Meroitic-Kush never became part of the Roman empire – although the Romans tried to make it part.

After the defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, Octavian became undisputed master of Rome and its territories, and as Augustus Caesar (31 BC-14 AD), the first true emperor, got control of Egypt (Aegyptus). He made it a Roman province, governed by a chief magistrate under his own control. Kush  just to Egypt’s south – was outside the empire. Candace Amanirenas is one of the great queens of Meroitic history. She was the wife of King Teriteqas and succeeded him after his death.

After the suicide of the first chief magistrate of Roman Egypt, Cornelius Gallus (Cassius Dio, Book 53: 23), Aelius Gallus the second chief magistrate was named and was ordered by Augustus to conquer Arabia and Ethiopia. Taking advantage of his absence in the campaign against Arabia, in 24 BC the Candace of Meroe, Amanirenas, and her son the crown prince Akinidad, defeated the Roman coharts at Syene (Aswan), Philae, and Elephantine, and return with prisoners and booty, which included several statues of Augustus (Jameson 1986: 71-84). In Stabo's detail account (Book 17, chap 1: 53-54) of these events, Candace is described as brave, and blind in one eye.
Candace Amanirenas of Meroe
(40-10 BC)
References:

Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 55: 4 (written 211-233 AD)
Cassius Dio, John Carter, and Ian Scott-Kilvert, The Roman History: The Reign of Augustus (Penguin Classics), (July 7, 1987)  
Grzymski, K. Meroe Reports I, 2003, Mississauga
Hintz, Fritz. The Kingdom of Kush: The Meroite Period. From the book Africa in Antiquity, The Brooklyn Museum (1978)
Jameson, Shelagh. Chronology of the Campaigns of Aelius Gallus and C. Petronius, Journal of Roman Studies, 58 (1986): 71-74.
(Pliny the Younger 61 - 113 AD)  aka C. Plinius Secundus The Historie of the World. Book 6 Chap. XXIX
Shinnie, P.L. & Bradley, R.J., The Murals from the Augustus Temple, Meroe, in Studies in Ancient Egypt, the Aegean, and the Sudan, ed. W.K. Simpson and
    W.M. Davis (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1981), 167-172
Strabo: Geography, 22 AD, volume XVII Chap 1: 53-54
Török, Laszlo, The Kingdom of Kush: Handbook of the Napatan-Meriotic Civilization, Brill Academic Publishers; 1998
Welsby, Derek A., The Kingdom of Kush. The Napatan and Meroitic Empires. London: The British Museum Press, 1996
Welsby, Derek A., Sudan Ancient Treasurers, The British Museum Press, 2004
Temple of Dendur, Nubia, 15 B.C. Sandstone; From gate to rear of temple 82 ft. Given to the United States by Egypt in 1965, awarded to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1967, and installed in The Sackler Wing in 1978.
The Temple of Dendur, Nubia, 15 BC

After a confrontation with Meroe, Augustus commissioned the construction of a temple at Dendur, Nubia. Ostensibly depicting Augustus worshipping the Nubian local deities, the relief decoration and accompanying inscriptions pay particular homage to brothers, Pahor and Pedese, who are believed to have been sons of a local Nubian elite ruler and who seem to have met their fate by drowning in the Nile River, apparently resulting in their being deified. The temple of Dendur celebrates these two brothers and contains within the thickness of its rear wall, which abutted the hillside into which the temple was constructed, a chamber serving as their cenotaph. This temple appears to have replaced an earlier rock cut shrine, or speos, in which the cult of these two brothers was apparently celebrated. The rituals celebrated at Dendur in the name of Augustus on behalf of these two brothers were contemporary with other rituals performed at Sayala in the vicinity of Abu Simbel. Nubian religious praxis in speoi, therefore, persisted into the Roman Period at both Sayala and Dendur alike.




Bronze Head of Augustus
Roman, about 27-25 BC
From Meroe, Sudan

This bronze head of Augustus, now in the British Museum, was found buried in a temple at Meroe.

