Before The Travels of Marco Polo, people living in Europe, specifically in Venice believed they were the epidemy of technology, and by far, the most developed society. Their knowledge about plants and animals came from within Europe, and their technology post-Roman Empire was advanced for the time but still limited. Europeans knew little about the outside world, and those who were literate and had the chance to education would learn about their own history. The reason for this is their lack of knowledge. In this sense, the Middle Ages and North Korea are different; while the Middle Ages simply lacked the information, North Korea withholds it from its citizens. They monitor what they see and hear on tv or radio because the North Korean dictatorship relies on the cult personality of their citizens. It is to the point that a provocative tactic used by South Korea is blasting criticism about the North Korean regime, or information about the outside world.