• AE Learning Blog Team

The war between the Nubian Empire and Rome (Part 1)

By 40 BC the Nubians had established an impressive standing military force equipt with some of the best archers in the world at that time. The Queens of Nubia were known as Kandake’s which was the name for queen in the Merotic language. By 40 BC the Queen of Nubia was Amanirenas who ruled until 10 BC and her son was Prince Akinidad. Akinidad became the governor of Lower Nubia and carried out restoration and building in the area of Nubia named Kawa. The Romans who had conquered Egypt at this time attempted to impose taxes on the Nubians. In 24 BC Prince Akinidad led an army of 30,000 Nubian soldiers and reinforcements from Central Africa against the Romans and defeated their forces which were located at the Egyptian cities of Aswan and Philae. In addition, he also drove out the Jews who were located at Elephantine Island in Egypt.

Queen Amanirenas and her son Prince Akinidad returned to Nubia with Roman slaves and treasure from the conquest of Rome. After this event a peace treaty was agreed between the Nubian Empire and the Roman Empire and the previously imposed taxes were rescinded. Queen Amanirenas was succeeded by Queen Amanishakheto who ruled from 10 BC to 1 AD. Queen Amanishakheto is depicted in monuments as having three scars below her left eye. By this time the Egyptian Empire to the north of Nubia had fallen to the Romans. The founder of the Roman Empire was Augustus Caesar who ruled from 27 BC to 14 AD. Augustus Caesar led the Roman Empire and began to encroach upon Nubian territory breaking a previous peace treaty between the two empires and in around 29 BC the Romans eventually attacked Nubia due to the Romans desire to take Wadi Allaqi which was rich in gold reserves. Wadi Allaqi was located in Lower Nubia.