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The Magic Square of the Number 12

There are different types of connections.

Bondings.

Between science and art.

Europe and Asia.

Land and sea.

Youth and wisdom.

 

Villion

 

Villion is ten raised to the thousandth power, multiply larger than a million which was used by Marco Polo to illustrate the size of his Great Empire to Kublai Khan.

As strong as a villion the author’s inspiration connected Croatia and Europe with the great Chinese emperor Kublai Khan, and made Marco Polo a marketer of his own country.

This serves as an example of how to promote cross cultural understanding and accompanying heritage values while using up-to-date digital technology.

 

There is a secret skill – in making the invisible visible.

That has been cultivated and built for villions.

This skill requires you to close your eyes, clam up, eavesdrop on incoming sounds and plunge deep into received messages.  Such skill is required by the interactive novel Villion/Vilijun – the text dedicated to the year of parting between Marko Emilio Polo – the most famous world traveller and Kublai Khan – the ruler of the great Chinese Empire.The Novel Vilijun / Villion is based on the magic square having its origin in ancient China.The author is eavesdropping on the conversation in which Marco Polo is telling Kublai Khan about his homeland . the Kingdom of Croatia and its four values: the cube, the Croatian interlace, the name Croat and the old Croatian Glagolitic script.Besides the Kingdom of Croatia and invisible fairies dwelling in it, Marco Polo describes the Khan’s Empire as well.

By narrating Marco Polo becomes a literary nomad whose words connect Europe and China along the Silk Road by land and sea.

Vilijun is an invitation to tread on the heels of Marco Polo along the Silk Road.Inhale the scents of this journey, and when overwhelmed by fatigue take notice of the sounds awaiting you in the games of numerous cultures and languages.

To you, literature lovers, I am submitting Vilijun / Villion as Kublai Khan’s goleden tablet – a passport to the Game Empire. Isolate yourself, calm down and take notice of the sounds addressing you.

 

p.154.

The third line of the magic square of the number 12. Field number four.

 

(4) The Map of the World

 

Follow the Path, adhere to the virtues, rely on your nobleness and relax by studying art.

Confucious

 

The map of the world is drawn by travellers and nomads. Built into it are steps, nights and days, stations and encounters. It took nomads decades to complete Kublai Khan’s map of the world. Today, having received it as a present, my nomadic nature is constrained by Kublai Khan’s map of the world. Observing it I came to a halt. My feet crave to measure each foot of Kublai Khan’s map, and still, while comparing inscribed stations from my memories, I am turning into a contemplative nomad stuck in place.

Kublai Khan’s map of the world has been drawn on a long parchment rolled into a tube with size of an adult human. The tube is decorated with feathers of rare birds and metal  shapes that keep off spirits and evil forces.

To my countrymen in the Kingdom of Croatia I will tell that the Great Master himself had split the map with his own breath whereupon a sigh spread around the hall. The parchment with the map of the world was split into twelve fields, and the countries and towns scattered across it were depicted together with their rivers and mountains. Inscribed in it are also the stations I was telling the Great Khan about.

For me, a traveller and a nomad, Kublai Khan’ map of the world was an invitation to new journeys. To departures and returns. To a life in which for me, the traveller, adventure represents  certainty. My Great Master knows his confidant, Marco Polo, and with the granted map of the world gives him the message that in his map he had also inscribed my life, which is by the grace of the Great Kan – a travelling and thoughtfull journey.

 

Map of Marco Polo’s Travels
 

 

(5) The million

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Chinese proverb

 

The last thing I want to give to the Great Master is a wooden plate inscribed with the word million[1]. This word has been created all these years of my service with the Great Khan.  Recounting to the Great Khan about his Great Empire I lacked a word which would at the same time represent a  number, and yet so big to stand for the countless values of his Great Empire. On the plate I had made for the Great Khan I inscribed this newly found word. The  million is at the same time a number  –      1 000 000 (a million). A bigger and richer number does not exist today. The million is a word that describes Kublai Khan’s wealth. This word contains a thousand thousands of other numbers. This is the word in which I, the Great Khan’s confidant, is also present. Next to it is the poem by which I give my very self to him.

I am a traveller, I am not  unnamed.

My name is Marco, Marco Polo, the silk traveller, Il Milione.

I have a name, and still, I am one of the unnamed.

Under the sky and the sun of the equally tired and  spiritless.

I am one of those dreaming of a home, and yet leaving.

Millions of steps, millions of stations, millions of stations, millions of stars, millions of encounters, millions of partings. Millions of years, hours and days.

