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Candace of Meroe was the queen of Nubia at the time of the conquests of Alexander the Great.

According to legend, Alexander encountered her when he invaded Nubia.[1] In fact, Alexander never attacked Nubia, and never attempted to move further south than the oasis of Siwa in Egypt.
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The story is that when Alexander attempted to conquer her lands in 332 BC, she arranged her armies strategically to meet him and was present on a war elephant when he approached. Having assessed the strength of her armies, Alexander decided to withdraw from Nubia, heading to Egypt instead. Another story claims that Alexander and Candace had a romantic encounter. These accounts originate from "The Alexander Romance" by an unknown writer called PseudoCallisthenes, and the work is largely a fictionalized and grandiose account of Alexander's life.[1] It is commonly quoted, but there seems to be no historical reference to this event from Alexander's time. The whole story of Alexander and Candace's encounter appears to be legendary.[1] [2] References to this warrior queen are among the earliest made to the Nubian Kentakes. The name "Candace" is actually a form of the title "Kentake", and not the actual name of a person. Kandake or Kentake, also known as Candace, was the title for queens and queen mothers of the ancient African empire of Kush (also known as Nubia). The name Candace and its variants derive from the title Kandake. A legend in the Alexander Romance claims that Candace of Mero fought Alexander the Great [2] . In fact, Alexander never attacked Nubia, and never attempted to move further south than the oasis of Siwa in Egypt.[3][4] Later, the kandake Amanirenas, as reported by Strabo, fought a war with the army of the Roman Empire under Augustus.[5] Kemet (Egypt) controlled the Sudan and Ethiopia as early as 1500 BCE, during Kemets Eighteenth Dynasty that had begun in 1580 with Pharaoh Ahmose I. The Sudan and Ethiopia were colonies of Kemet. However, sometime between 1050 to 950 BCE, the people of these regions managed to separate from Kemet to form their own civilization, which eventually transformed into the kingdom of Kush. Its two main cities were Napata in the Sudan and Meroe near the border of Ethiopia.

Origin of Candace
The rulers of Kush were both men and women from the royal family. The mother of the ruler was the main political advisor and co-ruler. The Kushites called the mother of the king Candace, queen mother, which also means honest and clear. Since there were approximately 44 kings or rulers from Kushs inception to the first century CE, there were also as many queens or Candaces who either co-ruled or led the kingdom autonomously. Kushites referred to the fathers of the kings as sons of the Sun, meaning followers of the sun disc symbol of the God of the sky, a
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feature of the monotheistic movement created by Pharaoh Akenten (Akhnaton) during the fourteenth century BCE. As Kushite civilization grew Kemet began to decline, especially after 670 BCE with invasions from Assyrians followed by Persians (525) and Greeks (332). When the Greeks invaded Kemet, Macedonian-born Alexander the Great led them. Macedonians had invaded the Greece mainland and took control of its city-states. The leading Greeks, though, particularly the ones from Athens, unabashedly referred to Macedonia as a place that breeds savages and barbarians, and they always publically stated that Macedonians were not Greek. However, many historians suggest that Alexander was Greek because Macedonians spoke a Greek language or dialect.

