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A. K. Vinogradov

queen of Kush, was the mother of Taharqa (ruled c. 690–664 BCE), the most remarkable king of the period of the Kushite domination in Egypt (the Twenty-Fifth, “Ethiopian,” Dynasty). Her name is also interpreted in specialist literature as Abala, Abale, Abalo, Abiru, and Ibart.

The information about Abar is extremely scanty The main sources are several stelae of her son Taharqa found during excavations at Gematen near the modern village of Kawa south of the Third Cataract of the Nile one of the major sanctuaries of Kush The relief at the top of one of the stelae represents Abar in two symmetrical scenes playing sistrum behind Taharqa as he presents bread and wine to the god Amun Similar representations of her were found in a wall relief in the so called Temple B 300 at Jebel Barkal the main temple complex of ancient Sudan situated between the Third and Fourth ...


ʿAbd al-Muʾmin  

Allen J. Fromherz

builder of the Almohad Empire and great Moroccan military leader and able administrator, led the Almohad movement for tawhid, absolute monotheistic unity, after the death of the Mahdi Ibn Tumart, the Almohad founder, in c. 1130. His full name was ʿAbd al-Muʾmin ibn ʿAli ibn ʿAlwi bin Yaʿla al-Kumi Abu Muhammad.

After defeating the Almoravid Empire at Marrakech, he established the administrative and military foundations of the Almohad state while securing a caliphal succession for his descendants, the Muʾminid dynasty. In a matter of decades ʿAbd al-Muʾmin and his followers transformed the Almohads from a vigorous but vulnerable ideological movement in the small Atlas Mountain town of Tinmal to one of the largest and most successful Islamic empires in North African and Andalusian history.

Effectively an outsider ʿAbd al Muʾmin s ancestry was different from the noble Masmuda ethnic groups that made up the core of the Almohad ...


ʿAbu Yaʿqub Yusuf  

Stephen Cory

sixth sultan of the Moroccan Marinid dynasty, seized power in 1286 after his father, Abu Yusuf Yaʿqub, had consolidated Marinid authority throughout Morocco. With this seemingly secure base, ʿAbu Yaʿqub spent most of his reign engaging in external battles. The Moroccan sultan was involved in the numerous struggles of southern Spain for several years, seeking to strengthen the Marinid position in that key area. In the final twelve years of his reign, ʿAbu Yaʿqub sought to expand Marinid rule throughout the Maghreb by bringing down the neighboring Zayyanid dynasty, which had often been a thorn in the side of earlier Marinid sultans. Although he initially made some progress on these two fronts, in neither case was ʿAbu Yaʿqub fully able to achieve his aims.

Like his father before him ʿAbu Yaʿqub spent his first two years as sultan putting down revolts within Morocco His main opponents were family members who ...


Abu Yusuf Yaʿqub ibn ʿAbd al-Haqq  

Stephen Cory

fifth sultan of the Moroccan Marinid dynasty, took over from his brother, Abu Yahya, in October 1258 Abu Yahya brought the Marinids to the brink of controlling all of Morocco and eliminating the Almohad caliphate which had ruled over much of North Africa for the previous 150 years During the twenty eight years of his reign Abu Yusuf Yaʿqub finished the job begun by his predecessor and established Marinid predominance throughout Morocco However he was unable to reestablish Moroccan authority either in the central and eastern Maghreb or over Islamic Spain as the Almohads had done Like his brother Abu Yusuf accepted the nominal sovereignty of the Hafsids of Tunis in order to establish religious legitimacy for ruling Morocco The Hafsids claimed to be the true successors of the Almohads and to have remained faithful to the original doctrines of Almohad founder Ibn Tumart Since the Hafsids were far ...


Abu, al-Hasan ʿAli ibn Uthman  

Stephen Cory

tenth sultan of the Moroccan Marinid dynasty, came to power in the aftermath of the long and largely peaceful reign of his father, Abu Saʿid Uthman (r. 1310–1331). The greatest builder of the Marinids, Abu al-Hasan constructed mosques in Fez and Tlemcen, as well as madrasas in numerous Moroccan cities and a hospital in Fez. The accomplishments of his reign are chronicled in a history written by his secretary, Ibn Marzuq, making Abu al-Hasan the best known of the Marinid sultans.

