The Travels of Friar Odoric


The Travels of Friar Odoric is an excellent piece of fourteenth-century travel literature. Some of the stories seem far-fetched but Odoric proves to be an excellent and tolerant observer of the religions and practices he encountered on his trip. HIs three-year stay with the Great Khan in China also gives us one of the clearest descriptions of court life in China.

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Voyage of the Beagle


Voyage of the Beagle, refers to the second survey expedition of the HMS Beagle. Charles Darwin penned this book detailing his explorations during the five-year voyage.

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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne, tells the story of of the enigmatic Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus. During the voyage, the characters explore the South Pacific, journey to Antarctica and fight a sea monster in the Bahamas.

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Written in 1759 by French author and philosopher Voltaire, Candide is a meandering satirical tale that crosses the world of geography as well as ideas.

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Coming Soon:
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Coming Soon:
Add to our growing collection of adventures by creating your own maps from the books you've read.


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Welcome to a new project. MappingAdventure is a site about books and maps. Place plays an important role in every story. It sets a mood, it links the story in time and it offers us a chance to learn more about the world around us. Over the coming months, MappingAdventure will expand not only your literary horizons but also will allow you to share your adventures with others. Through modern fiction, historical fiction and non-fiction titles, we will explore the world, read more and have fun doing it.

If you have ideas or are reading a book that you think would be interesting to include (and which book is not?) drop me a note. For now I can help you add it to this collection of adventures. Or you can wait a few weeks when I add the ability to add your own adventures through an easy-to-use interface. I’m not content in knowing what page you are on. I want you to be able to share where you are in your reading adventure.

I hope you share this journey with me and share it with others as well.

Friar Odoric was a 14th century traveler. Born in Italy between 1265 and 1285, he left on his voyage to the Far East from Venice between 1315 and 1318 about 20 years after Marco Polo returned from his Far East journey.
The colored dots represent locations that Odoric described in his journal. The green dots are locations on his outbound trip to China. Red dots refer to locations described on his return trip. His journal is sparse concerning the return trip. The locations appear to be jumbled and include stories that Odoric may not have witnessed. Yellow dots refer to locations after he arrived back in Italy at the end of his life.

He spent the next 14 to 16 years traveling. It is clear that Odoric was a bit of an meandering adventurer, never in a hurry to reach the court of Genghis Khan. During his travels he visited Constantinople before heading across the Persian empire, now modern day Iran and Iraq. In his journal, he described cities great and small. Some of the cities have been lost to time. From Hormuz, he traveled by sea to India. In India besides describing the great heat, he detailed the customs, religions and people he encountered. After crossing the Bay of Bengal, Odoric described the people he met in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He marveled at losing sight of the North Star, the weather and great bamboo forests of Java and Sumatra. Eventually he reached the mainland of Vietnam and traveled the coast of China describing the great rivers, beautiful cities, fishing practices and hordes of people.

Odoric spent three years in the court of the Great Khan, providing information on life in the royal court before returning to Italy. He was on a journey to visit the Pope in 1330 when he encountered a man in pilgrim’s clothes in Pisa. The man, who seemed to know him from his Far East adventures, warned Odoric that he should return to his monastery in Udine because he would die in 10 days. Ordoric returned and is reported to have died as the pilgrim warned.

Odoric’s journal is an excellent piece of fourteenth-century travel literature. Some of the stories seem far-fetched but Odoric proves to be an excellent and tolerant observer of the religions and practices he encountered on his trip.