Alexander Meets Queen Candace


When Alexander the Great invaded Kemet in 332, Kushs kingdom extended south into Western Ethiopia and as far north as the first cataract, which was just below Kemets southern border. After conquering Kemet Alexander decided to continue south to invade Kush, but he had to contend with Candace, one of the mother queens, who was the general-in-chief of the army as well as a great military commander and war strategist. As Alexander headed towards the first cataract feeling good about his victories, he saw the Kushite army with its leader Queen Candace, who was sitting on a royally designed bench set across the top of two elephants. There are different accounts of what actually occurred when Candace confronted Alexander. According to Chancellor Williams, after seeing Candaces formidable defense of well-trained soldiers armed with iron weapons, Alexander reconsidered his decision to go into battle because his opponents air of confidence forced him to think about his winning streak. He also weighed the possibility of losing to a woman general against his reputation. After thoroughly examining the situation, Alexander retreated north. In contrast, William Leo Hansberry says that Alexander met semi-privately with Candace. Legend has it that Candace advised Alexander to leave the region immediately and if he refused, after defeating his army, she would cut off his head and roll it down a hill. It is difficult to ascertain what transpired between Candace and Alexander, but it is a fact that Alexander did not attempt to invade Kush after Queen Candace and her army confronted him. He left the region and went into Asia. When Alexander died in 323 BCE, one of his generals, Ptolemy I, took control of Kemet. Greek-Macedonian rule of that country lasted approximately 300 years. It ended when the last ruler of the Ptolemy line, Cleopatra, died after she and Roman General Mark Anthony lost their battle over control of Rome to Octavian or Augustus in 30 BCE.

Emperor Augustus and Queen Candace


Not too long after Rome took control of Kemet, it had a dispute with Kush over territorial boundaries. Kushs kingdom extended to the first cataract, but Roman Emperor Augustus wanted to push Kush further south. As a result, Rome and Kush started fighting in 23 BCE at town near the disputed area called Syene. Another Queen Candace was the general-in-chief of the army when the fighting erupted. During the conflict Kushite military men confiscated a bronze head of
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Augustus and took it to Meroe. The Kushites won this battle although Roman soldiers wounded Candace. The Romans tried to recapture Augustuss bronze head in subsequent battles, but they were unsuccessful. Although the loss of his bronzed likeness infuriated the emperor, he could not do anything about it even after capturing some Kushite soldiers in another battle. By 12 BCE, therefore, Augustus conceded the first cataract to Kush. Augustus and all other Roman emperors became very friendly and extremely cordial to Kush for the remainder of its existence, which lasted until 350 CE.

Sources:
Diop, Cheikh Anta. The African Origin of Civilization. Ed. Trans. Mercer Cook. Westport: Lawrence Hill & Company, 1974. Hansberry, William Leo. Pillars in Ethiopian History, Vol. I. Ed. Joseph E. Harris. Washington, D.C. Howard University Press, 1981. Williams, Chancellor. The Destruction of Black Civilization. Chicago: Third World Press, 1987.

Read more at Suite101: Queen Candace of Antiquity: Ancient Mother of the Sudan and Ethiopia http://africanhistory.suite101.com/article.cfm/queen_candace_of_antiquity#ixzz0ewn2QV6S
Most scholars would dismiss the accounts of Herodotus, Strabo, and Diodorous as compelling evidence to support the existence of women warriors in Africa, although all three ancient writers have proved accurate in the great majority of their testable observations about life in the centuries before Christ. As time progresses, the evidence supporting the presence of a tradition of African women warriors grows in its persuasiveness.

An impressive series of Nubian warrior queens, queen regents, and queen mothers, known as kentakes (Greek: Candace "Candake"), are only appearing to the light of history through the ongoing deciphering of the Merotic script. They controlled what is now Ethiopia, Sudan, and parts of Egypt. One of the earliest references to the kentakes comes from 332 B.C. when Alexander the Great set his sights on the rich kingdom of Nubia.

The presiding kentakes, known in history as "Black Queen Candace of Nubia," designed a battle plan to counter Alexander's advance. She placed her armies and waited on a war elephant for the Macedonian conqueror to appear for battle. Alexander approached the field from a low ridge, but when he saw the Black Queen's army displayed in a brilliant military formation before him, he stopped. After studying the

array of warriors waiting with such deadly precision and realizing that to challenge the kentakes could quite possibly be fatal, he turned his armies away from Nubia toward a successful campaign in Egypt.

