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Mondadori (2018-09)
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Politics & government


Viaggio ai confini del Medioevo

by Busi, Giulio

The extraordinary fate of the great explorer pictured as a single, detailed, full-colour portrait that covers more than twenty years of his life.

Il Milione, which came into being almost by chance in a Genoan jail in 1298, is the most famous travel book of Western history.
But what makes it truly unique is Marco Polo's perceptiveness. His sharp observational abilities, as precise as a merchant's ledger, take note of even the smallest details: how a tent is pitched in the steppes, how much pearls cost, the etiquette of Mongol banquets. But it is also a gentle gaze, as Marco Polo is often compassionate, sympathetic and empathetic.

Giulio Busi, one of the most eminent scholars of Humanism and the Renaissance, accompanies the traveller through the caravanserai of the Orient, to the courts of the Great Khan, and into remote cities full of thousands wonders, and he does so with his usual meticulous faithfulness to the sources and his characteristic direct and pressing style.

Busi uses historical documentation and philological analysis of the literature of the period to take us on this extraordinary journey.
A book that should be read as if seeing it in paint, illuminated in bright colours and glazed tints. This is the key to discover Marco Polo.

Giulio Busi is Professor at Berlin Freie Universitaet and President of Palazzo Bondoni Pastorio Foundation (Mantua). He has written about Jewish mystic, history of the Renaissance, Pico della Mirandola's philosophy. He writes for Sole 24 Ore, and he has a unique literary style, fast-paced and deeply documented at the same time.

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Busi couples the rigour of the philologist as illustrated by the richly annotated text with an unexpected verve as a narrator. A biographer, one might almost say, except that Busi narrates the facts and thoughts that happened to the characters he writes of, as if he had actually been there.

Quote: Alessandro Defilippi, Tuttolibri – La Stampa

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