Amara Dunqas

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Amara Dunqas was the first ruler of the Kingdom of Sennar, which he ruled from 1504 - 1533/4. According to James Bruce, he founded the city of Sennar, after the Wad 'Ajib had been defeated by the Funj in a battle near Arbaji moved the seat of government of Wed Ageeb to Herbagi, that he might be more immediately under their own eye.[1]

Following the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517, Amara Dunqas skillfully used diplomacy to keep the Ottoman armies from advancing further up the Nile and conquering his realm, thus securing the future of the kingdom.[2]

In 1523 the Jewish traveller David Reubeni passed through the territory of a king 'Amara, who is usually identified with Amara Dunqas.[3] Two years later, Amara is briefly mentioned by the Ottoman admiral Selman Reis as the ruler of a kingdom, that, while described as requiring a three month journey to cross it, was weak and hence easily conquerable.[4]


  1. ^ James Bruce, Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile (1805 edition), vol. 4 p. 458
  2. ^ E.A Wallis Budge, A History of Ethiopia: Nubia and Abyssinia, 1928 (Oosterhout, the Netherlands: Anthropological Publications, 1970)
  3. ^ S. Hillelson, "David Reubeni, an early visitor to Sennar", Sudanese Notes and Records, 16 (1933), 55-66.
  4. ^ A.C.S. Peacock (2012): "The Ottomans and the Funj sultanate in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 75, No. 1. University of London. pp. 87-111.
Preceded by
King of Sennar Succeeded by