Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Kush from Philip's Encyclopedia

Kingdom and former state in Nubia. Lasting from c.1000 bc to c. ad 350, it conquered Egypt in the 7th-8th centuries bc. It was later defeated by the Assyrians, and moved its capital to Meroë in the Sudan. After Roman and Arab attacks in the N, Meroë was captured by the Axumites around ad 350. The Kushites are thought to have fled W.


Summary Article: CUSH KINGDOM
from Africa and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History

Cush Kingdom was an ancient African kingdom, located in present-day Egypt, that lasted two thousand years. The Kingdom of Cush (Kush, Nubia) lay along the Nile River roughly between the first cataract above Aswan to the sixth cataract near the confluence of the Blue and White Nile Rivers at Khartoum.

The Kingdom of Cush began around four thousand years ago. The first kingdom, dominated by Egypt, was centered near the second cataract. Biblical references to Cush are often to this first kingdom. However, power shifted to Napata, near the fourth cataract, as the capital of the Napatan (Cush) Kingdom. At the height of its power, Cush conquered Egypt. The kings of the period became the pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. This period lasted a brief hundred years, ending with the conquest of Egypt by the Assyrians.

When the Cush Dynasty ended, Napatan was abandoned for a new center up the Nile at Meroe, about halfway between the confluence of the Atbara River and the Nile and the sixth cataract. There an iron forging and trading center with connections to the Red Sea was developed.

The Meroite Kingdom of Cush went into permanent decline after it suffered military defeat at the hands of King Ezana of Axum (ancient Abyssinia) about 1,650 years ago. Ruins of magnificent pyramids, temples, public buildings, ironworks, and homes are located at Jebal Barkal and at many other places.

See also:

Egypt

Reference
  • Welsby, Derek A. The Kingdom of Kush: The Napatan and Merotic Empires. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener, 1998.
  • Andrew J. Waskey

    Copyright © 2008 by ABC-CLIO, Inc.

    Related Articles


    Full text Article Kush
    Encyclopedia of African History

    The term “Kush” was used by ancient Egyptians to designate one of the states to the south of their frontier at the First Cataract. Modern...

    Full text Article KUSH
    Encyclopedia of Black Studies

    Kush is the name given to a period of Nubian history during which there were two successive capitals, Napata and Meroe. It is generally agreed...

    Full text Article Kush
    The Encyclopedia of Ancient History

    During the Egyptian Old Kingdom, the toponym Wawat encompassed most, if not all, of Lower Nubia; the toponym Irtjet referred either to the southern

    See more from Credo