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0033 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 33 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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THE DESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD. WAS PROBABLY IN I 2 7 I twentieth century in supposing that the four visits of the Polos must therefore be squeezed in between the middle of May and the middle of November 1271. The date of their last visit is fixed to the first weeks of November 1271 by the well known dates of the election of Theobald as Pope and of his departure for Rome. Before that the brothers and Marco had travelled from Venice to Acre, from Acre to Jerusalem and back, and then to Laias and back again. They had left Venice then probably in the summer of 1271 after a stay there, as all the manuscripts agree, of two years. Two years takes us back to the summer of 1269, which fits well with their arrival at Acre in April 1269 and learning that Clement IV was lately dead. It seems to be hard then to doubt that 1269 was the actual year of the return of the two brothers to Acre.' Marco Polo himself was not at Acre in 1269. In 1271 he may have been deeply impressed by this great and travelled man who could tell him stories of the Tower of London, which he knew from inside, or of the wonders of Paris and of his friend the Saint King of France, and who had been elected Pope before they parted ; and it would not be surprising if twenty-seven years later the man who gave his father good advice at Acre in 1269 too had become in his memory Teald of Placentia.'

en iver, et s'en ala de terre en terre por fiver. Id. p. 471 : Et estoit en Acre quant il fu esleus.... Grant joie fu faite en Acre de cele election.... Il ... monta sor mer en galies as octaves de la Saint Martin (18 Nov.), et arriva a Brandis le jor l'An Nuef. The modern editor chooses 18 November without comment.

A. M. BoNUCC1 Istoria de Gregorio X, 1711, p. 53, says, without reference to any authority, that on receiving news of his election Theobald first visited Jerusalem and then was sent off to Rome by Prince Edward " nel mese di dicembre ". John of Ypres, writing nearly a century later, says that Teabo had been made Legate in Egypt by Clement IV (a papa Clemente acceptâ licentiâ transfretandi, ab eodem legatus est constitutus in yEgyptum), but he makes Nicolò and Maffeo Polo meet him at Acre only on the later occasion. cf. E. MARTÉNE & U. DURAND Thesaur. novus Anecdotorum, 1717, III. col. 746B, E.

These long extracts have shown Theobald probably in England in April 1269, certainly in Paris in December 1269, leaving Brindisi for the Holy Land late in 127o or in the spring of 1271, receiving the news of his election on 23 October 1271, and leaving Acre for Rome on 18 or 11 November, and reaching Brindisi on New Year's Day, 1272. His colloquial names, Tedaldo, Thedaldus, Thealz, are illustrated also in the texts of Marco Polo (Teald, Tedaldus, Teabo, Tebaldo) and in Thomas Wykes Cronicon Sarisbur. Mon. (MS. Cotton, Titus A.14. fol. 64v0) : Theobaldum archidiaconum Leodiensem quem uulgus consueto vocabulo vocitabat tyardum.

1 The principal variants of the date given are F, FA, FB : 126o ; LT : 127o ; VA,P,TA3: 1272 ; VB`,R : 1269 ; Z,V : omit ; L : mensse aprilis without year.

2 It seems to be quite possible that the young Marco saw in the Holy Land not only the