The writer Strabo tells us that statues of Augustus were erected in Egyptian towns near the first cataract of the Nile at Aswan and that an invading Meroites army took many of them as booty in 24 BC. This head of Augustus was buried beneath the steps of a temple dedicated to Victory in Meroe. It seems likely that the head, having been cut from its statue, was placed there deliberately so as to be permanently below the feet of the Meroites. A wall painting in this temple depicted several prisoners including a Roman (Shinnie 1981: 167-172).
The Shrine of Apis

The Hamadab Stela of Amanirenas and Akinidad, was found at Hamadab in 1912 by John Garstang, in an unexcavated settlement south of the center of Meroe city. It is the longest and best known of those First and Second century BC royal inscriptions engraved in Meroitic text found in the temples of Napata and Meroe.

The four inscriptions that identify Amanirenas as queen, Candace, and ruler are the Dakka graffito, the Teriteqas oval stela from the Isis Temple at Meroe city. The Stela is a record of military campaigns. In both the scenes represented on the lunette, the queens stand before Amun on the left half and the goddess Mut on the right half. On the frieze below these scenes, the queen is depicted in triumphal stance as ten bound enemies are prostrated before her.

The Shrine of Apis: Meroitic text unpublished.


The Shrine of Apis
British Museum
After the treaty with Augustus established the northern border of the Meroitic kingdom near Hiere, settlements of Lower Nubia intensified, and this led to a noticeable rise in the economic prosperity of the region. Heavily populated settlements were supported and perhaps actually made possible by the introduction of the water wheel (sakia), which facilitated the irrigation even of high-lying fields and thus significantly improved agricultural production. Numerous villages and cities were founded, in which spacious, abundantly furnished houses attest to the fact that the general population enjoyed considerable prosperity. Minor arts, particularly ceramic art, came into full bloom. The administration of Lower Nubia rested in the hands of Merotics officials.

Augustus directed his administrators to collaborate with the priesthoods of the region in the erection of a temple at Denur. In its relief and inscriptions, Augustus himself appears as the chief celebrant of the local deities but there pays particular homage to two youths [brothers, Pahor and Pedese, who are believed to have been sons of a local Nubian elite ruler], whose deaths had elevated them to the status of divine intercessors. They are enrolled among the local deities in this temple and are the recipients of a cult. The temple of Dendur also served as their cenotaph.
The discovery of numerous imported objects from Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Red Sea coast suggests a well-developed trade network of which Meroe must have been a substantial centre. Judging from the faunal remains found on the site, the 10,000 or so inhabitants of Meroe (Grzymski 2003: 85-90) consumed a substantial amount of cattle, sheep and goats, as well as African game. The gradual decline of this ancient capital began as early as the third century AD. Although there is a Post-Meroitic cemetery nearby between the city and the Western Pyramid field, there is an apparent lack of Post-Merotic material on the site, even in the latest occupation levels. This suggest that the site was abandoned at the latest at the time of the supposed conquest by the Axumite king Ezana in the fourth century AD, as may be surmised from the two Axumite inscriptions found at Meroe. Afterwards the fabled capital of the Kushites was gradually covered by sand and overgrown with acacia trees and halfa grass (Welsby 2004:167).
The Kushites were driven out of Aswan in the same year by General Gaius Petronius, who now held the office of Roman magistrate in Egypt. According to a detailed report made by Strabo (17: 53-54), the Roman troops advanced far to the south and finally reached Napata. Although they withdrew again to the north they left behind a garrison in Qasr Ibrim (Primis), where the southern border of the Roman Empire now lay. When the Meroites made a renewed attempt to seize Primis, Petronius was able to forestall their efforts. Following this event, negotiations were begun between the Romans and the Meroites. The latter sent mediators to Augustus, who was then in Samos, and in the year 21/20 BC. a peace treaty was conducted which was strikingly favorable to the Meroites: the southern part of the Thirty-Mile Strip, including Primis, was evacuated by the Romans, and the Meroites were exempted from having to pay tribute. On the other hand, the Romans continued to occupy the Dodekashoinos as a military border zone, so the frontier now lay near Hiere Sycaminos (Maharraqa). This arrangement continued until the end of the third century AD, the relations between Meroe and Roman Egypt remaining generally peaceful during this time (Hintze 1978 :100).
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