It is first associated historically, not with any definite geographical region, but with the Nobatae, a negro people removed by Diocletian from Kharga oasis to the Nile valley above Egypt (Dodecaschoenus), whence the turbulent Blemmyes had recently been driven eastwards.
Their domain then began to be encroached upon from the east by the Blemmyes, who have been identified with the present Beja of the Nubian desert.
The Blemmyes, remaining pagan after the Nubas had embraced Christianity (6th century) were soon after driven from the Nile valley eastwards to the kindred Megabares, Memnons and other nomads, who, with the Troglodytes, had from time immemorial held the whole steppe region between the Nile and the Red Sea from Axum to Egypt.
He was taken prisoner by the Blemmyes, a nomad tribe that gave much trouble to the empire in Africa, and when they set him free in the Thebaid near Panopolis (Akhmim) c. 450, they exposed him to further persecution from Schenute the great hero of the Egyptian monks.
This group speak a language of their own, and are probably descendants of the Blemmyes, who occupied these parts in ancient times (see ARABS; BEDOUINS; HADEND0A; BISHA1t!N; &c.).
He ~xpelled the Blemmyes, who were dominating the whole of the fhebaid.
Towards the middle of the 5th century, the Blemmyes, quiet since the reign of Diocletian, recommenced their incursions, and were even joined in them by the Nobatae.
In the year 851 the Boja (or Beja), a wild people living between the Red Sea and the Nile of Upper Egypt, the Blemmyes of the ancients, refused to pay the annual tribute, and invaded the land of the gold and emerald mines, so that the working of the mines was stopped.