Marco Polo is released as a prisoner of war in Genoa
Upon their return, Venice was at war with Genoa, and Marco Polo was taken prisoner.
He spent the few months of his imprisonment dictating a detailed account of his travels to fellow inmate, Rustichello da Pisa, who incorporated tales of his own as well as other collected anecdotes and current affairs from China. The book became known as The Travels of Marco Polo, and depicts the Polos' journeys throughout Asia, giving Europeans their first comprehensive look into the inner workings of the Far East, including China, India, and Japan. Marco Polo was finally released from captivity in August 1299, and returned home to Venice, where his father and uncle had purchased a large house in the central quarter named contrada San Giovanni Crisostomo. The company continued its activities and Marco soon became a wealthy merchant.
Marco Polo became famous for his expeditions. At one point in time, he was jailed as a prisoner of war, but fortunately, he had a cellmate who was deeply interested in Marco’s travels. His cellmate wrote a book containing the vast majority of what Marco Polo had done as he traveled to and lived in China. The book became quite popular, and set an example for many other explorers. Eventually, Marco Polo was released from prison and was allowed to return to Venice.
In a major battle, the Venetian and Genoese fleets met on September 7, 1298, just three years after the Polos' return from the Far East. In the battle, the Genoese captured the entire Venetian fleet and took 7000 Venetians, including Marco Polo, prisoner. Most were released in exchange for ransom, but the Genoese refused to release Marco Polo.
Thus, in a Genoese jail, Marco Polo dictated the notes of his travels to a fellow prisoner, Rusticien, a scribe from Pisa, and they were set down on parchment. Within a year, the merchant war between Venice and Genoa was over, Marco Polo was released, and the world got its first, disbelieving glimpse of the strange and fascinating land of Asia.