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Queen of Kush
File:Stele hamadab.JPG
Meroitic Stela found at Hamadab
Reign (ca. 40 BC–10 BC)
Predecessor Teriteqas
Successor Amanishakheto
Born 60s–50s BCE
Died c. 10 BCE
Burial Jebel Barkal (Bar. 4?)
Issue Akinidad
Full name
Ameniras, Qore and Kandake
Dynasty Meroitic period

Amanirenas (also spelled Amanirena) was a queen of the Meroitic Kingdom of Kush.

Her full name and title was Amnirense qore li kdwe li ("Ameniras, Qore and Kandake").[1]

She reigned from about 40 BCE to 10 BCE. She is one of the most famous kandakes, because of her role leading Kushite armies against the Romans from in a war that lasted five years, from 27 BCE to 22 BCE. After an initial victory when the Kushites attacked Roman Egypt, they were driven out of Egypt by Gaius Petronius and the Romans established a new frontier at Hiere Sycaminos (Maharraqa).[2][3] Amanirenas was described as brave, and blind in one eye.

Meroitic inscriptions give Amanirenas the title of qore as well as kandake suggesting that she was a ruling queen. She is usually considered to be the queen referred to as "Candace" in Strabo's account of the Meroitic war against the Roman Empire. Her name is associated with those of Teriteqas and Akinidad. The scheme first proposed by Hintze suggests that King Teriteqas died shortly after the beginning of the war. She was succeeded by Akinidad (possibly the son of Teriteqas) who continued the campaign with his mother Amanirenas. Akinidad died at Dakka c.24BC.[4]

Roman Conflict

The First Battles

When Aelius Gallus, the Prefect, or chief magistrate, of Egypt, was absent on a campaign in Arabia in 24 BC, the Kushites launched an attack on Egypt. Amanirenas and Akinidad defeated Roman forces at Syene and Philae, and drove the Jews from Elephantine Island.[5] They returned to Kush with prisoners and loot, including several statues of Emperor Augustus (Jameson 1986: 71-84).

Petronius Nubian Campaign

The Kushites were driven out of Syrene later in the year by Publius Petronius, who now held the office of Roman Prefect in Egypt. According to a detailed report made by Strabo (17: 53-54), the Roman troops advanced far into Kush, and finally reached Napata. Although they withdrew again to the north they left behind a garrison in Qasr Ibrim (Primis), which now became the border of the Roman Empire. The Kushites made a renewed attempt to seize Primis, but Petronius forestalled this attempt.[citation needed]

Following this event, negotiations began.[2][3] The Meroites sent mediators to Augustus, who was then in Samos, and in the year 21/20 BC a peace treaty was concluded. It was strikingly favorable to the Meroites in that the southern part of the Thirty-Mile Strip, including Primis, was evacuated by the Romans, and the Meroites were exempted from having to pay tribute to the Emperor. On the other hand, the Romans continued to occupy the Dodekashoinos as a military border zone, so the frontier now lay near Hiere Sycaminos (Maharraqa).[citation needed]

This arrangement continued until the end of the third century AD, with relations between Meroe and Roman Egypt remaining generally peaceful during this time (Hintze 1978 :100). However, the kingdom of Kush had begun to fade as a power by the first or second century AD.[6]

See also


  1. László Török, The kingdom of Kush: handbook of the Napatan-Meroitic Civilization
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tony Jaques, Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: A Guide to 8,500 Battles from Antiquity through the Twenty-first Century, Volume 2, F-O Retrieved from
  3. 3.0 3.1 African Affairs - Sign In Page
  4. Desmond J. Clark , Roland Anthony Oliver , J. D. Fage, G. N . Sanderson, A. D . Roberts, Richard Gray , John Flint, Michael Crowder (1975). The Cambridge History of Africa. Cambridge University Press. line feed character in |last= at position 17 (help); line feed character in |publisher= at position 21 (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. ,The Arab Dynasty of Dar for (Darfur). Part II, 1928] from JSTOR
  6. The Story of Africa| BBC World Service

Further reading

External links