Henry Aubin



A quest for revenge on the battlefields of ancient Egypt

"Aubin keeps the pages turning... This is a well-crafted and intriguing adventure that exposes students to a different world, even as it offers them danger, excitement, and the opportunity to ponder serious moral issues."

- School Library Journal (U.S.)

"Aubin excels at his portrayal of two elements of war – espionage and ingenuity. He creates a tense climate of secrets, codes, spies, double-crossing. . . . With the Kushites, Aubin has obviously found uncharted territory for his considerable skills as a storyteller. . . . The implications about the nature of heroism are all the more effective for being subtle.""

- Quill & Quire (Canada)

"Rise of the Golden Cobra is a fine yarn  – a good old-fashioned page-turner with a solid historical grounding... Lots of heart-in-your throat descriptions of battles... It is to be hoped that a sequel to Rise of the Golden Cobra may not be far off."

- Montreal Gazette

"A great book. . . Rise of the Golden Cobra is an awesome blend of fact and fiction. It was very exciting cover to cover, and the war scenes were incredible. . . . Five stars"

 - Keegan, age 13, KidsWWrite

"Compelling. . . . A fast-moving and intriguing plot of military genius on King Piankhy's part.. . . . It is a journey into manhood as Nebi learns the truth of the king's wisdom that, to find real freedom, you can't keep hatred in your heart. . . . Worthy of study in our middle year classrooms."

  - CM Magazine

Though only 14, Nebi is caught up in events that will shape his country’s future. When his master is brutally slain, he barely escapes into the desert. As the sole survivor of the treacherous attack, Nebi knows that only one man can stave off the destruction of this great civilization. That man is Piankhy, ruler of the African kingdom of Kush. In desperation, Nebi flees to this remote but powerful king.

Set in the eighth century BCE, this epic adventure dramatizes the true story of King Piankhy's command of one of the biggest military campaigns in Egypt’s history.

Through Nebi’s eyes, this world of furious ground battle, ship-to-ship combat, and cities under siege comes to life. But another struggle is raging in the young man’s heart: Should he seek revenge against his murderous personal enemy, Count Nimlot? Or should he forgive him his terrible crimes?

Annick Press 2007


The Alliance Between Hebrews and Africans in 701 B.C.

"I feel compelled to retract my own previous beliefs that a lethal epidemic, as reported in the Bible, was what made the Assyrians withdraw... It is a fact that it often takes an outsider to challenge established views."

- Dr. William H. McNeill, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Chicago

"The solution proposed in Mr. Aubin's well-researched study gives a fresh twist to one of the most plausible and eagerly canvassed solutions to the problem. An Egyptian-Kushite alliance moved to fight off the Assyrian aggressors. In the pursuit of resolving a long-standing difficulty, I have found the evidence put forward in this study to be carefully marshalled, clearly presented and well argued. I think that it deserves to be considered alongside the other solutions to what is widely recognized to be a significant issue in biblical studies."

- Dr. Ronald E. Clements, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament Studies, King's College, University of London, England

"Aubin, in my opinion, successfully achieves his primary goal: he provides the most convincing explanation of what caused the Assyrians to retreat from Jerusalem...Aubin's scholarship is impressive and without doubt up to the level of professional Egyptologists and Near Eastern specialists. His insights are of astonishing breath, originality and importance and deserve to be known to as many readers as possible."

- Dr. Bruce G. Trigger, Professor of Anthropology, McGill University

In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It now prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.

But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.

Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalemís defences.

Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egyptís 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.

The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.

Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.

The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.

Soho Press U.S./02
Doubleday/Random House/CAN/02


Henry T. Aubin, a Harvard graduate and former Washington Post reporter, is a columnist at the Montreal Gazette, where he has won three National Newspaper Awards. He is the author of acclaimed non-fiction book for adults on the Kushites. Rise of the Golden Cobra is his first work for young readers.