A state was founded, having for its capital Napata (mod.
From the evidence of the stele of the second (the Coronation Stele) and that of the fifth it has been inferred that the sovereignty early in this period became elective, a deputation of the various orders in the realm being (as Diodorus states), when a vacancy occurred, sent to Napata, where the chief god Amen selected out of the members of the royal family the person who was to succeed, and who became officially the god's son; and it seems certain that the priestly caste was more influential in Ethiopia than in Egypt both before and after this period.
It further appears that in his time and that of his immediate predecessors the capital of the kingdom had been removed from Napata, where in the time of Harsiotf the temples and palaces were already in ruins, to Merc y at a distance of 60 camel-hours to the south-east.
But Napata retained its importance as the religious metropolis; it was thither that the king went to be crowned, and there too the chief god delivered his oracles, which were (it is said) implicitly obeyed.
A fresh epoch was, however, inaugurated by Ergamenes, a contemporary of Ptolemy Philadelphus, who is said to have massacred the priests at Napata, and destroyed sacerdotal influence, till then so great that the king might at the priests' order be compelled to destroy himself; Diodorus attributes this measure to Ergamenes' acquaintance with Greek culture, which he introduced into his country.