Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: T305002

The Gaelic abridgment of the Book of Ser Marco Polo

Author: [Marco Polo]

Background details and bibliographic information

File Description

Whitley Stokes

translated by Whitley Stokes

Electronic edition compiled by Beatrix Färber

proof-read by Beatrix Färber, Alan Mac an Bhaird

Funded by the School of History, University College, Cork

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 20038 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork
College Road, Cork, Ireland—


Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: T305002


Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.


Manuscripts containing Marco Polo's writings are extant in a number of languages across Europe: See Arlima project website ( for further details.


    Manuscript source of Irish text
  1. Derbyshire, Chatsworth House, Book of Lismore, fo. 79a1–89b2. Fifteenth to sixteenth century; 200 folios; c. 37 by 255 mm; scribes Aonghus Ó Callanáin and at least two other anonymous scribes; origin probably the Franciscan Friary of Timoleague, Co Cork. The MS is acephalous (missing 42 folios) and is lacunose. A patron's book, written for Fínghin Mac Carthaigh Riabach (died 1505) and his wife Caitlín (died 1505), daughter of Thomas, Earl of Desmond. The codex was at Timoleague in June 1629 when it was used by Míchél Ó Cléirigh. It may have passed into the possession of the Earl of Cork in 1642 and then disappears from view. Discovered in Lismore Castle in 1814 in the course of building works, it was transferred from Lismore to Chatsworth in 1930. Facsimile edition by R. A. S. Macalister (ed.), The Book of Mac Carthaigh Riabhach otherwise the Book of Lismore, Facsimiles in Collotype of Irish Manuscripts, 5 (Dublin 1950). (This information was kindly provided by Donnchadh Ó Corráin.)
  1. J. B. G. Roux de Rochelle, Voyages de Marco Polo [original French text and Latin translation] (Paris: La Société de Géographie 1824).
  2. Colonel Henry Yule, The book of Ser Marco Polo, the Venetian: concerning the kingdoms and marvels of the East; newly translated and edited with notes, maps, and other illustrations. 2 vols. (London: John Murray 1875).
  3. N. M. Penzer, The most noble and famous travels of Marco Polo, together with the travels of Nicolò de' Conti, edited from the Elizabethan translation of John Frampton; with introduction, notes and appendixes. (London: The Argonaut Press 1929).
  4. Marco Polo, Von Venedig nach China. Die größte Reise des 13. Jahrhunderts, neu herausgegeben und kommentiert von Theodor A. Kunst. (Stuttgart, Wien & Bern, Edition Erdmann in K. Tienemanns Verlag 1983).
  1. R. E. O. John, 'Colonel Yule's Marco Polo', Ocean Highways (December 1872), 285–286.
  2. Karl von Schumann, Marco Polo, ein Weltreisender des XIII. Jahrhunderts. (Berlin: Habel 1885).
  3. Henri Cordier, Centenaire de Marco Polo: conférence faite à la Société d'études italiennes le mercredi 18 décembre 1895 à la Sorbonne, suivie d'une bibliographie, (Paris: Leroux, Bibliothèque de voyages anciens 3, 1896).
  4. Johannes Witte, Das Buch des Marco Polo als Quelle für die Religionsgeschichte. (Berlin: Hutten 1916).
  5. Henri Cordier, Ser Marco Polo: Notes and Addenda to Sir Henry Yule's Edition, Containing the Results of Recent Research and Discovery. (London: Murray) 1920.
  6. R. Almagià, La figura e l'opera di Marco Polo secondo recenti studi. (Rome: Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente 1938).
  7. Richard Hennig, Terrae Incognitae. Eine Zusammenstellung und kritische Bewertung der wichtigsten vorkolumbianischen Entdeckungsreisen an Hand der darüber vorliegenden Originalberichte. 4 vols. (Leiden 1939).
  8. Leo Olschki, Marco Polo's Precursors. (Baltimore: John Hopkins Press 1943).
  9. Iwamura Shinobu, Manuscripts and Printed Editions of Marco Polo's Travels. (Tokyo: National Diet Library 1949).
  10. Luigi Foscolo Benedetto, 'L'art de Marco Polo', Mélanges de philologie romane et de littérature médiévale offerts à Ernest Hoepffner. (Paris: Belles Lettres; Strasbourg: Publications de la Faculté des lettres de l'Université de Strasbourg, 1949) 313–326.
  11. Maurice Collis, Marco Polo. (London: Faber and Faber [1950]).
  12. Bernard Lewis, 'The sources for the history of the Syrian assassins', Speculum 27:4 (1952) 475–489.
  13. Rodolfo Gallo, Marco Polo, la sua famiglia et il suo libro. (Venezia: Istituto veneto di scienze, lettere ed arti, 1954).