Bas-reliefs dated to about 170 B.C. reveal kentakes Shanakdakheto, dressed in armor and wielding a spear in battle. She did not rule as queen regent or queen mother but as a fully independent ruler. Her husband was her consort. In bas-reliefs found in the ruines of building projects she commissioned, Shanakdakheto is portrayed both alone as well as with her husband and son, who would inherit the throne by her passing. The following African queens were known to the Greco-Roman world as the "Candaces": Amanishakhete, Amanitore, Amanirenas, Nawidemak, and Malegereabar.

Source: Jones, David E., Women Warriors: A History, Brasseys, Inc.; (March 1, 2000) Nubia never became part of the Roman empire although the Romans tried to make it part.

Roman involvement in the affairs of Africa progressively increased during the course of the first century B.C.E., particularly after Ptolemy XII Auletes secured financial and military support from Rome in his successful bid to reestablish himself as pharaoh of Egypt, having been forced into exile by a rival faction. Upon his death in 51 B.C.E. he bequeathed his kingdom to his daughter, Cleopatra VII, and her much younger brother, Ptolemy XIII. Of Cleopatra's direct ancestors, only the identity of her maternal grandmother remains unknown, and there is no compelling evidence to suggest that she was either an Egyptian or a Nubian. All of Cleopatra VII's other forebears were of Macedonian Greek descent. The account of her spectacular rise to power and her relationships with Julius Caesar and Marc Antony are beyond the scope of this narrative, but her ultimate confrontation with Octavian at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C.E. and suicide a year later enabled the Romans to gain possession of Egypt. Octavian, now named Augustus as the first emperor of Rome, fearing that Egypt might mount another challenge to his authority, declared the country his personal property rather than a province of the empire and forbade immigration except by those with specially issued imperial visas. Between 28-21 B.C.E., his administrators were confronted with disturbances in the Arabian peninsula directly across the Red Sea from Egypt. Wishing to address the situation as expeditiously as possible, the Romans decided to dispatch legions already stationed in Egypt to the troubled area. Once the legions had departed, the Nubians of Lower Egypt appear to have revolted and stormed the frontier at Aswan, sacking the area and toppling official monuments, including recently erected statues of Augustus himself. The head of one of these bronze images of Augustus was severed from its body and carried off to Meroe, where it was intentionally buried beneath the threshold of one of the palaces so that each time the Meroites entered and exited, they would be symbolically trampling the head of their foe underfoot. The Classical authors credit a Candake as the leader of the Meroites. As one has seen earlier, they had mistaken the title, kdke, for the personal name of the female ruler of kingdom of Meroe. Her identity remains unknown, although there are attempts to identify her with the Queen Mother Amanirenas, who is suggested to have ruled during this period of time. She apparently shared power with the pqr, Akinidad. If one's reading of the monuments is correct, Akinidad continued to rule after her demise with another kdke,

Amanishakheto by name. Akinidad exercised personal control over both Upper and Lower Nubia, as his titles attest. He is to date the only Meroite known to have held the office of pqr and pesato, "viceroy [of Lower Nubia]," simultaneously.

In order to address this insurrection, the Romans dispatched new legions to the region in anticipation of a military confrontation and began their march into Lower Nubia. The Meroites, in an attempt to meet the Roman challenge, mustered their own forces and marched north. Both forces marched into the vicinity of Qasr Ibrim (Primis). A pitched battle was avoided when representatives from both sides agreed to discuss the matter. The Meroites indicated that their revolt against Rome was prompted by certain grievances that had not been remedied. The Roman geographer, Strabo, writing in Greek shortly after the actual events, is decidedly prejudiced in his account, incredulously posing a question to the Meroites inquiring as to their reason for not bringing their concerns to the emperor Augustus. As if to portray the Meroites as individuals ignorant of current affairs, Strabo records their reply by stating that the Meroites did not know where to find Augustus. In point of fact, the Meroites were correct because Augustus himself had been on the move as a result of his inspection tour of the East.

