Barwa –Meroitic Sudan or Nubia – was ruled by a dynasty of women who bore the title of Kandake (Candace). As she was an empress and a regent, Amanirenas distinguished herself by her extraordinary warrior and political skills. After Amanirenas, came to the throne Amanishakheto and Amanitore. Amanirenas acceded to the throne after her husband’s death, the emperor Teriqetas in 4196 of the African era (40 BC). The name of the Queen means ‘Amani is her name’. Amani is the Nubian name for Imana/Amon, Unique God of Africa.
At the northern border of Barwa, there was Egypt daughter of Nubia, which was no longer ruled by the Kamtiu (Blacks) since 500 years. In 4203, the Romans defeated the Greeks who had been occupying the country since 300 years. During the heydays of his reign, the emperor August Caesar made Egypt one of his provinces and decided to take Sudan.
Amanirenas and her son, the heir prince Akinidad, made an incursion in Egypt. In the lineage of the Sudanese extraordinary military qualities, Kandake at the head of her troops walked on the Romans, who were impressed to see a woman as a military chief. She lost an eye on the battlefield but beat the Europeans in Aswan, Philae and Elephantine. The Nubians went then back home with war prisoners and war loot that included August Caesar’s busts, one of which they buried under a temple dedicated to the their victories. The Romans took back the south of Egypt, managed to take advantage, and got in Nubia. They retreated but established military bases in Nubia and this way pushed to failure Amanirenas tries to take back.
Nubians and Romans entered into negotiations. Kandake sent mediators to meet August Caesar. At the end of the negotiations, they signed a treaty that was entirely favorable to the Nubians. The Romans left the territory and Africans did not have to pay Rome taxes. This agreement that was very favorable to the Africans make one think that the latters had eventually taken military advantage or durably neutralised the Roman army.
That victory marked the beginning of a period of peace and prosperity, which saw Barwa becoming the lighthouse of Africa for 300 years. Kandake Amanirenas died in 4226. All the Barwa’s empresses after Amanirenas bore the title of Kandake to honor her. The latter is the most powerful African woman because of her military achievements, her extraordinary courage, her unique capability to preserve her country and to ensure longevity.
By: Lisapo ya Kama © (All rights reserved. Any copying or translation of the text of this article is strictly forbbiden without the written approval of Lisapo ya Kama)
- L’Unité culturelle de l’Afrique noire, Cheikh Anta Diop, pages 54 and 55.