Sunday, January 30, 2011


The Kingdom of Kush or Cush was an ancient African state centered on the confluences of the Blue Nile, White Nile and River Atbara in what is now the Republic of Sudan. It was one of the earliest civilizations to develop in the Nile River Valley. Having also been referred to as Nubia, and as "Ethiopia" in ancient Greek and Greco-Roman records.

Nubia is a region along the Nile, in northern Sudan and southern Egypt. Throughout its History, Nubia is broken into three distinct regions – “Lower Nubia”, in modern southern Egypt, which lies between the first and second cataract, and “Upper Nubia and Southern Nubia” – in modern-day northern Sudan, which existed in the area south of second cataract, along the Nile down to the sixth cataract. Lower Nubia and Upper Nubia are so called because the Nile flows north, so Upper Nubia was further upstream and of higher elevation, even though it lies geographically south of Lower Nubia.

There were a number of small Nubian kingdoms throughout the Middle Ages, the last of which collapsed in 1504, when Nubia became divided between Egypt and the Sennar sultanate resulting in the Arabization of much of the Nubian population. Nubia was again united within Ottoman Egypt in the 19th century, and within Anglo-Egyptian Sudan from 1899 to 1956.

The name Nubia is derived from that of the Noba people, nomads who settled the area in the 4th century, with the collapse of the kingdom of Meroë. The Noba spoke a Nilo-Saharan language, ancestral to Old Nubian. Old Nubian was used in mostly religious texts dating from the 8th and 15th centuries AD. Before the 4th century, and throughout classical antiquity, Nubia was known as Kush, or, in Classical Greek usage, included under the name "Ethiopia"(under ancient Greek and Greco-Roman records, may be different from Ethiopia nation today).

Note: Modern Ethiopia and its current borders are a result of significant territorial reduction in the north and expansion in the south toward its present borders, owing to several migrations and commercial integration as well as conquests, particularly by Emperor Menelik II and Ras Gobena.

Historically, the people of Nubia spoke at least two varieties of the Nubian language group, a subfamily which includes Nobiin (the descendant of Old Nibian), Kenuzi-Dongola, Midob and several related varieties in the northern part of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan. A variety (Birgid) was spoken (at least until 1970) north of Nyala in Darfur but is now extinct.

The area of the Nile valley known as Nubia that lies within present day Sudan was home to three Kushite kingdoms during antiquity: the first with its capital at Kerma (2600–1520 BC), the second centered on Napata (1000–300 BC) and, finally, the kingdom of Meroë (300 BC–AD 300).

Kerma was Nubia's first centralized state with its own indigenous forms of architecture and burial customs. The last two kingdoms, Napata and Meroe, were heavily influenced by ancient Egypt; culturally, economically, politically, and militarily. The Kushite kingdoms in turn competed strongly with Egypt, to the extent that during the late period of Ancient Egyptian history, the rulers of Napata conquered and unified Egypt herself, ruling as the pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty; the Napatan domination of Egypt ended with the Assyrian conquest in 656 BC.

Egypt & Nubia

Ancient Egypt conquered Nubian territory in various eras, and incorporated parts of the area into its provinces. The Nubians in turn were to conquer Egypt under its 25th Dynasty.

Relations between the two peoples however also show peaceful cultural interchange and cooperation, including mixed marriages. The Medjay –from mDA, represents the name Ancient Egyptians gave to a region in northern Sudan–where an ancient people of Nubia inhabited. They became part of the Ancient Egyptian military as scouts and minor workers.

The twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt, known as the Nubian Dynasty or the Kushite Empire, was a line of rulers originating in the Kingdom of Kush. They reigned in part or all of Ancient Egypt from 760 BC to 656 BC. The dynasty began with Kashta's invasion of Upper Egypt and culminated in several years of war with the Assyrians that forced the Kushites back to their homeland. The twenty-first, twenty-second, twenty-third, twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth dynasties of Ancient Egypt are often combined under the group title, Third Intermediate Period.

The name given this civilization comes from the Old Testament where Cush (Hebrew: כוש) was one of the sons of Ham, grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:6) who settled in Northeast Africa. Cush (Hebrew: כּוּשׁ, Modern Kush Tiberian Kûš ; "Dark", IPA: [ˈkuʃ]) was the eldest son of Ham, brother of Canaan and the father of Nimrod, and Raamah, mentioned in the "Table of Nations" in the Hebrew Bible (Book of Genesis 10:6, I Chronicles 1:8). The name is usually considered to be the eponym of the people of Kush.

According to Genesis, Cush's other sons were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtecah, names identified by modern scholars with Arabian tribes.

Josephus gives an account of the nation of Cush, son of Ham and grandson of Noah: "For of the four sons of Ham, time has not at all hurt the name of Cush; for the Ethiopians, over whom he reigned, are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Cushites." (Antiquities of the Jews 1.6).In the Bible and at different times in the ancient world, a large region covering northern Sudan, modern day southern Egypt, and parts of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia was known as "Cush". The Hebrew Bible refers to "Cush" on a number of occasions, though various English translations translate this as "Nubian", "Ethiopia", "Sudan", and "Cushite" (Unseth 1999). Moses' wife, Tzipporah, is described as a Kushite in the book of Numbers 12:1.

The Persian historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (c. 915) recounts a tradition that the wife of Cush was named Qarnabil, daughter of Batawil, son of Tiras, and that she bore him the "Abyssinians, Sindis and Indians"

Relations between the two peoples,Egyptian and Kush(or Nubian) however also show peaceful cultural interchange and cooperation, including mixed marriages.

Christianity had penetrated the region by the 4th century, John of Ephesus records that a Monophysite priest named Julian converted the king and his nobles of Nobatia around 545. John of Ephesus also writes that the kingdom of Alodia was converted around 569. However, John of Biclarum records that the kingdom of Makuria was converted to Roman Catholicism the same year, suggesting that John of Ephesus might be mistaken. Further doubt is cast on John's testimony by an entry in the chronicle of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria Eutychius, which states that in 719 the church of Nubia transferred its allegiance from the Greek Orthodox to the Coptic Church.

The influx of Arabs and Nubians to Egypt and Sudan had contributed to the suppression of the Nubian identity following the collapse of the last Nubian kingdom around 1504. A major part of the modern Nubian population became totally Arabized and some claimed to be Arabs (Jaa'leen – the majority of Northern Sudanese – and some Donglawes in Sudan).[28] A vast majority of the Nubian population is currently Muslim, and the Arabic language is their main medium of communication in addition to their indigenous old Nubian language. The unique characteristic of Nubian is shown in their culture (dress, dances, traditions, and music).

With the end of colonialism and the establishment of the Republic of Egypt (1953), and the secession of the Republic of Sudan from unity with Egypt (1956), Nubia was divided between Egypt and Sudan.

In the 1970s, many Egyptian Nubians were forcibly resettled to make room for Lake Nasser after the construction of the dams at Aswan. Nubian villages can now be found north of Aswan on the west bank of the Nile and on Elephantine Island, and many Nubians today live in large cities such as Cairo.

(source: extract from wikipedia)

Nubian Kingdom

Nubian Pyramids in Sudan

Is the Nabian or ancient Sudan, so resemble the ancient Egypt?....what did the history tell us about the ancient Egyptian?.....

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