Archives for category: Marco Polo

 

astronomy

Ancient observatory, Beijing

“Do you imagine,” I said, ” that our readers will expect the truth? Or will they look rather for plausibility?”

‘Myself and Marco Polo’ Paul Griffiths

 

i-Ching

I Ching, The Classic of Changes; the dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change.

sea-pattern

Fabric design for the character ‘Water’

chinese-celadon2
“Celadon is a term for ceramics denoting both a type of glaze and a ware of celadon (colour). This type of ware was invented in ancient China. Celadon glaze refers to a family of transparent glazes, many with pronounced cracks in the glaze produced in a wide variety of colors, generally used on porcelain or stoneware clay bodies. Celadon glazes have such popularity and impact that pieces made with it are often referred to as celadons.”

beijing-tree
Tree, Beijing April 2013

“In this city of Cambalú is the mint of the grand khan, who may truly be said to possess the secret of the alchemists, as he has the art of producing money by the following process. He causes the bark to be stripped from those mulberry-trees the leaves of which are used for producing silk-worms, and takes from it that thin inner rind which lies between the coarser bark and the wood of the tree. This being steeped, and afterwards pounded in a mortar, until reduced to a pulp, is made into paper, resembling that which is manufactured from cotton, but quite black. When ready for use , he has it cut into pieces of money of different sizes, nearly square but somewhat longer than they are wide.”

The Travels of Marco Polo
translated by W. Marsden, revised T. Wright, edited Peter Harris