  14. Ronald Latham (ed.), The travels of Marco Polo, translated and introduced by Ronald Latham. (London: Folio Society 1958).
  15. Paul Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo. 3 vols. (Paris, Maisonneuve et Imprimerie Nationale, 1959, 1963, 1973).
  16. Richard Humble, Marco Polo. Introduction by Elizabeth Longford. (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1975).
  17. Pierre-Yves Badel, 'Lire la merveille selon Marco Polo', Revue des sciences humaines 55:183 (1981) 7–16.
  18. Hiroshi Watanabe, Marco Polo Bibliography, 1477–1983. (Tokyo: Toyo Bunko 1986).
  19. Francis Dubost, Aspects fantastiques de la littérature narrative médiévale, XIIe–XIIIe siècles: l'autre, l'ailleurs, l'autrefois. 2 vols. (Paris: Champion, Nouvelle bibliothèque du Moyen [Acirc ]ge 15, 1991).
  20. John Critchley, Marco Polo's Book. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Variorum, 1992).
  21. Michel Mollat, Les explorateurs du XIIIe au XVIe siècles. Premiers regards sur des mondes nouveaux. (Paris, Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques, 1992).
  22. Folker E. Reichert, Begegnungen mit China. Die Entdeckung Ostasiens im Mittelalter. (Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke 1992) (Beiträge zur Geschichte und Quellenkunde des Mittelalters 15).
  23. Juan Gil, En demanda del Gran Kan. Viajes a Mongolia en el siglo XIII. (Madrid: Alianza 1993).
  24. Martin Gosman, 'Marco Polo's Voyages: the conflicts between confirmation and observation', Travel Fact and Travel Fiction: Studies on Fiction, Literary Tradition, Scholarly Discovery, and Observations in Travels Writing, ed. Z. von Martels (Leiden: Brill 1994) 72–84.
  25. Laura Minervini, 'Leggende dei cristiani orientali nelle letterature romanze del medioevo', Romance Philology 49:1 (1995) 1–12.
  26. Frances Wood, Did Marco Polo go to China? (London: Secker and Warburg 1995).
  27. Consuelo Dutschke, 'The truth in the book: the Marco Polo texts in Royal 19.D.I and Bodley 264', Scriptorium 52 (1998) 278–300.
  28. Marina Münkler, Marco Polo. Leben und Legende. (München: C. H. Beck 1998).
  29. John Larner, Marco Polo and the Discovery of the World, (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1999).
  30. Frances Wood, The Silk Road: two thousand years in the heart of Asia (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002).
  31. Laurence Bergreen, Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu (New York: Alfred A. Knopf 2007).
  32. Nick McCarty, Marco Polo: The boy who traveled the Medieval World (National Geographic Society, 2008).
  33. See also the Arlima webpages:
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Whitley Stokes, The Gaelic abridgment of the Book of Ser Marco Polo in Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie. volume 1 (1896/97) , Halle/Saale, Max Niemeyer page 244–273; 362–438


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Editorial Declaration


The text has been proofread three times. Text supplied by the editor is tagged sup resp="WS". One correction by an anonymous editor of the hardcopy (marked "anon-ed") is integrated.


The electronic text represents the editor's introduction and the edited text, on odd pages 245–425. The glossary on pp. 426–38 is omitted. Editorial notes may take the form of variant readings, editorial corrections or annotations, and these are integrated into the electronic edition accordingly.The Irish original is available in a separate file, G305002.


Direct speech is tagged q.


Soft hyphens are silently removed. When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break, a line-break, or a milestone, this break is marked after the completion of the hyphenated word.


div0=the book; div1=the section; page-breaks and paragraphs are marked. Manuscript foliation is marked mls unit="MS folio" n="". Stokes numbered all sections sequentially, through the three books.

Standard Values

Dates are standardized in the ISO form yyyy-mm-dd.


Personal names, group and place names are not tagged.

Canonical References

This text uses the DIV1 element to represent the section.

Profile Description

Created: Translation by Whitley Stokes (1896)

Use of language

Language: [EN] The text is in English.
Language: [LA] Some words and phrases are in Latin.
Language: [GA] Two words are in Irish.

Revision History