With Marinid power firmly established in Morocco Abu al Hasan sought to expand the dynasty s influence first in southern Spain and then throughout the Maghreb His attempt to reconstitute the former Almohad Empire though seemingly successful at first proved to be disastrous in the long run Abu al Hasan s reign ended with his eastern possessions in rebellion and his son Abu ʿInan usurping his power in ...


Abu, Bakr ibn ʿUmar  

Stephen Cory

chief of the West African Lamtuna, one of the Sanhaja Berber peoples, and leader of the Almoravid movement that eventually conquered Morocco, western Algeria, and Islamic Spain in the north and Mauritania and portions of Mali in the south. Although he became leader of the Almoravids following the death of the movement’s founder, ʿAbdallah ibn Yasin, in 1059, his notoriety was surpassed by that of his cousin, Yusuf ibn Tashfin. Yusuf would lead the Almoravids to multiple conquests in the north, while Abu Bakr remained with his Sanhaja warriors in the south, where he continued to lead jihad against the infidels of sub-Saharan West Africa. His accomplishments included defeating the kingdom of Ghana, but he was never able to establish full Almoravid control in the region. Abu Bakr ibn ʿUmar was killed in battle in 1087, after which Almoravid authority in the south rapidly disintegrated.

The Almoravid movement ...


Abu, ʿInan Faris  

Stephen Cory

eleventh sultan of the Moroccan Marinid dynasty, claimed the sultanate by rebelling against his father, Abu al-Hasan ʿAli, in 1348 while the latter was fighting a rebellion in Tunisia. Reassembling his forces in Algiers, Abu al-Hasan faced off against a larger army led by Abu ʿInan in 1349. Following a crushing defeat, Abu al-Hasan retreated to the desert town of Sijilmasa, where he was welcomed by the tribal leader Ouenzemmar. But his ally soon abandoned him when Abu ʿInan’s troops descended upon Sijilmasa, so Abu al-Hasan fled to Marrakech. There, he recruited supporters from among Masmouda Berbers and local Arabs. In May 1350 the army of Abu al Hasan battled the forces of Abu ʿInan near the Umm al Rabia River where Abu ʿInan was again victorious After being rescued by one of his soldiers Abu al Hasan was provided refuge among the Hintata peoples of the High ...


Abu, Yahya ibn ʿAbd al-Haqq  

Stephen Cory

fourth sultan of the Moroccan Marinid dynasty, took over leadership in the aftermath of a significant military defeat in 1244 when his predecessor Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Haqq was killed. Ibn Khaldun states that Abu Yahya divided Morocco between the Marinid clans, assigning each a specific portion of land in perpetuity, even before he conquered the country. With this motivation, the leading families of the Marinid alliance increased the number of troops that they contributed to the army, thus augmenting their forces for the struggle against the Almohads, the de jure rulers over Morocco.

The Almohads had allied with the Banu Asker a dissident Marinid clan along with Yaghmurasan chief of the Banu ʿAbd al Wad rulers of Tlemcen But at a critical moment these forces switched sides and joined the Marinid army against the Almohads who were then defeated in battle The Banu Asker then submitted to Abu Yahya while ...



Duane W. Roller

ruler of a portion of Numidia 118 112 bce was the son of King Micipsa of Numidia When his father died in 118 BCE he was named joint heir with his brother Hiempsal I and cousin Jugurtha who had served under Roman command in Spain with the latter who was older as primary heir The Romans already involved in the affairs of Numidia the territory south and west of Carthage saw this arrangement as the potential disaster that it was and at first adopted a hands off policy Animosity between the three heirs which may have predated Micipsa s death erupted almost immediately Hiempsal was soon eliminated by Jugurtha and Adherbal promptly fled to Rome He and Jugurtha entered into a competition as to who could spread money more lavishly around the city and both were invited to address the Senate Adherbal emphasized his character and his cousin s deficiencies ...



Hannington Ochwada

queen of Egypt, is one of the most prominent women leaders in ancient Egyptian history. She possessed numerous titles that provide us with invaluable insights into her role and stature in the New Kingdom. She was referred to as “Peace of the Moon.” Her father was King Tao I and her mother Queen Tetisheri. She was the sister and wife of her brother, Seqenenre Tao II, one of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt who died on the battlefield in a campaign that was aimed at expelling the Hyksos from Egypt. Ahhotep was the mother of Kamose and Ahmose, the subsequent kings of Egypt after the death of Tao II, and also the mother of Ahmose-Nefertari, wife of king Ahmose.

