Number Five in the monthly Uppity Women Wednesday Series, started in April, 2014.
Dateline: Rome, 27 B.C.
Caesar Augustus, newly Roman ruler by an eyelash, had just gotten over the scare of almost losing Egypt to that wretched turncoat Marc Antony and his ambitious squeeze, Queen Cleopatra VII, when he got a second blow. Another bellicose female had shown up in "his" Egypt!
The aggressor was Amanirenas, female Kandake or queen ruler of the mysterious Meroe empire, a vast region many miles south of Egypt's border. While Roman troops were stretched thin in Egypt, busy fighting conflicts in Arabia and elsewhere, the queen warrior led her army (said to number 30,000 by historian Strabo) 800 miles to the north. Deploying ground troops and her deadly cavalry of archers, she made an audacious attack on the strategic Egyptian cities of Elephantine, Philae, and Syene, modern Aswan.
In a trice or maybe two, she wiped out three cohorts of legionaries, some 1,500 men, wrecking the defenses they had built. That accomplished, she enslaved the surviving civilians, S tandard W arfare Tactic 101 in those days.