Meroitic Empire Rules from Southern Egypt to the Blue Nile (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: After the capital of Kush was moved from Napata southward to Meroë, the Meroitic Empire became one of the most powerful states of the ancient world and a corridor for commerce and cultural exchange.
Summary of Event
The ancient kingdom of Meroë, known to its inhabitants as Kush or Kash, developed in the Upper Nile River Valley. It extended from Egypt’s southern border to a point south of Khartoum, capital of the modern Republic of Sudan. Classical writers called the kingdom Meroë in reference to the city that replaced Napata as its center of government. It became one of the most important empires of the ancient world.
Kush’s power rivaled that of Egypt. After years of Egyptian invasion and dominion, Kushite kings became strong and expansion minded. During the eighth and seventh centuries b.c.e., they took control of their northern neighbor and formed Egypt’s Twenty-fifth (Kushite) Dynasty (c. 742-c. 656 b.c.e.). They ruled for nearly a century before they were driven out in 656. In 594, the Egyptian pharoah Psamtik II carried out a campaign against Kush, then under the rule of Aspelta, and may have sacked the original Kushite capital of Napata.
Fear of Egyptian incursion was probably one reason for moving Kush’s capital from Napata to Meroë, a site about 180 miles (290 kilometers) southeast. The relocation of the capital occurred over a period of time, probably...
(The entire section is 1605 words.)
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