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Brushstrokes: The Story of Amanirenas, the Fierce Kandake

This post was originally published in Rejected Princesses

This month, we’re excited about featuring the story of Amanirenas, one of the most famous Kushite Kandakes, queens of the ancient African kingdom of Kush (what is today the country of Sudan) and her valiant fight against the armies of Rome to defend the boundaries of her people’s land.

Unlike many civilisations, women often ruled in the kingdom of Kush. Women in general played an important role in Kushite society. One reason why women were held in such high esteem may have been because many Kushites were followers of the goddess Isis. Kushite queens had more power than female rulers of other societies of the era (60 BCE to 10 BCE). They were warrior queens, which were very different from the mostly ceremonial role taken by queens in most other nations.

Amanirenas, known for her leading role in Kushite armies against the Romans in a war, was a fierce warrior queen. She led her kingdom into battle with the Romans and gained respect as a Kushite ruler. The “One-Eyed Kandake” led an army of 30,000 men and fought Rome fiercely from the Egyptian city of Aswan. The brave warrior queen is remembered for her loyal combat, side-by-side, with her own soldiers. Amanirenas and her son, Akinidad, took the cities of Syrene, Philae and Elephantina, removing Roman statues from their sites as tokens of their victories.

All images taken from Rejected Princesses

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