NUBIA - "Its glory and its people"
(From ORIENTAL INSTITUTE MUSEUM-1987 EXHIBITION: BROCHURE)
To the ancient Mediterranean world, the land south of Egypt was a territory of
mystery and legend. Wealth and exotic products came from there. It was the home
of the Ethiopians, whom Homer called blameless and stories about its great
achievements endured to tantalize the modern world. This land, which now
includes Nubia, is a land of enormous distances, and its exploration was long
impeded by problems of transport and political unrest. In the last hundred
years, Nubia has slowly yielded its secrets, its vanished peoples, abandoned
cities and lost kingdoms brought to light by the excavator and copyist of
inscriptions. This exhibit is a selection of objects recovered over twenty years
ago by the Oriental Institute Nubian Expedition in the effort to rescue
archaeology from the rising water behind the Aswan Dam.The land of Nubia is a
desert divided by the river Nile. For want of water and rich soil, most of Nubia
has never been able to support a large population for long periods. However,
some of Africa's greatest civilizations emerged here, centers of achievement
whose existence was based on industry and trade. Because they did not write
their own languages until very late in ancient times, we know these centers and
their people largely through their archaeology and what the Egyptians and Greeks
said about them.
for more on this ,please see
NUBIA THE LAND AND ITS PEOPLE
(From ORIENTAL INSTITUTE MUSEUM-1992 EXHIBITION: BROCHURE)
Nubia is located in today's southern Egypt and northern Sudan. This land has one
of the harshest climates in the world. The temperatures are high throughout most
of the year, and rainfall is infrequent. The banks of the Nileare narrow in much
of Nubia, making farming difficult. Yet, in antiquity, Nubia was a land of great
natural wealth,of gold mines, ebony, ivory and incense which was always prized
by her neighbors.Nubia is the homeland of Africa's earliest black culture with a
history which can be traced from 3100 B.C.onward through Nubian monuments and
artifacts, as well as written records from Egypt and Rome.
for more on this ,please see
Ancient Nubia: Egypt's Rival in Africa-
( From The Kelsey Museum of Archeology "PRESS RELAESE")
The exhibition places ancient Nubians and their civilization in a new historical
context, offering visitors a compelling well-founded perspective on this
little-known African civilization. "Nubians in the Bronze Age, from about 3100
BC to 1000 BC, are usually thought of as divided into small chiefdoms, with the
partial exception of the Kingdom of Kush in the Middle Bronze Age. However,
recent research suggests that large kingdoms arose in Nubia much earlier than is
generally thought. Over the centuries Nubians and Egyptians competed for power
and advantage throughout the vast Lower Nile region, from the Mediterranean Sea
south to the Sixth Cataract in the Sudan. Powerful and centrally organized early
Nubians are truly Egypt's rivals in Africa" states Dr. David O'Connor, curator
of the exhibition.
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The Economic Importance of Nubia
Peter A. Piccione
© 1995. All rights reserved.
(from Joseph Schaffner Library Collection-Northwestern University Library
Exploitation by Egypt
Precious Metals and Stone. Egyptian interests in Nubia were always driven by
economics. The one factor that chiefly characterized Egypt's relationship with
Nubia through most of their history was exploitation. Nubia's most important
resource for Egypt was precious metal, including gold and electrum. The gold
mines of Nubia were located in certain valleys and mountains on either side of
the Nile River, although the most important mining center was located in the
Wadi Allaqi. That valley extended eastward into the mountains near Qubban (about
107 km. south of Elephantine). Nubia was also an important source of valuable
hard stone and copper, both of which were necessary for Egypt's monumental
Trading in African Goods. Especially important for Egypt was that Nubia was also
a corridor to central Africa and a point for the trans-shipment of exotic goods
from that region, including: frankincense, myrrh, "green gold," ivory, ebony and
other exotic woods, precious oils, resins and gums, panther and leopard skins,
monkeys, dogs, giraffes, ostrich feathers and eggs, as well as pygmies (who
became important to Egyptian religious rituals). In the Old Kingdom, the
Egyptians regularly penetrated as far as the Second Cataract to barter for these
products which were coming down through the upper Nile Valley (viz., the
expeditions of Harkhuf, Hekayib, Mekhu and Sabni).
