From the 10th to the 13th century (960-1272) the city, whose real name was then Ling-nan, was the capital of southern China and the seat of the Sung dynasty, which was dethroned by the Mongolians shortly before Marco Polo's visit.
But a new element, the Mongolians of Central Asia, now bursts in on the scene.
Next in numerical importance to the Mongolians are the races which have been called by Professor Huxley Melanochroic and Xanthochroic. The former includes the dark-haired people of southern Europe, and extends over North Africa, Asia Minor, Syria to south-western Asia, and through Arabia and Persia to India.
The Mongolians of the northern half of Asia are almost entirely nomadic, hunters and shepherds or herdsmen.