Sunday, September 4, 2011

Akinidad and the Qasr Ibrim 1420 Inscription


The Akinidad stela, is the funerary stela of Kharapkhael, the older brother of Akinidad. In this stela Akinidad described as a paqar (prince). This suggest that Kharapkhael was the original crown prince, not Akinidad of King Teriteqas and Queen Amanirenas.

Griffith believed that arme, meant Rome. This group of Meroitic syllabic signs did not mean Rome. These letters represented four words a ra m e , or "Indeed he gives measure".

In summary, the Hamadab 1 stela is not about a battle against Rome, it is a recording of the death of the oldest son of Teriteqas and Amanirenas, Kharapkhael. The text of this stela makes it clear in line 2, that Amanirenas:

"(She is to) give the glowing good bequeathal (of) her crown prince.Go bring (him) Good. Bestow here protection on him. Go bring (here) Good. The good crown prince, indeed leaves for the good rebirth. The good son Kharapkhael('s)superior renewal will (be)close at hand."

This indicates that Kharapkhael was the original crown prince and that Akinidad only became crown prince as a result of the death of his older brother Kharapkhael. This death may have caused some political dissension in Meroe, since the death of Kharapkhael, may have made a brother of Teriteqas or Amanirenas eligible for the throne instead of Akinidad.

Akinidad is mentioned in many Meroitic inscriptions. Now that Hamadab 1, has been deciphered in its entirety we discover that King Teriteqas and Queen Amanirenas probably promoted Akinidad on many of their inscribed monuments to legitimize his appointment as crown prince of Meroe after the death of Kharapkhael. Teriteqas and Amanirenas therefore may have made travels to the Meroitic religious centers to attempt to find legitimization for Akinidad as crown prince.

Pilgrimages to Meroitic-Kushite holy places would have provided the public ample opportunity to see the new Crown Prince acting royal after he reached the age of maturity. These pilgrimages by Teriteqas and Amanirenas to religious sites in Meroe would explain the appearance of inscriptions bearing the name of Teriteqas, Amanirenas and Akinidad at many Meroitic religious sites.

The final textual material relating to Akinidad comes from an unpublished stela found at Qasr Ibrim. This stela is Qasr Ibrim 1420.

Researchers usually refer to Qasr Ibrim 1420 as the stela of Amanishaketo and Akinidad stela (Torok, 1997). But our examination of a photograph of Qasr Ibrim 1420 indicate that Amanishaketo is not mentioned on this stela.

Qasr Ibrim 1420 is a fairly large stela. This stela was broken and deliberately disfigured. The top of the stela is broken but a pair of wings were engraved in this area as evidenced by the tips of each wing remaining visible on Qasr Ibrim 1420 today.

Qasr Ibrim 1420 has a long inscription. Presently we find 37 lines of cursive Meroitic script on this stela. There were probably additional lines on this stela, because the stela is broken below line 37.

This stela indicates that Akinidad died while he was a prince. We can not publish a translation of the entire document but it appears that Qasr 1420 was a funerary stela.

As a result of the fact that this inscription is not published I will only quote from lines 1-4 of Qasr Ibrim 1420.
Here we read:

1." He goes to prepare the renewal (and) protection of the abstract personality. Protect the prestige of the prince as is the tradition (and) vouchsafe the soul and honorable offering."

2. Produce revitalization of the Ba to leave a grand legacy (is) obligatory...vouchsafe and guide his abstract personality, may it go forth to praise his spirit.

3. The grand patron praises the Chief. Aman opens the shinning translucent spirit for rebirth. (There) will be eternal honor indeed for the prince.

4. "The good embarkation of Akinidad (to Paradise) to will grant the patron a boon, (and) bring (him) eternal good".

These few quotes from Qasr Ibrim 1420 indicate that at the time this document was written Akinidad was recognized as both Chief and Prince. In this passage the Meroitic term wl was used to designate Akinidad as a prince, instead of pqr.

The term wl 'prince', was probably reserved for Meroite princes that held administrative responsibilities. In addition to wl, being engraved on the Qasr Ibrim 1420 stela we also find use of wl to denote a prince in the inscriptions associated with the personage Arayesabkheqo, interned in pyramid N.36.