Manpower. Nubia was also an important source of manpower and labor for the
Egyptians. The Palermo Stone records that early in the Fourth Dynasty, King
Snefru led a military campaign into Nubia reputedly to crush a "revolt" there
(the Egyptians considered all enemies--whether foreign or domestic--as "rebels"
against the natural order). According to that text, he captured 200,000 head of
cattle and 7,000 prisoners, all of whom were deported to Egypt as laborers on
royal building projects. While some archaeologists argue that this campaign was
limited to Lower Nubia, others note that the amount of 7,000 is rather high for
a country that was fairly depopulated at the time. If the number was not
inflated as royal propaganda, then Snefru could have penetrated into Upper Nubia
as far as the Land of Yam and made his conquests there.
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CHRONOLOGY OF BISHOPS OF FARAS
From: Kazimierz Michalowski book "FARAS"
Episcopte: in twenties--thirties of the 7th century. First known Rishup of
Pskhoras; possibly the builder of the First Cathedral Church. Contrmpornry ruler
of Nubia: unknown.
Period of the episcupales: mid-7th century. Coiltemporary ruler of Doneola:
Qalidurut. Main evets: Arab raids on Dongola in 611 and 65112. During this lilne
possibly the First Cathedral at Faras destroyed. Signin~g of the Baqt with
Episcopate: 2nd half of the 7th century. Buildcr of the Great
Church ar Fanras to replace the destroyed Cathedral.
Monophysite bishop. Episcopate: end of 7th and beginning of 8thcentury; d. in
709 or 719. Responsible for the great building activity in Pakhoras; founder of
the rebuilt Cathedral in 7. Beginning (?) of violet style murals. Contemporary
ruler: King Merkurios (697 until 710 at the earliest). Main events: Unification
of Nobadia and Makuria. Adoption of onophysite faith as the Nubian state
religion. Establishing (?) of the post of Eparch (governor of Nobadia)--Markos,
first known eparch's name attested in Faras.
Monophysite Uishop. Episcopatz: 709 or 719 until 730; d. in 730. Contemporary
rulers: Zacharias I and Silneon.
Monophysite Bishop. Episcopate: 730-766: d. 31 May 766. Contemporary rulers:
AbraHam, Markos and Kyriakos (c. 740-760); Eparch Pauloskudda (?) (750-768).
Main events: Nubians invade Egypt (745). Period of prosperity in Nubia.
Bishpp of non-Nubian origin transferred to FAras from another diocese.
Episcopate: 766-802; d. 23 January 802, aged 78. Completion of painted
decoration of the CAthedral (violet
style). NuhiAn school of mural painting already developped. Contemporary rulers.
Michael and Ioannesl (end of sth century).
Episcopate: 802-809 (?); d. in 809 ('!). Contemporary ruler: King Chael; Eparch
Kyriakos (c. 801-813). Main events: Unitication (?) with Alwa
10. IOANNES (11)
Episcopate:after 809 (?).
Episcopate: 12 years between 810 and 826; Contemporary ruler: Zacharis II(?).
12. CHAEL (I)
Episcopate: from (?) to 827; d. in 827 (?).
Monophysite Bishop. Episcopate: 827-862; d. 16 July 862, aged over 75.
Contemporary ruler: Zacharias II (d. in 856 or 866). Main events: Wars between
Bedja and Arabs (831 and 856) . Embassy of Prince Georgios to Baghdad(836).
Episcopate: from about 862 to 866; d. in 866. Contemporary ruler: Georgios
I(enthronment--856 or 866).
Monophysite, Metropolitan Bishop. Episcopate: 866-902; d. in 902. Renovation and
partial rebuilding of the Faras Cathedral. White style murals. Contemporary
ruler: Ceorgios I (until 920); Eparch Zacharias (c.868-878). Main events:
Troubles with al-Omari, the gold prospector (868-869). Development of Nubian
State observed in agriculture, architecture and crafts (pottery). Establishing
in Faras of Metropolitan see (besides one in OId Dongola).
Episcopate: 902-903; d. in 903. Founder of the rebuilt church at Aksha.
Monophysite, Metropolitan Bishop. Episcopate 903-923;d. 13 August 923, aged 62.
Further decoration of the Cathedral,beginning of yellow-red style. Contemporary
rulers: Ceorgios I and Zacharias IIT (enthronment 920).
Monophysite Bishop, Episcopate: 923-925; d. 14 July 926, aged 52. Contemporary
ruler; Zacharias IIT.
Monophysite, Metropolitan Bishop. Episcopate: 926-952; d. 6 August 952.
