Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Marco Polo and the Three Wise Men
What does the famous thirteenth century Venetian trader and explorer Marco Polo have to do with the three wise men of the Christmas story? Well, more than you might think, as it turns out.
Six centuries ago the Travels of Marco Polo were synonymous with tall stories. The Venetian earned himself the nickname of Marco Millions because he had apparently seen millions of marvels which his contemporaries back home found hard to swallow.
One of these marvels (or three, if you're feeling pedantic) were the tombs of the three Magi who had visited the Christ child, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Marco visited the ornate sepulchres at the town of Saveh which is now Tehran, the capital city of Iran.
But more amazing than that was the legend Marco heard whilst there about the three wise men. If you'd like to know more, What is Myrrh Anyway? has all the answers.