ALWA

Soba

SOBA The capital city of the medieval Nubian kingdom of ‘ALWA. It was situated on the east bank of the Blue Nile, a short distance upstream from the confluence with the White Nile. The city is not mentioned by name in any text before the early Middle Ages, but it must have been founded at …

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Ibn Hawqal

IBN HAWQAL Abu al-Qasim Muhammad ibn Hawqal al-Nasibi (d. 988) was an Arab traveler who seems to have visited Nubia and the Sudan in 955. He later wrote a book based on his travels, of which two versions survive: an earlier version called Kitab al- Masalik wa-al-Mamalik (Book of Ideologies and Countries), and a revised …

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Empire Of Kush

EMPIRE OF KUSH Roman Egypt was bordered on the south by the empire of Kush, whose territory extended from Lower Nubia at least as far southward as the confluence of the Blue and White Niles. The empire was ruled for nearly a thousand years by descendants of the “Ethiopian” pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, who …

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Longinus

LONGINUS A sixth-century missionary, who, according to ecclesiastical historians, played an important role in bringing Christianity to the Nubian kingdoms both of NOBATIA and of ‘ALWA. Information about his life and activities is found in the work of his contemporary, John of Ephesus, and in the later writers Eutychius and AL-MAQRIZI. According to John of …

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Beja Tribes

BEJA TRIBES The nomadic and warlike Beja tribes have occupied the Red Sea hills of Egypt and Sudan since very early times. In pharaonic days, the tribes were known as the Medjay and were already regarded as a menace by the settled populations in the Nile Valley. One of the Egyptian frontier fortresses built in …

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Alwa , Or Alodia

ALWA , or Alodia The most southerly of the Christian kingdoms of medieval Nubia. Its territorial extent is unknown but was apparently considerable. According to IBN SALIM AL-ASWANI, it was larger than the neighboring kingdom of MAKOURIA. The frontier between Makouria and ‘Alwa was at AL-ABWAB (the gates), which was evidently somewhere between the Fourth …

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Menarti

MENARTI The name given in modern times to a small island situated at the foot of the Second Cataract of the Nile, a few miles south of the town of Wadi Halfa. The name in Nubian means “island of Mei,” but some scholars believe this may be a corruption of Mikhailnarti (island of Michael). Near …

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