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very doubtful if they had any effective dominion beyond the Fourth Cataract. The “royal son of Kesh” (Cush) was, no doubt, a great official, but Kesh, or “Ethiopia," as the word is generally translated, was a geographical expression with limited signification, and that the country of his rule included the whole country which is now called Ethiopia is an unwarranted assumption. The fact is that the Second and Third Cataracts and the terrible, waterless Eastern desert, the Bațn al-Hagar, proved almost insuperable barriers in the way of moving large masses of men from Egypt to the south, for the cataracts could only be passed in boats during a few weeks at the period of the inundation, and the desert between Korosko and Abû Hamed, and that between Wadi Halfa (or Buhen, to use the Egyptian name) and Abû Hamed, struck terror into the hearts of those who knew the character of the roads and the fatigues of travelling upon them. So long as the natives were friendly and rendered help, small bodies of troops might pass to the south either by river or desert, but any serious opposition on their part would invariably result in their destruction. So long as trade was brisk and both buyer and seller were content, and the nation to which each belonged could hold its own, wars were unnecessary; but as soon as the tribes of the South believed it possible to invade, conquer, and spoil Egypt, they swooped down upon it in much the same fashion as the followers of the Mahdî and Khalifa did in recent years.
Under the XVIIIth, XIXth and XXth dynasties Egypt received large quantities of gold from the Sûdân, the Blue Nile and the Eastern Desert, and her revenue from these sources must have been equivalent to many millions of pounds sterling. About B.C. 900 the priests of Amen were compelled to leave Thebes, and they took refuge at Napata and other places in Nubia. About B.C. 700 Piānkhi, a native king who reigned at Napata (Gebel Barkal), stirred up by the news of a revolt in the Delta, invaded Egypt, captured city after city, and finally seized Memphis and Heliopolis, and so became master of all Egypt. Early in the seventh century B.C. Tirhâşâh, another Nubian king, invaded Egypt, and he advanced north to the Delta, and expelled the Assyrian governors who had been appointed over the chief cities by Esarhaddon, but finally was defeated by Ashur-bani-pal, king of Assyria, and had to retreat to the south. The attack on Egypt was renewed by another Nubian king called Tanuath-Amen, who was, however, utterly routed by the Assyrians, and he departed to his dark doom. For more than one hundred years the Sûdân was left in peace so far as Egypt was concerned, and during this interval the kings of Napata made themelves masters of the country to the south.
About 526 Nubia was invaded by Cambyses, but the king of Napata, who was called Nastasen, or Nastasenen, collected an army, and having advanced northwards defeated the Persian at some place on the Third Cataract. The name of Cambyses appears in the Nubian king's annals (line 39) under the form of
Soon after the reign of this king several wars broke out between the kings of the Northern Kingdom, which extended from Napata to Philae, and the Southern Kingdom of the Sûdân, which extended from the Fourth Cataract to the Blue Nile. Of many of these wars we have no knowledge, but it is clear from the Annals of ħeru-sa-åtef that the struggle for supremacy in the Sûdân at the time was a
After Egypt had fallen under the rule of the Persians and Macedonians, the princes of Napata continued to be their own masters; but at a later period, probably whilst the Ptolemies were reigning over Egypt, they either moved their capital further south to a site on the fertile plain which is bounded by the Atbara and the Nile and the Blue Nile, and is commonly called the " Island of Meroë," or were succeeded in their sovereignty by another branch of the same race as they themselves who were indigenous to the province. The princes of Meroë built temples with ante-chapels, pylons, courts, hypostyle balls, sanctuary chambers, etc., taking as their models the temples of Napata, which in turn were copied from the temples of Egypt, and they decorated them with bas-reliefs and scenes, and inscriptions, chiefly in the hieroglyphic character. Their buildings lack the beauty and finish of the temples of Egypt, but many of them must have been grand and impressive. In the third century B.C., one of the kings of Northern Nubia called Årq-Åmen was a great friend of Ptolemy II, Ptolemy III, and Ptolemy IV, and his authority in the north appears to have extended to Philae. The Ptolemies had no dominion over Nubia, but they carried on a brisk trade in the Eastern Sûdân by way of the Red Sea, and they had large numbers of elephants brought from there. The gold trade seems to have declined at this period, either because the mines were exhausted, or because the veins of quartz were so far below the surface that the working of them had become very difficult.