Destruction of the Faras Cathedral by fire (c. 927). Building of the Church on
the South Slope of the Kom (930). Contemporary ruler: Zacharias TII; Eparch Iesu
(c. 930). Main events: Nubian attack on Egyptian eases (952).
Monophysite, Metropolitan Bishop. Episcopate: 952-972; d. 12 December 972, aged
61. Large scale rebuilding of the Cathedral. Contemporary ruler: Georgios II
(from c.969). Main events: Nubians attack Aswan and Edfu (956) and occupy Upper
Egypt. Height of Nubian State power.
21. PETROS (I)
Monophysite, Metropolitan Bishop. Episcopate: 974-999 (in charge of the
Cathedral until Autumn 997 only); d. 20 July 999, aged 93; Buried at the Church
on South Slope of the Kom. Decoration of the Cathedral with new murals: red and
multicoloured style. Dispute between Melchites and Mono physites over the
diocese of Faras. In the result the Cathedral is taken over by the Melchites.
Contemporary ruler: Georgios II (c. 969--until 979 or 1003). Main events:
Peaceful elations with Egypt under the Fatimide rule.
22. IOANNES (III)
Melchite Bishop. Episcopate: 997-1005; d. 21 September l005, aged 82.
Introduction of the Dyophysite faith to the Cathedral in the consequence of the
policy of friendship with Egypt where al-Aziz acts in favour of the Melchite
Church. Contemporary ruler: Raphael (1002-1006),
Melchite Bishop. Former Archimandrite of Puke, Bishop of Cairo (?) transferred
to Faras; "Spiritual Son" of Bishop Ioannes(III). Episcopate: 1005-1036; d. in
Qasr Ibrim 11 November 1036, aged 69. Further decoration of the Cathedral.
Flourishing of multicoloured style· Contemporary ruler: Stephanos (c. 1027);
Eparch: Ioannes (c. 1007). Main events: Friendly relations with Fatimide Egypt
continued. Building activity in Dongola.
Melchite Bishop, "Spiritual Son" of Bishop Ioannes(III) Episcopate: 1037-1056;
d. 1July 1056, aged 80. After his episcopate a break of to years in the
chronology of Faras Bishops. Contemporary ruler unknown
25. PETROS (II)
Monophysite Bishop. Episcopite: 1058-1062;d. 22 May 1062. The Cathedral taken
over again by the Monophysites. Contemporary ruler: Salomon (?). Main events:
Growth in strength of the Monophysite Church in Nubia as a result of the visit
to Nubin of Christodulos, the Patriarch of Alexandria(1058),
Monophysite Bishop. Episcopite: 1062-1047; d. 14 August 1097, aged 95. Painting
in Faras reaches its climax(multi-coloured style), Centemporary rulers: Salomon
(until 1080), Georgios III and Basilios (c. 1089). Main events: Old Nubian
possibly accepted as the official language in the State and Church (?).
27. CHAEL (II)
Melchite(?) Bishop. "Spiritual Son" of Bishop IosephTimekleos. Episcopite: 1097
(?) until c. 1125-1130; d. 5 May 11.., aged 80, Reinstatrment of the Melchite
rite in Faras (?). Contemporary ruler: unknown,
28. IESU (II)
Melchite (?) Bishop. Last name of the List of Bishops. Episcopate: from c,
1125-11 30 until 1170-1175; d. 4June11.. aged 88.Contemporary rulers: Georgios
IV(1130-1158) and Moise (c. 1160), Main events: War with Egypt, Qasr Ibrim
occupied by Arabs (I I 72-1 173). Battle of Adindan near
Faras (1175) when the Faras Cathedrall was damaged.
Melchite (?) Bishop, tasokhon of the Church or St Michael in Faras. Episcopate:
late 12th century; d, 31 March 1193 (?).
Cathedrnl ceased to fulfil epicopal functions. After its provisory protection
against blown sand was used as a church possibly until 15th century. Close to
the CathedraI North Monastery was built in 13th (?) century. Gradual decline of
Nubinn State. Last Christian King of Nubia, Kudanbes dethroned in 1323, Hiss
Audience Hall in Old Dongoln turned into 3 mosque (1317). In Nobadia Christinn
King of Do-Tauwo attested in 15th century.
Monophysite. Bishop of Phrim and Pakhoras (residing in Qasr Ibrirn), consecrated
bishop hy the Pntriarch of Alexandria in l372; d, in Qasr Ibrim.