Did you know that Alexander the Greek ”Great” did not conquer the known world? As matter of fact he didn’t even come close. After beating up on some smaller weak countries in the area, he turned his forces toward Egypt. He defeated weaker forces in lower Egypt up to the first cataract. As he moved to the second cataract he came face to face with a Black Warrior Queen;
Queen Candace of Meroe. History records the following; The presiding kentakes, known in history as “Black Queen Candace of Ethiopia,” designed a battle plan to counter Alexander’s advance. She placed her armies and waited on a war elephant for the Macedonian conqueror to appear for battle. Alexander approached the field from a low ridge, but when he saw the Black Queen’s army displayed in a brilliant military formation before him, he stopped. After studying the array of warriors waiting with such deadly precision and realizing that to challenge the kentakes could quite possibly be fatal, he turned his armies away from Ethiopia toward a successful campaign in Egypt.
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 bass-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 passing. The following African queens were known to the Greco-Roman world as the “Candaces”: Amanirenas, Amanishakhete, Amanitore, Nawidemak, and Malegereabar.
A hundred and fifty years after Alexander was repelled by the Black Queen, the Romans, under Patronius, the Roman governor of Egypt in 30 B.C., tried to conquer Ethiopia, and again a kentakes stopped them.Queen Amanirenas neutralized Patronius’s army, defeating his garrison at Cyrene, and drove the Roman legions northward. Not only did the Romans fail to take her country, Queen Amanirenas took parts of theirs. A wall painting depicts her, armed with bow and arrows and spear, holding a tether attached to seven captives. The kentakes of Ethiopia left many monuments to themselves. Amanishakhete, Amanitore, Nawidemak, and Malegereabar commissioned numerous bas-reliefs in the ancient site at Naqa, picturing them armed with one and two swords, battling lions, and subduing enemy war leaders. (cont)
Jones, David E., Women Warriors: A History, Brasseys, Inc.; (March 1, 2000)