His determination from the study of their pyramids at Napata (the Barkal region) of the succession of the Ethiopian kings, 42 and his revelations of the colonial dominion of the Egyptians in Nubia under the XII.
A state was founded, having for its capital Napata (mod.
From the evidence of the stele of the second (the Coronation Stele) and that of the fifth it has been inferred that the sovereignty early in this period became elective, a deputation of the various orders in the realm being (as Diodorus states), when a vacancy occurred, sent to Napata, where the chief god Amen selected out of the members of the royal family the person who was to succeed, and who became officially the god's son; and it seems certain that the priestly caste was more influential in Ethiopia than in Egypt both before and after this period.
It further appears that in his time and that of his immediate predecessors the capital of the kingdom had been removed from Napata, where in the time of Harsiotf the temples and palaces were already in ruins, to Merc y at a distance of 60 camel-hours to the south-east.
But Napata retained its importance as the religious metropolis; it was thither that the king went to be crowned, and there too the chief god delivered his oracles, which were (it is said) implicitly obeyed.
A fresh epoch was, however, inaugurated by Ergamenes, a contemporary of Ptolemy Philadelphus, who is said to have massacred the priests at Napata, and destroyed sacerdotal influence, till then so great that the king might at the priests' order be compelled to destroy himself; Diodorus attributes this measure to Ergamenes' acquaintance with Greek culture, which he introduced into his country.
One of them was involved in war with the Romans in 24 and 23 B.C.; the land was invaded by C. Petronius, who took the fortress Premis or Ibrim, and sacked the capital (then Napata); the emperor Augustus, however, ordered the evacuation of the country without even demanding tribute.
A great builder was Netekamane, who is represented with his queen Amanetari on temples of Egyptian style at many points up the Nile - at Amara just above the second cataract, and at Napata, as well as at Meroe, Benaga and Naga in the distant Isle of Meroe.
Egyptian monuments are found as far south as Mount Barkal (Napata), but no Egyptian settlements beyond Syene.
The priests of Amane at Meroe and Napata, in fact, regulated through his oracle the whole government of the country, choosing the king, directing his military expeditions (and even compelling him to commit suicide, according to Diodorus) until in the 3rd century B.C. Arkamane (Ergamenes) broke through the bondage and slew the priests.
Beyond are the Ethiopian temples and pyramids of Jebel Barkal and the other pyramids of Napata at Tangassi, &c., the still later pyramids of Meroe at Begerawia, and the temples of Mesauwart and Naga reaching to within 50 m.
This province of Cush extended from Napata just below the Fourth Cataract on the south to El Kab in the north, so that it included the first three nomes of Upper Egypt, which agriculturally were not greatly superior to Nubia.
The kings he sacrificed to Ammon and hanged six bodies on the walls, while the seventh was carried south to Napata and there exposed as a terror to the Ethiopians.
Warred in Ethiopia, but his sway was long unquestioned from Napata to the Euphrates.
On the other hand, an expedition by Cambyses against the Ethiopian kingdom of Napata and Meroe came to grief in Nubia.