Leabhar Ser Marco Polo ‘The book of Sir Marco Polo’

  • Early Modern Irish
  • Irish literature
Translation in Irish of the Latin version of Marco Polo's Il Milione.


Irish literatureIrish literature


Marco PoloMarco Polo
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Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], “The Gaelic abridgment of the book of Ser Marco Polo”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 1 (1897): 245–273, 362–438.
CELT – edition: <link> CELT – translation: <link> Internet Archive: <link>

Secondary sources (select)

Palandri, Andrea, “The Irish adaptation of Marco Polo’s Travels: mapping the route to Ireland”, Ériu 69 (2019): 127–154.  

The Irish adaptation of Marco Polo's Travels is found in a fifteenth-century manuscript from south-west Cork, written for Fínghean Mac Carthaigh Riabhach and his wife Caitilín Fitzgerald, known as the Book of Lismore (L), or Leabhar Mhéig Carthaigh Riabhaigh. It is an adaptation of the Latin translation of Marco Polo's Travels written between 1310 and 1324 by an Italian Dominican friar from Bologna called Francesco Pipino. This article will present research showing that the Irish Marco Polo (IMP) derives from a specific version of Pipino's translation (P) that was in circulation in England during the fourteenth and fifteenth century. The paper will map the route of Marco Polo's Travels from Italy to Ireland, by navigating the various stemmata of the Polian tradition, from the original, and now lost, Italo-French version of the Travels, written in 1298, to the late-fifteenth century Irish adaptation of the text found in L. It will conclude with a reflection on the cultural and historical context behind the Irish adaptation of Marco Polo's Travels.

Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
January 2011, last updated: January 2024