In recent days the Arts and Entertainment Network has aired a segment on Marco Polo. As always they stumbled over themselves in their attempts to be “accurate” and missed the most interesting story entirely.
The TV show on Marco Polo reminded of my earliest days as a fledgling reporter for the university newspaper. We were sent out without advice to gather news anyway we could. My first stop was to the basement of the Fine Arts Building where I met up with the curator of the ancient text and art collections. Millions of dollars in precious art and script had been donated over a hundred years to the collection and I thought that would be the place to begin a great story. He spent the next four hours showing and telling me of the collections as I took notes and took pictures. In the end I asked him if all the collections were intact, or were there any missing? He told me that there were many things missing from the collections over the years. I asked him where he thought these items had gone. He told me that they were in the homes of art professors and historians who worked for the University. Then he said quite frankly, “I really don’t know where all the collections are”. I made a careful note to quote him perfectly.
I returned to the newsroom and began to write a story of the fabulous collections held by the university. At the bottom of the story I quoted the curator as saying that some of the collections were missing and that he didn’t know where they had gone. I put that at the bottom of my article because that was the last thing we discussed. The editor of the paper hit the roof when she read my story. She pointed to the quote at the bottom and said that I had missed the headline entirely. The real story was that there were missing collections. She moved the quote to the top and the headline read “Missing Art”. The next day the president of the university sent security to my home and arrested me and brought me, with the editor, to his office. He said that the university survived on its donations and that I had caused irreparable harm to the school. The president then followed with the comment that he was going to expel me from school and print a retraction. At that moment the editor stood in my defense and told the president that I had only done what she had requested and that I had checked my facts and that the story was true. She then asked the president if he was going to expel me for telling the truth.
That afternoon the AP wire system picked up the story and it went nationwide. Suddenly there were hundreds of professors returning precious artwork and writings from decades of personal looting of the school’s treasury. Not all of the collections were found. However, the school saved millions of dollars in lost artwork.
The Arts and Entertainment Network has done the same thing with their story of Marco Polo. They have buried the real story deep into the program and glossed over its significance as if they didn’t know what they had really said.
The one fact that jumped off the screen at me was their comment that the father of Marco Polo, “Nicolos” (Nicolas: after St. Nicolas), and his brother Maffeo (Matthew: after the apostle Matthew) had already been to China before Marco had been invited to go to China with his father at 17 years of age. They had met the new Khan, namely Kublai Khan, the sixth great grandson of Gingus Khan, who had sent them back to Rome on a mission. Their mission was to gather 100 Christian priests from Rome and a substantial quantity of “Holy Oil” from the temple mound in Jerusalem and bring it to the Khan. Nicolos and Maffeo were merchants and not priests. They certainly didn’t spend their time as missionaries to China. China supposedly had its own religions, or did it? What was so attractive about Christian Priests and consecrated oil from the temple?
Kublai could have asked for anything. Certainly his request for 100 priests wasn’t a modest request from the Emperor of China in an attempt to scale down his expectations to fit the capabilities of the Polo family. Moving a hundred men over five thousand miles through a desert filled with dangers, hunger and loneliness wasn’t a modest request or an inexpensive one either. The consecrated was oil request is amazing. That would be like the heads of the Native American tribes asking Columbus to return to Spain and return with 100 nuclear scientists and a quantity of Plutonium. It didn’t make any sense at all to the untrained ears of the Arts and Entertainment producers. Kublai could have asked for the secrets to metallurgy, medicine, history, arms, and sailing vessels and for trade agreements. However, the two things he wanted were very Christian, one of them most mysterious and sophisticated indeed.
Apparently Nicolos and Maffeo didn’t understand either because what they only brought two priests, who promptly turned back at the first sign of danger, and a little oil, which was prized beyond measure by Kublai. The priests didn’t understand any more than the Polo family. Kublai Khan was obviously getting his information from someone other than the Polo family.
To understand what was really going on we have to consider the fact that the Polo family was not the first to travel to China. The Arts and Entertainment network should have taken the time to watch another one of their own shows. They re-aired their segment on “Riddle of the Desert Mummies” last week as well. This was the amazing find of redheaded Caucasian mummies dressed in British Tartans buried in China’s Gobi Desert from as early as 1600 BC. One has to ask the question if there is a connection with the Chinese Tartars of Kublai Khan’s day and British Tartans from an epoch long before the Tartar nations. The British Tartan is their coat of many colors of their ancestor from the desert who became a prince next to Pharaoh in Egypt.
The Romans coined a term for these druid-like travelers who mentored Emperors, Kings, Pharaohs and even Caesars over thousands of years. They called them “Magi”. They were also called “Wisemen” because of their knowledge. The term “Magi” is the root of “Magic”. Some of the things these men did must have seemed like magic. However, their primary activities were to mentor, teach, heal, bless and act as emissaries between cultures.
