Dongola dŏng´gələ [key], region, part of Northern state, Sudan. Old Dongola, c.75 mi (120 km) south of the present city of Dongola, was the capital of the Christian kingdom of Makurra or Nubia. It was taken by the Mamluks in 1275. The first Muslim ruler, a puppet of the Mamluks, ascended the throne in 1315. His successor gained independence in 1325, but the Muslims reconquered the land in 1366 and the capital was abandoned. Dongola was briefly ruled (1811–20) by Mamluk refugees from Egypt. The Mahdists, in the course of their revolt (see Mahdi), held it from 1885 to 1896.
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