Some historians and Egyptologists considered Ahhotep the first of several of the most notable powerful and remarkable women of influence in the New Kingdom While some consider her to be the ...


Ahmose, I  

Joyce Tyldesley

Egyptian pharaoh (reigned 1550–1525 BCE), son of the Seventeenth-Dynasty king Sekenenre Taa II and his consort Ahhotep, expelled the Hyksos kings from Egypt and reunited his divided country. In honor of this achievement the historian Manetho recognized him as the first king of the Eighteenth Dynasty, and the first king of the New Kingdom.

The Second Intermediate Period (c. 1650–1550 BCE) saw Egypt split in two. The Canaanite Hyksos dynasty controlled the north from the delta city of Avaris, while the insignificant Egyptian kings of the Sixteenth Dynasty controlled the south from Thebes. Immediately to the south of Egypt, the Nubians were hostile to the Thebans, and allied with the Hyksos.

A change of Theban royal family saw the start of the Seventeenth Dynasty and the first serious challenge to Hyksos domination King Sekenenre Taa II r c 1560 probably fell in battle his hastily mummified body displays head wounds ...



Donald B. Redford

pharaoh of Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty (c. 1377–1359 BCE; Low date: 1352–1334 BCE), was the son of Amenhotep (Amenophis) III and Queen Tiye (Teya). He was named after his father and succeeded to the throne initially as Amenophis IV.

Akhenaten was one of six children born to the royal couple four girls and two boys His older brother Thutmose destined for the throne as heir apparent and his older sister Sat Amun claimed their father s affection from an early age and as was customary for a crown prince Thutmose took up duties as high priest of Ptah in Memphis Perhaps because of his unsightly appearance Akhenaten was deprived of the attention his parents might have shown and little care was taken in assigning an entourage of companions His main tutor was an otherwise unknown Parennefer who hailed from a small town rather than the capital When the court ...



A. K. Vinogradov

earliest ruler of the Kushite kingdom (ancient Sudan) attested in written sources. His personal name (also Alala, Arara, Aruru, or similar) is usually considered as native, so-called “Meroitic,” and thus impossible to etymologize in the present state of knowledge about this language. However, some similar appellatives in Egyptian (the official language of Kush for several centuries, due to the long-continued colonization) suggest its rendering as Irery/Ireru (“Roarer,” “Snarler”), possibly a metaphor for “lion.”

The historical data about Alara is extremely scanty. No personal belongings of his have been attested so far. The tomb Ku. 9 (completely plundered in ancient times) that was found in the Kushite royal cemetery near the modern village of el Kurru (south of the Fourth Cataract of the Nile) has recently been attributed to him but this identification is hypothetical.

In fact Alara is known only from several mentions in Kushite royal chronicles in Egyptian dated ...


Alexander the Great  

Stanley M. Burstein

The thirteen-year reign of Alexander III of Macedon fundamentally changed the political and cultural structure of western Asia and North Africa. The Persian Empire, whose rule had extended from the Mediterranean to the borders of India, disappeared and was replaced by a system of competing Macedonian-ruled kingdoms. As a result, the region’s center of gravity shifted westward from its ancient focus in Mesopotamia and southwestern Iran to the shores of the Mediterranean. Equally important, Greek became the language of government and Greek culture became the new elite culture throughout this vast region.

Writing the history of Alexander s brief but remarkable reign is difficult Primary sources are few Of the many accounts written by his contemporaries and the numerous documents issued by his government that once existed only fragments quoted by later writers and a few inscriptions survive Therefore historians depend for their reconstructions on five Greek and Latin biographies ...


ʿAli, ibn Yusuf ibn Tashfin  

Russell Hopley

emir of the Almoravid dynasty from 1106 to 1143, was born in the Moroccan city of Ceuta to a mother who was a Christian captive from Spain. ʿAli inherited rule of the Almoravid state upon the death of his father, Yusuf ibn Tashfin, in 1106. Almoravid rule at the time of ʿAli’s accession to power was at its zenith and encompassed a considerable portion of territory of the Islamic west, including Andalusia, the western region of North Africa, and portions of the bilad al-Sudan Indeed it is a commonplace of the classical Arabic chronicles that ʿAli s name was invoked from some two thousand pulpits at the outset of every Friday sermon However his rule was beset with a host of serious problems almost from the outset ranging from quarrels among the various tribal factions that formed the backbone of the Almoravid regime to doctrinal disputes the ...