Kublai Khan himself appointed Marco Polo to a post of great importance as the “Prefect” of Yangchow, though Marco had no political skills or cultural understanding of the people. The reason Kublai did this was because there had been a long tradition of appointing Caucasian foreigners as “Wisemen” to oriental provinces in China. China at that time was a very closed society. For Kublai to appoint Marco to a government post of this importance was culturally unnatural and even obscene unless you understand their earlier connections to the West.
What was the Chinese connection with the west? To understand we can go to one of the books written by Marco Polo.
Marco Polo: On the Tartars
“Of the origin of the kingdom of the Tartars--of the quarter from whence they came--and of their former subjection to Un-khan, a prince of the north, called also Prester John.”
Who was this priest called “John”? I am not suggesting that the Un-khan was from the west, though he may have been. John is not a Chinese name neither is Prester (Priest) a title. What I am saying specifically was that China had experienced a visit from a great Christian priest with the name of John long before Marco Polo. We have evidence for that visit in the “Bee Bible”.
The “Bee” was the symbol of ancient Israel. This Bible is still in the canon of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches as the Bible that was anciently taken to China by John the Apostle. After John didn’t die on the Isle of Patmos when they tried to boil him in oil what happened to him. Most of the Christian histories chronicle the specific martyrdom of every apostle with the exception of John. He was the one who was rumored to have a request of Jesus that was different than the rest. Peter wanted to be taken quickly to the side of Jesus upon his death. That sounded good to the rest of the apostles who were offered the desire of their hearts. However, when Jesus turned lastly to John He said that John didn’t need to speak his desires. Jesus knew that his desire was greater than the rest. John wanted to “Tarry” till Jesus comes again. It was John who wrote the book of Revelations, contrary to the critics. He took this knowledge to the East with him where it appears in the mythology of the orient. Kublai Khan obtained his thirst for Christian priests from the original visit of John the Apostle to China.
Christopher Columbus was from Genoa, the country which captured Marco Polo on his return and imprisoned him for four years. Columbus’ copy of the travels of Marco Polo survives in our day along with the notes in the margins. Columbus must have known of the merchant traffic and Christian connections to the East long before his time.
Each month I recommend books. This month there is a clear winner. “The Technology of the Gods”
If you order a copy of this book I will let you be one of the few who obtains the book from Britain called “Glastonbury and her Saints”. You must do that by telephone at 1-888-904-9394. The combined total will be $39.95, which is a steal. I will take orders until there are no more books from Britain. Then the offer is over.
The second book is “Lost Discoveries”
Teresi has written for the New York Times, the Discover, The Atlantic Monthly and written essays for the New York Times Best Sellers column. This guy can write and, unlike some of the contemporary authors who speculate their way through their books, he gives us facts and figures from thousands of ancient texts. I like this guy. This is the credible story of ancient technology among the lesser credible authors.
Marco Polo writes about giant birds that would topple elephants and eat them. Most modern scholars find that ridiculous. However, there are two books which make that idea not so ridiculous.
If you don’t have a copy of Steven Quayle’s book on “Genesis 6: Giants” this one is destined to be one of your favorite books of all times. It is packed with diary entries and histories that exist today. http://www.ancientmanuscripts.com/books/giants.htm
In addition Philo not only wrote about the best of the Old Testament History during his life from 20 BC to 50 AD but he has a chapter on the Giants as well. Cecil B. Demile said in making his film, “The Ten Commandments” that he used Philo for his screenplay.
Those of you who need incentives to obtain books just call me and I will figure out something for you. 1-888-904-9394
I will leave you with this account from Marco Polo. Many of us have gotten lost by trusting in familiar voices. Perhaps it is time we use ancient texts to mark our path rather than the words of men who do not know their history.
"When a man is riding through this desert by night and for some reason -falling asleep or anything else -he gets separated from his companions and wants to rejoin them, he hears spirit voices talking to him as if they were his companions, sometimes even calling him by name. Often these voices lure him away from the path and he never finds it again, and many travelers have got lost and died because of this. Sometimes in the night travelers hear a noise like the clatter of a great company of riders away from the road; if they believe that these are some of their own company and head for the noise, they find themselves in deep trouble when daylight comes and they realize their mistake. There were some who, in crossing the desert, have been a host of men coming towards them and, suspecting that they were robbers, returning, they have gone hopelessly astray....Even by daylight men hear these spirit voices, and often you fancy you are listening to the strains of many instruments, especially drums, and the clash of arms. For this reason bands of travelers make a point of keeping very close together. Before they go to sleep they set up a sign pointing in the direction in which they have to travel, and round the necks of all their beasts they fasten little bells, so that by listening to the sound they may prevent them from straying off the path."
---- Marco Polo, Travels