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"Candace" redirects here. For other uses, see Candace (disambiguation).

Kandake or Kentake, also Candace, was the title for queens and queen mothers of the ancient African Kingdom of Kush, also known as Nubia and Ethiopia.

In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, a treasury official of "Candace, queen of the Ethiopians" returning from a trip to Jerusalem was baptised by Philip the Evangelist:

Then the Angel of the Lord said to Philip, Start out and go south to the road that leads down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: And behold, a man of Ethiopia, an Eunuch of great authority under Candace, Queen of Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem to worship.[1]

The name Candace and its variants derive from the title Kandake.

Warrior queens[edit]

A legend in the Alexander romance claims that Candace of Meroë fought Alexander the Great.[2] In fact, Alexander never attacked Nubia and never attempted to move further south than the oasis of Siwa in Egypt.[3][4]

In 25 BC the kandake Amanirenas, as reported by Strabo, attacked the city of Syene, today's Aswan, in territory of the Roman Empire; Emperor Augustus destroyed the city of Napata in retaliation.[5][6]

Bas-reliefs dated to about 170 B.C. reveal kentakes Shanakdakheto, dressed in armor and wielding a spear in battle. She did not rule as queen regent or queen mother, but as a fully independent ruler. Her husband was her consort. In bas-reliefs found in the ruins of building projects she commissioned, Shanakdakheto is portrayed both alone as well as with her husband and son, who would inherit the throne by her death.

Four African queens were known to the Greco-Roman world as the "Candaces": Amanishakhete, Amanirenas, Nawidemak, and Malegereabar.

Kandakes of Kush[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Acts 8:26-27
  2. ^ Jones, David E., Women Warriors: A History, Brasseys, Inc.; (2000)
  3. ^ Goldenberg, David M. (2003). The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Princeton University Press. p. 64. 
  4. ^ Morgan, J.R. and Stoneman, Richard (1994). Greek Fiction: The Greek Novel in Context. Routledge. pp. 117–118. ISBN 0-415-08507-1. 
  5. ^ Nubian Queens in the Nile Valley and Afro-Asiatic Cultural History - Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Professor of Anthropology, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston U.S.A, August 20-26, 1998
  6. ^ E. A. Wallis Budge (2003), Cook's Handbook for Egypt and the Sudan, Part 2 (reprinted ed.), Kessinger Publishing, p. 737, ISBN 9780766148024 

External links[edit]