Eugenio Fantusati

queen of Meroe, reigned during the second half of the first century BCE. She is shown dressed in ceremonial clothes on the pylon of her pyramid, Beg. n. 6, spearing bound prisoners: this action illustrates clearly the queen’s status as fully equal to the king in Meroitic ideology. Another form of her name is Amanishakheto.

In a second portrait found on the same monument (the original block is actually kept in Berlin) it is possible to observe the presence of three scars under her left eye. Considering that the practice of scarring was also employed for medical purposes, it has been hypothesized that Amanishaketo could have been the one-eyed kandake who fought the Romans during the 20s bce, especially since Amanishaketo’s presence inside the Dodekascoenus in that period is confirmed by a long inscription left by the same Kushite queen in Qasr Ibrim.

As the successor of Amanirenas and the ...



Eugenio Fantusati

queen of Meroe, was crowned under the name of Merkare and reigned over the Meroitic empire in coregency with her husband, Natakamani, between the end of the first century BCE and the first decade of the first century CE.

As with the other Kushite queens, her title was kdke (kandake, or candace, probably translating as “regal sister”), an attribution common in Egypt among the royal brides during the Eighteenth dynasty and adopted later in Nubia by the brides of the Twenty-Fifth dynasty’s black pharaohs and subsequently by the wives of the Napatan and Meroitic sovereigns.

The complete lack of written sources relating to her kingdom forces us to make exclusive reference to the archaeological remains and above all to the reliefs in which Amanitore was represented The images at our disposal first of all show her in the prominent role of invincible warrior On the northern pylon of temple N ...


ʿAmara Dunqas  

Jay Spaulding

first ruler of the Funj kingdom (in present-day Sudan), was nicknamed “Dunqas,” a term implying that one who came into his presence should bow down with an inclined head. In later years it would be said that ʿAmara’s father’s name was ʿAdlan, and that he came from Lul, a place on the White Nile. However, the kinship principles that brought ʿAmara to power were matrilineal; like all the members of his dynasty, he was eligible to rule because of his descent, through the female line, from a remote Funj ancestress, whom tradition remembered by the name of Bint ʿAyn al-Shams.

ʿAmara was said to have founded the kingdom in 1504–1505 and to have reigned until 1533–1534 Contemporary information about ʿAmara may be found in the account of the mystic and adventurer David Reubeni whose controversial subsequent role in European Jewish history while in the Sudan Reubeni claimed to be ...



Roberto Gozzoli

pharaoh of Egypt (570–526 BCE), as Herodotus (II, 172) reports, was from Siuph in the district of Sais. The name of his father is not known, but the mother’s name, Tashereniset, survives on a statue of Amasis erected after he was made king.

There is no information about Amasis until the year 570 BCE As Herodotus recounts II 161 69 that year when Apries then the pharaoh was returning from an unsuccessful expedition against Cyrene a Greek colony on the Libyan coast the Egyptian army accused the pharaoh of having sent them to die Thus they chose the general Amasis as the new pharaoh When Apries sent an embassy to Amasis asking him to submit to the legitimate king the general replied in a vulgar manner A battle ensued at Memphis in which Amasis defeated his opponent s army seized power and took Apries prisoner Later Amasis had Apries strangled ...


Amda, Seyon I  

Steven Kaplan

emperor of Ethiopia (1314–1344), whose regnal name was Gebre Meskel (“Servant of the Cross”), was one of the outstanding rulers of the early Solomonic period (1270–1527) in Ethiopia. While his grandfather, Yekunno Amlak (r. 1270–1284), is credited with establishing a new dynasty, Amda Seyon (“Pillar of Zion”) can be said to have established the medieval Ethiopian state.

Amda Seyon is generally believed to have succeeded his father, Wedem Re’ad, as emperor in 1314. The first years of his reign were devoted to wars against Muslim populations in the southwest of Ethiopia. Around 1320 he turned his attention to the northern parts of Ethiopia particularly to Tigray province in the north and the areas around the ancient capital of Aksum where his dynasty s claim to be the legitimate successors to the Solomonic kings of Aksum had not been accepted Amda Seyon s victories ...