I was looking for silk.

In my body and soul.

I was looking for a fairy.

I was following her.

Il Milione, Il Milione.

Millions of steps, millions of stations, millions of stations, millions of stars, millions of encounters, millions of partings. Millions of years, hours and days.

 

I am Il Milione.

I have because I do not belong.

I give because i do not create.

I pass by and leave.

Millions of steps, millions of stations, millions of stations, millions of stars, millions of encounters, millions of partings. Millions of years, hours and days.

My travels from Korčula to China.

They were yesterday, they are also today.

I , Marco Polo the Croat,

Born in Korčula,

Confidant of the Great Kublai Khan

have dedicated my journeys to return.

I traveled over land and sky,

Stone and water,,

Abyss and land,

To return to Croatia.

 

I am  Il Milione.

Millions of steps, millions of stations, millions of stations, millions of stars, millions of encounters, millions of partings. Millions of years, hours and days.

I am a traveller, I am not  unnamed.

My name is Marco, Marco Pollo, the silk traveller, Il Milione.

[1] The number of a thousand thousands whose decimal representation is  1 000 000.

M

A

R

C

O

 

P

O

L

L

O

1 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

 

Matija Dedić and Milivoj Juras

music performace of the poem Milijun

 

Stipe Gugić reading the poem Milijun
   

 

 

Contents

To eavesdrop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

FIRST LINE About Marco’s homeland on the Adriatic sea, two routes of the Silk road and stations along the maritime route – the route leading to Marco’s homeland. . . .  .. . . . . . . . . . 23

FIELD 3 About three cities along the castline of the Adriatic sea. . .. . . 26

(1) Korčula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

(2) Šibenik – Krešimir’s city. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31

(3) Venice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

FIELD 2 Abot the continental and the maritime Silk road. . . . . . . . 40

(1) About the continental route of the Silk Road – route towards the East. . . . 44

(2) About the maritime route of the Silk road – route towards the West. . . 46

FIELD 7 About the maritime route of the Silk Road and the stations awaiting Marco Polo on his return to the homeland on the Adriatic sea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

(1) Bagan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56

(2) Chengdu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58

(3) Camblau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

(4) Hormuz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61

(5) Arbil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

(5) Trabzon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

(6) Constantinople. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65

SECOND LINE About the stations along the continental Silk Route, the four Croatian values and  when not to mention the return to the Croatian Kingdom . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

FIELD 8 About the stations along the Continental Silk Route connecting the Kingdom of Croatia and the Great Empire. . . . . . . . 76

(1) Jeruzalem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

(2) Mosul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81

(3) Baghdad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

(4) Samarkand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

(5) Baktra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

(6) Kashgar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87

(7) Lanzhou . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

(8) Karakorum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

FIELD 4 About the four values of the Kingdom of Croatia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

(1) The checkerboard. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97

(2) The interlace. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

(3) The name Croat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100

(4) The Glagolitic script. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102

POLJE 0 About when not to mention Marco’s return to the Kingdom of Croatia.  . . .108

THIRD LINE About the poem about the names of the cities along the Silk Road,the  amazing goods of the Great Empire and the parting of Kublai Khan and Marco Polo . . .. . . . . . . . . . .115

FIELD 1 The poem about the names of the cities along the Silk Road . . . . .118

  • The poem about the names of the cities along the Silk Road . . . . . . . . .121

FIELD 6 About the amazing goods of the Great Empire, tea and spices, silk, porcelan, cashmere paper and compass . . . .125

(1) Tea and spices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129

(2) Silk   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131

(3) Porcelan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133

(4) Cashmere. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134

(5) Paper. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135

(6) Compass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137

FIELD 5 About the gold plate, the Ston salt, fairy announcements, the map of the world and the Million – a poem recited by Marco Polo to Kublai Khan on the occasion of their parting. . . . . . . .143

(1) The gold tablet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .153

(2) Salt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .154

(3) Fairy announcements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .155

(4) The map of the world. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .156

(5) A million . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .158

Three storytellers and three biographies. . . . . . . . . . . . . .173

Marco Emilio Pollo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173

Kublai Khan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .177

Jasna Horvat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .181

Jeff Fuchs – the author of the front cover photography. . . . . . . . . . .185

Appendices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .187

Appendix  1: About some other cities along the Silk Road. . . . . . .187

Appendix 2: Lifetime of Marco Pollo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .203

Appendix  3: Letters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204

Appendix 4: Large numbers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .205

Ars Horvatiana (Dubravka Oraić Tolić) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .209

 

 

 

 

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