so-called well before America was visited by Admiral Spanish but Genoese ancestry. Plowing the seas with their drakar, and 500 years earlier, blond warriors arrived on the coast of Canada, well before Columbus, the terrible Vikings. Just as it is now certain that after them, but always before the official discoverer, arrived on the U.S. coast the Knights Templar or what was left of it, perhaps fleeing Europe Christian who had betrayed them and erased from history. Or so some thought.
As a traveler, and most Venetian then used to sailing far and wide, just like the father and uncle, Marco Polo, on his deathbed said that "I did not write half of what I saw" (actually as we all know the "million", the story of his travels in the East, was written by Rustichello from Pisa under his dictation) may have reached the coasts of Alaska without even realizing that you are dealing with a new continent. But much more likely is the fact that, once "discovered" the new land has decided that it was not a plot "hospitable" to establish a new colony. This does not mean, therefore, that the theory is so extravagant as you want to believe.
The statue of Columbus and inscalfito remains unassailable, despite the Vikings and the Templars.
The rest does not matter the assignment of discoverer of the Americas, it is important to understand whether and who was aware of those lands, unknown to Westerners, but evidently known to the Orientals.
And that this thesis is not so much crazy you can tell by the interest shown by the FBI in 1930 that certainly does not search at random or for pleasure.
The FBI Edgar Hover analyze in detail a map called "Map with ship" or "Paper with ship" delivered at the Library of Congress, Washington, in 1933 the Italian-American Marcian Rossi. In the report drawn up by a librarian of short reads verbatim: "map depicts a ship alongside a card showing a part of India, China, Japan, the East Indies and North America."
The document bears a coat of arms drawn under the ship, a cross of letters gives a name: Marco Polo.
The map was subjected to a careful analysis and also ultraviolet (analysis in 1943 by the FBI always), analysis has established that the presence of three anchors of this paper, therefore, that has been updated over time.
The mysterious map
But this is really mysterious map of Marco Polo? And if, as appears from the investigations carried out by now many decades ago, has been amended several times who did it? Marco Polo in person or is a Chinese map, or even better Japanese (Chinese people do not go to sea very happy and did not have a fleet until they decided to invade Japan, which did not happen for the destruction of the fleet during a hurricane ). And yet, Marco Polo on his return to Venice discussed the information on the new earth or preferred to remain silent to avoid "problems" with the Church of that time not very prone to the discoveries of new lands?
One thing is certain: if the card is actually Marco Polo means that another Italian landed in America 200 years before Columbus and who designed the strait that separates Asia from America four centuries before it appeared on the cards Europe. That would not be a small thing and the story should be reasonably revised and rewritten. The problem or rather the mystery will remain such unless you do not intend to carry out further and further analysis of the chart with the equipment we have today, and you are certainly not those of 1945. Although it must be said that Marco Polo never wrote anything about the American continent, nor has it ever written hitting the ground in the area of Alaska. But even this does not mean anything basically, if only because you probably did not know what he had discovered, admitted that he did.
It must be said that the men of the 13th century, Europeans of the time, they took the "Million" and stories of the Polo more like a huge romantic fantasy rather than a chronicle of Empires flourishing, far and definitely different than expectations over the short deserts there were men with head in hands or people with one leg or one eye. No monsters, no dragons. Indeed, there was a flourishing kingdom made of flourishing cities, traders smart, astrologers and scientists, technologies and discoveries and an emperor, Kublai Khan, who was a banquet with 40 thousand guests. In short, our Western civilization seemed to be a second-rate. All the while in the West we gave battle for the conquest or reconquest of the Holy Land.
As I said, the mystery will remain so, but who knows also the fact that the Roman legions had arrived in China long before Marco Polo was considered a folly. Today we know that instead it was real, and that in some remote villages in China there are still descendants of our legionaries .... The story still has much to tell us.