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Kublai Khan’s summer palace was known as Xanadu.

Today’s Israel and Palestine. KUBLAI KHAN The leader of the Mongolian Empire who lived from 1215‒1294. Khan hired young Marco Polo to be his diplomatic representative. MONGOLIAN EMPIRE An empire founded by Genghis Khan (Kublai Khan’s grandfather) that stretched from China all the way to Eastern Europe. SILK A strong, soft, shiny fabric made from silkworm cocoons. Chinese Empress Lei Zu is credited with the invention of silk around 2700 bc. SILK ROAD A collection of trade routes throughout Asia that allowed Europeans to purchase or trade for silk.

He becomes famous, although many Europeans doubt the truth of his stories. 1300 Marco Polo marries Donata Badoer. 1324, January Marco Polo dies in Venice, Italy. Left: Marco Polo’s amazing travels to the Mongol Empire in China inspired other great explorers, including Christopher Columbus. 29 Glossary BLACK DEATH An outbreak of bubonic plague. The deadly disease, spread mainly by fleas on rats, killed millions of people in the 14th to early 19th centuries. ” CITY-STATE A major city, together with the area that surrounds it, that forms its own independent state.

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