It was then resolved that an embassy of the Meroites would be granted safe conduct to the Greek island of Samos, where Augustus was temporarily headquartered. This was perhaps the first recorded instance in the entire history of Africa when diplomats representing a Black African ruler independent of Egypt traveled to Europe to effect a diplomatic resolution. The Meroites and Romans signed a peace treaty that not only remitted their tax liability to Rome, but also established the Dodekaschoinos as a buffer zone. In order to gain the favor of the inhabitants of this region, Augustus directed his administrators to collaborate with the priesthoods of the region in the erection of a temple at Dendur. In its relief and inscriptions, Augustus himself appears as the chief celebrant of the local deities but there pays particular homage to two youths [brothers, Pahor and Pedese, who are believed to have been sons of a local Nubian elite ruler], whose deaths had elevated them to the status of divine intercessors. They are enrolled among the local deities in this temple and are the recipients of a cult. The temple of Dendur also served as their cenotaph. Source:

The Candaces of Meroe (332 BC- 12 AD)


Nubian Queens in the Nile Valley and Afro-Asiatic Cultural History, Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Professor of Anthropology

Alexander reached Kemet (Ancient Egypt) in 332 B.C., on his world conquering rampage. But one of the greatest generals of the ancient world was also the Empress of Ethiopia. This formidable black Queen Candace, was world famous as a military tactician and field commander. Legend has it that Alexander could not entertain even the possibilty of having his world fame and unbroken chain of victories marred by risking a defeat, at last, by a woman. He halted his armies at the borders of Ethiopia and did not invade to meet the waiting black armies with their Queen in personal command. The Romans met several queens of Mero whom they thought were named "Kandake" (KAN-DA-key). They did not realize that "Kandake" was simply the Meroitic title meaning "Queen" or "Mother of the crown prince". Our modern female name Candace (now pronounced Kan-das) comes from this ancient Nubian royal title. The Kushites gave special honor to their queens because they believed that the kings, who were sons of these women, were also sons of the great god Amun. In other words, they imagined that these ladies were actually wives of the god and mothers of the living gods (the kings). If a king died, his wife might rule alone while her son was growing up. The people would worship her like a goddess. When the Romans went to war against Kush in 24 BCE, they reported that the Kushite army was led by a "Candace" who was "a very masculine sort of woman and blind in one eye." We can understand this strange description when we see how the artists represented the queens. They were massive, powerful women, covered with jewels and elaborate fringed and tasseled robes. They often appear carrying weapons in one hand, preparing to kill bunches of small enemy figures which they hold in the other. Candace of Meroe was the queen of Nubia at the time of the conquests of Alexander the Great . According to legend, Alexander encountered her when he invaded Nubia. In fact, Alexander never attacked Nubia, and never attempted to move further south than the oasis of Siwa in Egypt . The story is that when Alexander attempted to conquer her lands in 332 BC , she arranged her armies strategically to meet him and was present on a war elephant when he approached. Having assessed the strength of her armies, Alexander decided to withdraw from Nubia , heading to Egypt
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instead. Another story claims that Alexander and Candace had a romantic encounter. These accounts originate from "The Alexander Romance" by an unknown writer called "Pseudo-Callisthenes", and the work is largely a fictionalized and grandiose account of Alexander's life. It is commonly quoted, but there seems to be no historical reference to this event from Alexander's time. The whole story of Alexander and Candace's encounter appears to be legendary. References to this warrior queen are among the earliest made to the Nubian Kentakes. The name "Candace" is actually a form of the title "Kentake", and not the actual name of a person.
Alexander reached Kemet (Ancient Egypt) in 332 B.C., on his world conquering rampage. But one of the greatest generals of the ancient world was also the Empress of Ethiopia. This formidable black Queen Candace, was world famous as a military tactician and field commander. Legend has it that Alexander could not entertain even the possibilty of having his world fame and unbroken chain of victories marred by risking a defeat, at last, by a woman. He halted his armies at the borders of Ethiopia and did not invade to meet the waiting black armies with their Queen in personal command.