He captured it in 1215, but it was not till 1284 that it was adopted as the imperial residence in lieu of Karakorum in the Mongol steppes by his grandson Kublai.
Above the sea in the borderland between the fertile and wooded regions of the Sudan on the south and the arid steppes which merge into the Sahara on the north.
The flora of Argentina should be studied according to natural zones corresponding to the physical divisions of the country - the rich tropical and sub-tropical regions of the north, the treeless pampas of the centre, the desert steppes of the south, and the arid plateaus of the north-west.
The water-courses and depressions of the shingly steppes afford pasturage sufficient for the guanaco, and in places support a thorny vegetation of low growth and starved appearance.
On the Patagonian steppes there are comparatively few species of animals.
Then there is a gentle rise to the low steppes, 500 to woo ft.
A further gentle rise in the high steppes leads to the mountains of the West Australian coast, and another strip of low-lying coastal land to the sea.
The higher steppes, as far as they are known, consist of Ordovician and Cambrian rocks, with an average elevation of 1500 to 3000 ft.
The steppes cover a surface of 400,000 sq.
The plains and steppes already described lie either within or close to the tropics.
Here we find open plant associations of Haifa or Esparto Grass (Stipa lenacissima) alternating with steppes of Chih (Artemisia herba-alba); and each plant association extends for several scores of miles.
There the Volga, the Ural, the Syr-darya and the Amu-darya discharge their waters without reaching the ocean, but they bring life to the rapidly desiccating Transcaspian steppes, and link together the most remote parts of Russia.
In the steppes it is only 60% during summer, and still less (57) at Astrakhan.
The Forest Region of the Russian botanists includes the greater part of the country, from the Arctic tundras to the steppes, and over this immense expanse it maintains a remarkable uniformity of character.
The steppes along the bottom of the principal valley are for the most part too dry to be cultivated without irrigation.
On the whole, we may say that the arctic and boreal faunas of Europe extend over Siberia, with a few additional species in the Ural and Baraba region - a number of new species also appearing in East Siberia, some spreading along the high plateau and others along the lower plateau from the steppes of the Gobi.
The low shrub oak plateau to which the opposite shore arose stretched away toward the prairies of the West and the steppes of Tartary, affording ample room for all the roving families of men.
Seeing, on the other side, some Cossacks (les Cosaques) and the wide- spreading steppes in the midst of which lay the holy city of Moscow (Moscou, la ville sainte), the capital of a realm such as the Scythia into which Alexander the Great had marched--Napoleon unexpectedly, and contrary alike to strategic and diplomatic considerations, ordered an advance, and the next day his army began to cross the Niemen.
So these are the steppes of Asia!
For him it was no new conviction that his presence in any part of the world, from Africa to the steppes of Muscovy alike, was enough to dumfound people and impel them to insane self-oblivion.
"As soon as Napoleon's interpreter had spoken," says Thiers, "the Cossack, seized by amazement, did not utter another word, but rode on, his eyes fixed on the conqueror whose fame had reached him across the steppes of the East.
What a wretched idea to go and bury themselves in the steppes when the French army is in Moscow.