City of Hangzhou

From the two readings there are two similarities and a number of differences. Marco Polo is an ardent observer and has recorded more details to the town of Hangzhou as compared to the veteran. One of the similarities is that both of them record on presence of markets. Both of them give an account of the frequency of people who come to the market and the location of the markets. The veteran is observant on the types of goods which exchange hands here while Marco Polo has an account of structures around the market place. Both of them also observe that there is collection of revenue and though it is collected using various criteria i.e. for Marco polo it is each family which is responsible for the same but for the veteran it is business establishments designated by the lexical item ‘company’ that are supposed to be taxed.

Among the differences in their records is that Marco Polo writes of bridges which amount to twelve thousand. The other writer has written nothing on the same. On principal bridges is where we have gourds who keep vigil over security matters and they report to his majesty. Much has been written on the functions of this guards but the other writer was not keen enough to report the same. He also observes that the guards manage time by informing the inhabitants of changes in time and they are supposed to be alert always which was not observed by the veteran. Marco polo also observed that facilities of a sea port were being rendered here by ships from India but the other writer has not commented on the same. He also observes that it was an offence to light a fire minus a valid reason as this will attract the attention of the guards who will take the owner to a tribunal which will declare some punishment on the same.

On the other hand the veteran noticed presence of a government which taxes all commercial establishments but for Marco polo the only government he observed is the one which administers justice. He has also recorded on restaurants which are operated by people from the old capital and shops which serve wine. The restaurants were originally established to serve southerners in the old capital who were not used to the northern diet. From the above difference there emerges other differences like an old capital and there must be a new one which are not recorded by Marco Polo and also southerners and northerners which I think was difficult for a foreigner to see the difference. The veteran gives the names of the restaurants and even observes that they have different menus which were never spotted by the foreigner.

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