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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.
The name Candace and its variants derive from the title Kandake.
A legend in the Alexander romance claims that Candace of Meroë fought Alexander the Great. In fact, Alexander never attacked Nubia and never attempted to move further south than the oasis of Siwa in Egypt.
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.
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
- Shanakdakhete (177 BCE–155 BCE) (earliest known ruling queen)
- Amanirenas (40 BCE–10 BCE)
- Amanishakheto (c. 10 BCE–1 CE)
- Amanitore (1–20 CE)
- Amantitere (22–41 CE)
- Amanikhatashan (62–85 CE)
- Maleqorobar (266–283 CE)
- Lahideamani (306–314 CE)
- Pelekh Candace of Meroe (legendary, allegedly ruled c. 345 BCE–332 BCE and defeated Alexander the Great)
- Acts 8:26-27
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