Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Digital Publication from ISAW: Aksum and Nubia: Warfare, Commerce, and Political Fictions in Ancient Northeast Africa

Aksum and Nubia: Warfare, Commerce, and Political Fictions in Ancient Northeast Africa
George Hatke

©2013 George Hatke. Distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives License.
This work is available at the URI as part of the NYU Library's Ancient World Digital Library and in partnership with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW).  Further information about ISAW's publication program is available on the ISAW website. Please note that while the base URI of this document is stable, the exact content available is still undergoing development. Please note that the text contains Syriac and Ge'ez characters which render properly when the appropriate fonts are installed. Readers may want to try the fonts available from Beth Mardutho, as well as the Gentium Plus font from SIL.


  • Preface
  • 1. Introduction
    • 1.1. Before Aksum and Kush
    • 1.2. The First Millennium BCE: A Turning Point in State Formation
  • 2. The Question of Aksumite Trade with Nubia
  • 3. The Third Century CE: Monumentum Adulitanum II (RIE 277)
    • 3.1. Cosmas Indicopleustes at Adulis
    • 3.2. Dating Monumentum Adulitanum II
    • 3.3. Aksumite Expansion in Northeast Africa
      • 3.3.1. Aksum and Rome’s Southern Frontier
      • 3.3.2. Aksum and “Ethiopia”
      • 3.3.3. Sasu: A Scribal Error for Kush?
      • 3.3.4. Aksum’s Northern and Western Frontiers in the Third Century
  • 4. The Fourth Century CE: Aksum in Nubia
    • 4.1. Ousanas and Kush: RIE 186
    • 4.2. Aksum Invades Kush: Two Greek Inscriptions from Meroë
      • 4.2.1. Dating RIE 286 and SNM 24841
      • 4.2.2. The Political Implications of the First Aksumite Invasion of Kush
    • 4.3. Trouble on the Western Front? A Possible Clue in RIE 186
    • 4.4. The Noba: A New Force to be Reckoned With
    • 4.5. ‘Ēzānā’s Nubian War
      • 4.5.1. The Greek Account: RIE 271
      • 4.5.2. The Vocalized Ge‘ez Account: RIE 189
      • 4.5.3. A Third Account of the Nubian War: RIE 190
    • 4.6. Assessing the Impact of Aksum on Nubia in the Fourth Century
      • 4.6.1. The Archaeological Evidence
      • 4.6.2. The Graeco-Roman Textual Evidence
      • 4.6.3. The Fall of Kush: Was Aksum to Blame?
  • 5. After Kush: Aksum and Nubia in the Sixth Century CE
    • 5.1. Kālēb and Nubia: RIE 191
    • 5.2. The Nobades and Blemmyes: Would-be Mercenaries of Aksum?
    • 5.3. Longinus’ Mission and the Aksumite Presence in Alodia
    • 5.4. Into the Middle Ages: Ḥaḍānī Dāne’ēl and Aksum’s Western Neighbors
  • 6. Conclusion
  • Bibliography
    • Map 1. Northeast Africa in the third century CE
    • Map 2. Northeast Africa in the fourth century CE
    • Map 3. Northeast Africa in the sixth century CE
See all Publications at ISAW


  1. This is great! But the URL is off: It has akusm rather than aksum.

  2. Thanks Anonymous Silhouette. Fixed!

  3. Any time! I can't wait to read this.