Candace — the queen of the Ethiopians whose “eunuch” or chamberlain was converted to Christianity by the instrumentality of Philip the evangelist (Acts 8:27). The country which she ruled was called by the Greeks Meroe, in Upper Nubia. It was long the centre of commercial intercourse between Africa and the south of Asia, and hence became famous for its wealth (Isa. 45:14).
It is somewhat singular that female sovereignty seems to have prevailed in Ethiopia, the name Candace (compare “Pharaoh,” “Ptolemy,” “Caesar”) being a title common to several successive queens. It is probable that Judaism had taken root in Ethiopia at this time, and hence the visit of the queen’s treasurer to Jerusalem to keep the feast. There is a tradition that Candace was herself converted to Christianity by her treasurer on his return, and that he became the apostle of Christianity in that whole region, carrying it also into Abyssinia. It is said that he also preached the gospel in Arabia Felix and in Ceylon, where he suffered martyrdom. (See PHILIP.)