Probably about B.C. 200 the rulers of the Southern Kingdom succeeded in overcoming the kings of Napata, and the central power in the Egyptian Sûdân established its capital on the Island of Meroë. This region was, about this time, and for several generations later, ruled by Queens of Meroë, each of whom bore the title of “Candace." Strabo (XVII, 1, 54) speaks of the "officers of Candace," and Pliny says (VI, 30) that “a female, whose name was Candace, ruled over the district, that name having passed
from queen to queen for many years.” Lepsius thought that he had found the original of the name “ Candace" in
one of the names of Queen Amenārit, who built Pyramid No. 1 of Group A at Meroë. The transcription of the signs in this cartouche is, however, KENTHAĦEBIT, which does not suit the theory; moreover, this queen is the only one who bears the name of “Kenthahebit," and if it was the equivalent of “Candace,” other queens must have been called by it.
In the first century B.C. the Northern Kingdom appears to have been ruled by nominees of the Queens of Meroë, and about B.C. 30 it seems that the Nubians made an attempt to assert a supremacy over Upper Egypt. The great queen who built temples at Nagaa and Wâd Bâ Nagaa also built a temple at 'Amâra, about 120 miles from Wâdî Halfa, and this probably caused a dispute between herself and the Romans who, on the death of Cleopatra, became masters of Egypt. “Candace” sent a force to the north, seized Philae, Elephantine, and Syene, and made all the people there slaves. In B.C. 24 Aelius Gallus invaded Nubia, destroyed the forces of Candace, laid waste the country, and captured her capital Napata. Candace was obliged to send messengers to Rome to sue for peace and the restitution of her territories.
During the first three centuries of the Christian Era the Blemmyes of the Eastern Desert, and the Nobadae of the Western Desert, gave the Romans a great deal of trouble, and the Emperor Diocletian (284-305) was obliged to make them an annual payment to prevent them from harassing Roman dominions. In 453 these wild tribes made an agreement with the Romans to keep the peace for 100 years and, on the whole they observed their promise fairly well. Meanwhile Christians had been steadily making their way into Nubia from the first century onwards, and
before 550 a native Christian king called Silko succeeded in defeating the Nobadae tribes, and in making himself master of all Nubia. He made the town of Dongola his capital, and Christianity became the official religion of the country. The form of Christianity which he professed was that of the Egyptian Jacobites, who acknowledged the Patriarch of Alexandria as their head. The Liturgy used in the Nubian churches was in Greek, and the Scriptures were read in Greek, and the churches were decorated with frescoes containing figures of the Apostles and other saints, after the manner of the churches in Alexandria. Later the Nubian Christians adopted Byzantine methods of decoration, and as late as the 14th century churches were in existence on the Island of Meroë, which in form and internal ornamentation resembled the churches of Constantinople.
Of the manners and customs of the Nubians or Ethiopians classical writers do not speak very highly. Strabo (XVII, 2, $ 2 ff.) says that they went naked for the most part; that they were nomadic shepherds of sheep, goats, and oxen, which were very small. They lived on millet and barley, from which also a drink was prepared, and made use of butter and fat instead of oil. They fought with bows and arrows, and some of their soldiers were armed with leather shields. They worshipped Hercules, Isis and Pan (by which we may understand Amen-Rā, Mut, and Khonsu), and believed in one god who was immortal, and in another who was mortal and without a name. It is clear though that Strabo often refers to tribes and peoples who lived south of Khartûm, and that he treats them all as Ethiopians or Nubians.
Modern History of the Sûdân. --Soon after the Conquest of Egypt by 'Amr ibn al 'Âsi in 640, the Muslims marched into Nubia, and having conquered the king of Dongola they fixed the “Bakt” or tribute which the country was to pay annually to the Arabs. A formal treaty was