MAKOURIA

Nubia

NUBIA The region of Nubia, the land of the NUBIANS, is usually thought of today as comprising the Nile Valley from Aswan in Egypt to Debba in northern Sudan. However, the toponym has not had a consistent meaning for either medieval or modern writers. For some, it is a geographic term, designating a distinctive part …

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Nobatia

NOBATIA The name given in medieval times to the most northerly part of Nubia, immediately south of Egypt. Its territory is believed to have extended from about the First to the Third Cataract of the Nile, though there is some doubt about the location of the southern frontier. The region took its name from the …

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Nubians

NUBIANS The term “Nubians” has sometimes been used to designate all of the inhabitants of the region called NUBIA. Even more loosely, it sometimes designates all of the dark-skinned neighboring peoples who dwell to the south of Egypt. To be technically accurate, however, the name should be applied only to speakers of the Nubian family …

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Nubia, Islamization Of

ISLAMIZATION OF NUBIA Throughout the Middle Ages, the peoples of Nubia adhered almost exclusively to the Coptic Christian faith. They had successfully resisted two Arab invasions, in 642 and 652, and subsequently concluded the BAQT TREATY, which ensured them against further Islamic incursions for several centuries. Muslim merchants from Egypt were allowed to travel and …

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Jabal ‘Adda

JABAL ‘ADDA, A hilltop fortress in Lower Nubia, across the river and slightly upstream from the famous temple of Abu Simbel. It was, along with QASR IBRIM and FARAS, one of the three most important administrative centers in Lower Nubia in the medieval period. Because only limited excavation was done in the fortress of Jabal …

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Dongola

DONGOLA Often referred to as “Dongola al-‘Ajuz,” the capital city of the medieval Nubian kingdom of MAKOURIA. It was situated on the east bank of the Nile about halfway between the Third and Fourth Cataracts. The name is said to be derived from a Nubian word for a hill or high place, perhaps reflecting the …

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Dotawo

DOTAWO A small, late medieval kingdom, probably the last surviving Christian polity in Nubia. The name in Nubian means “below Do,” a place usually identified with the Daww of medieval Arabic manuscripts and the JABAL ‘ADDA of modern times. It is not certain whether “below” is to be read literally (since Jabal ‘Adda was on …

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