Learn more about Alodia
Alodia or Alwa was the southernmost of the three kingdoms of Christian Nubia; the other two were Nobatia and Makuria to the north. Alodia was converted to Christianity in the 6th century by missionaries sent by Byzantine Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora. Monophysite Christianity flourished in Alodia, more so than other Christian sects. Alodia was centered south of the great bend in the Nile river and south into the Gezira with its capital at Soba. Most of what is known about Christian Nubia comes from either contemporary Egyptian sources and the intensive archaeological work done in Lower Nubia prior to the flooding of many sites by the Aswan High Dam. Neither of these sources shed much light on what went on the Upper Nubia during this period and very little is known about Alodia. P.L. Shennie mentions that the name of a king David, who died in 1015, was learned from a recently recovered tombstone.<ref>P.L. Shinnie, Ancient Nubia (London: Kegan Paul International, 1996), p. 133.</ref> At some points in time it seems as though Alodia and Makuria merged into one state, perhaps as a result of the close dynastic links between the two. If the two states did merge at certain times, Alodia regained its independence.
Alodia was the furthest of the Nubian states from the influences of Egypt and thus that last of the Nubian states to be converted to Islam. The conventional date for the final destruction of Alodia is the Funj conquest of the region in the early sixteenth century. Archaeological evidence seems to show that the kingdom was in decline as early as the thirteenth century. Near the end of this century al-Harrani reports that the capital had been moved to Wayula. Later Mamluk emissaries reported that the region was divided among nine rulers.
Alodia seems to have preserved its identity after the Funj conquest and its incorporation into the Kingdom of Sennar. The Alodians, who became known as the Abdallab, revolted under Ajib the Great and formed the semi-autonomous Kingdom of Dongola that persisted for several centuries.