The Empress Candace Of Ethiopia, 332 BC, Who Humiliated Alexander The Greek!

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Candace or Kandake was the name given to any Queen or Empress of Ethiopia by the Europeans, and these great woman were seen to be wives of the Gods or the living God!

Candace of 332 BC has a particular story that still should stand tall today. Despite the lack of knowledge of these Queens this legend made it’s way out.

Her actual name was said to be Amanirenas. She was blind in one eye due to losing it in a battle with the Romans. She was known to be a fierce, tactical and uniting leader.

Alexander the Great had reached Kemet (Ancient Egypt) and was gearing up to battle into Ethiopia. Alexander never fought Candace though and there are a few accounts as to why.

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Tengaged rounded up these two accounts:

The wildly accepted view one given by Chancellor Williams who wrote ” The Destruction of Black Civilzation” is that upon hearing Alexander the great coming Empress Candace, or Amanirenas, gathered her black troops, lined them up across the first cataract along with herself and stood on top of two African Elephants on a throne and waited for Alexander to show up. Alexander the “great”, didn’t want to chance a loss and give up his undefeated winning streak. He definitely didn’t want to lose it to a woman so once seeing the black Queen on her Elephants and her black armies along with her, Alexander the “great” halted his armies at the first cataract, and turned back up into Egypt. Once he saw the deadly military tactician in all her glory and her black army with the latest iron weapons, he decided against an invasion and turned around.

The other view offered by 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. You use your imagination and pick which one happened!

CandaceEthiopia

Read more about this Queen here:
http://www.tengaged.com/blog/Waterprince/2536313/lesser-known-black-history-empress-candace-queen-ethiopia
http://black-history.wikia.com/wiki/Candace_EMPRESS_OF_ETHIOPIA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kandake
image source: http://savetheblackchildren.tumblr.com/post/113114271996/candace-empress-of-ethiopia-332-bc-was-so

PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Bless you for sharing this book that teaches us our ancient historical strengths and weaknesses! I read Chancellor Williams Destruction of Black Civilization in the 70s. I consider it my African Herstory Bible! The legacy of Empress Candace Amanirenas was one of my favorite stories. Merry McCambry aka Tupelo Honey.

  2. Unlike the queens of Egypt who derived power from their husbands, the Queens of Kush were independent rulers, to the extent that it was often thought that Meroe never had a king. Four of these queens—Amanerinas, Amanishakhete, Nawidemak and Maleqereabar—became distinctively known as Candaces, a corruption of the word Kentake.
    Please note: Amanirenas reigned from about 40 BCE to 10 BCE and thus could have never encountered Alexander (356 BCE – 323 BCE)
    Kandake, Latinised as Candace, was the Meroitic language term for “queen” or “royal woman”. A legend claims that “Candace of Meroë” fought Alexander the Great. In fact, Alexander never attacked Nubia and never attempted to move further south than the oasis of Siwa. These accounts originate from “The Alexander Romance” by Pseudo-Callisthenes who claims that Alexander and Candace had a romantic relationship.
    To most of the world the Meroë were looked upon as Amazons… The successive Candace’s Amanishakheto and Amanitore, for example, . . . are depicted as massive, powerful figures, enormously fat, covered with jewels and ornament and elaborate fringed and tasseled robes. Their huge frames tower over their diminutive enemies, whom they are shown grasping brutally by the hair with one hand and dealing the coup de grace with the other. The social and aesthetic implications expressed by these reliefs are very different from those of Egypt, where women preferred to be portrayed as lithe and slim. This attribute, together with the facial scars worn by both the kings and queens of the Meroitic period, were the marks of physical beauty, common to central Africa
    Shanakdakhete was a queen regnant of the Kingdom of Kush, when the polity was centered at Meroë. She is the earliest known ruling African queen of ancient Nuria and reigned from about 170 to 150 BC. She is said to have ruled with full power in the Meroë Empire. She is also said to have ruled without a king.
    Amanirenas was a queen of the Meroitic Kingdom of Kush. 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 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).
    During Augustus’s reign, a Roman legion was sent to Nubia to quell a revolt led by Kentake Amanirenas and the king who ruled alongside her. The Nubians mustered their troops, as well, but instead of battling, the Meroites parlayed with the Romans. “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…..The Meroites and Romans signed a peace treaty….This was perhaps the first recorded instance…when diplomats representing an African ruler independent of Egypt traveled to Europe to effect a diplomatic resolution.” The Meroites no longer had to pay tribute to the Romans, and the Romans ceded most of Nubia back to the Meroites, and a borderline was created between Nubia and the land the Romans occupied.
    The Romans themselves were intrigued by Aminarenas, whom one source described as “a masculine sort of woman, blind in one eye.”Much like the Amazons of myth, she was a warrior queen who commanded her own soldiers in battle”, something which many of them might never have seen before. While such a thing may have been commonplace in other kingdoms, to the Romans, it was something new.
    Amanishakhete (r. c. 41–12 bce) Influential queen of the kingdom of Meroe who negotiated peace with the Roman Empire after an ill-conceived raid into Egypt brought a Roman punitive expedition upon Meroe.

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