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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Candace Amanirenas

Candace Amanirenas

From the Notes of Clyde A. Winters, Ph.D. (web site)

Meroitic-Kush never became part of the Roman empire – although the Romans tried to make it part. In 24 B.C., the Romans were planning a campaign against both Meroitic-Kush (Meroë) and Arabia.

Augustus (31 BC-14 AD), when he defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra, got control of Egypt. He made it a Roman province, governed by an equestrian prefect under his own control. Kush – just to Egypt’s south – was outside the empire.

In 24 B.C. Roman forces were sent to fight in Arabia. According to Pliny and Strabo the Meroite-Kushites sacked Aswan and destroyed the Roman statues at Philae (Török, 1998; Welsby, 1996).

In response to the Kushite expedition, Gaius Petronius with a force of 10,000 infantry and 800 horses pushed the Kushites back to Pselchis. Strabo (17.1.53) mentions the fact that the Meroites were led by a Candace and her son Akinidad.

The Romans and Kushites, according to Strabo began peace negotiations at Dakka in 24 B.C.. The negotiations failed, and the Romans pushed their forces deeper into Meroitic-Kushite territory as far as Sara. They also established forts at Qasr Ibrim (Török, 1998; Welsby, 1996).

Akinidad was probably killed in 24 B.C. Strabo (17.1.54) mentions that the Candace's son was killed during this campaign. This son of the Candance was probably Akinidad.

We know that Akinidad was in Dakka on two occasions, once with Teriteqas, and later only with Amanirenas. In Dakka 2, we discover that Akinidad died at Dakka. This is most interesting because, the Romans pushed the Meroites back to Dakka in 24 B.C.

If Akinidad had been wounded outside Dakka, Amanirenas may have stopped in the town to obtain medical treatment for her son. After Akinidad died in the town, Amanirenas may have withdrawn from peace talks and continued the War.

If these events occurned , Amanirenas probably had the Qasr Ibrim 1420 stela erected in Qasr Ibrim, to honor Akinidad who had served as the Chief of the city during the Meroitic-Roman War. The Qasr Ibrim 1420 stela was probably defaced and broken during the Roman occupation of Qasr Ibrim to show their contempt for the Meroites.

The Meroites resisted Roman occupation. By 22 B.C., the Meroites retook Qasr Ibrim from the Romans. In 21 B.C., a peace treaty was concluded between Augustus, and Meroite envoys on the Island of Samos.

The textual evidence makes it clear that Akinidad remained a paqar (prince) until his death at Dakka in 24 B.C.

The evidence of the Dakka 2 inscription and Hamadab 2 indicate that Akinidad probably died during Amanirenas rule of Merotic-Kush. After Teriteqas was killed during the Meroitic-Roman War, Akinidad may have become recognized as King, but without official

succession, and his untimely death at Dakka, he remained until his death officially Crown Prince. This would explain our inability to find any evidence of Akinidad being recognized as anything more than a paqar, rather than a qore (king).

Two large stela bearing the name Akinidad from the Hamdab temple, is the funerary stela of Kharapkhael, the older brother of Akinidad. In this stela Akinidad described as a paqar (prince). This suggest that Kharapkhael was the original crown prince, not Akinidad of King Teriteqas and Queen Amanirenas.

It has usually been considered that Amanirenas was Greek geographer Strabo's "Candace".

During battle, the Candace lost an eye; but this only made her more courageous. "One Eyed Candace," as then Roman governor Gaius Petronius referred to her.

The Meroitic-Kush kingdom would last as long as the western Roman empire did – until the fifth century, when a new kingdom


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