Qasr Ibrim 1420 is the only textual evidence where Akinidad is referred to as w-ne 'Chief'. This suggest that at the time Akinidad died he was recognized as the leader of government at Qasr Ibrim. This would have been an important post for Akinidad, given the strategic location of Qasr Ibrim as a major center of culture, commerce and trade . To understand the destruction of Qasr Ibrim 1420, we must remember some of the events associated with the Meroitic-Roman War.

In 24 B.C. Roman forces were sent to fight in Arabia. According to Pliny and Strabo the Meroite-Kushites sacked Aswan and destroyed the Roman statues at Philae (Torok, 1997; Welsby, 1996).

In response to the Kushite expedition, Gaius Petronius with a force of 10,000 infantry and 800 horses pushed the Kushites back to Pselchis. Strabo (17.1.53) mentions the fact that the Meroites were led by a Candace.

The Romans and Kushites, according to Strabo began peace negotiations at Dakka in 24 B.C.. The negotiations failed, and the Romans puched their forces deeper into Meroitic-Kushite territory as far as Sara. They also established forts at Qasr Ibrim (Torok, 1997; Welsby, 1996).

Akinidad was probably killed in 24 B.C. Strabo (17.1.54) mentions that the Candace's son was killed during this campaign. This son of the Candance was probably Akinidad.

We know that Akinidad was in Dakka on two occasions, once with Teriteqas, and later only with Amanirenas. In Dakka 2, we discover that Akinidad died at Dakka. This is most interesting because, the Romans pushed the Meroites back to Dakka in 24 B.C.

If Akinidad had been wounded outside Dakka, Amanirenas may have stopped in the town to obtain medical treatment for her son. After Akinidad died in the town, Amanirenas may have withdrawn from peace talks and continued the War.

If these events occurned , Amanirenas probably had the Qasr Ibrim 1420 stela erected in Qasr Ibrim, to honor Akinidad who had served as the Chief of the city during the Meroitic-Roman War. The Qasr Ibrim 1420 stela was probably defaced and broken during the Roman occupation of Qasr Ibrim to show their contempt for the Meroites.

The Meroites resisted Roman occupation. By 22 B.C., the Meroites retook Qasr Ibrim from the Romans. In 21 B.C., a peace treaty was concluded between Augustus, and Meroite envoys on the Island of Samos.

The textual evidence makes it clear that Akinidad remained a paqar (prince) until his death at Dakka in 24 B.C.

The evidence of the Dakka 2 inscription and Hamadab 2 indicate that Akinidad probably died during Amanirenas rule of Merotic-Kush. After Teriteqas was killed during the Meroitic-Roman War, Akinidad may have become recognized as King, but without official succession, and his untimely death at Dakka, he remained until his death officially Crown Prince. This would explain our inability to find any evidence of Akinidad being recognized as anything more than a paqar, rather than a qore (king).

Although we can positively maintain that Akinidad probably never assumed the throne in the Meroitic Sudan, we still have to answer the question where was Akinidad buried? Most Meroitists agree that the pyramids of King Teriteqas and Queen Amanirenas are located at Gebel Barkel. Another pyramid which is "chronologically attached" to these pyramids is Bar.5 (Reisner 1923 ,60).

The Bar 5 pyramid has the type -form analogous to the Beg. N.14 and Beg. N.21 pyramids which are assigned to King Teriteqas and Queen Amanirenas respectively. (Reisner 1923,60) Reisner found a male in this pyramid. This male lacked a crown of uraeus. This led Reisner (1923) to assume that this male never became King. Given the analogous nature of Bar. 5, and the Bar.4 and Bar. 9 pyramids suggest that this may be the pyramid of Akinidad who never became ruler.

The death of both Akinidad and Kharapkhael probably led to Amanirenas assuming the role of ruler at Meroe until her death. This meant that no direct male descendant of Teriteqas took over the throne after his death .
As a result of the Meroitic-Roman War we will never know what kind of ruler Akinidad would have become if he had not died at Dakka. But we can say that Akinidad never became King, he died as Crown Prince of Meroe.