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A succession of kingdoms stretching roughly from the 1st to the 6th cataracts of the Nile river in modern Sudan and Egypt, Nubia was ancient Egypt's perennial neighbour, competitor, trading partner, enemy, and source of gold, slaves and soldiers to the south. The border between the two nations fluctuated time and time again. Lower Nubia was at times ruled by Egypt. The 25th Dynasty of Egypt, however, was a Nubian dynasty, and one that saw conflict with Assyria, which eventually wrested Egypt from Nubia. Brief conflict occurred with Rome in 24 BCE when Nubian armies routed the Roman garrison with its famed archers. Nubia was a nation shaped by its position between the Mediterranean world and the African interior. Large Nubian states centred on Napata and later Meroe broke into smaller Christian kingdoms which persisted into medieval times before being conquered by Muslim Arabs.