Tanoute of Damanhur

Tanoute of Damanhur was an Egyptian Nyridia who lived and worked most of her life in the town of Ouadane in Mauritania, the precursor of Al-Murooj. She is also noted for having fought in the Battle of Lincoln in 1141, helping to win the First Hycath War.

Early Life and Work

Tanoute was born and raised in Damanhur, Egypt. At some time during her life there, she became acquainted with Elmira, another Nyridia who would found the Hycathic city of Aktau.

In the early 12th Century, Tanoute left Damanhur and travelled west, losing touch with Elmira and eventually arriving in Ouadane. She set up a Hycathic temple there, where local Hycathae began to congregate.

Contributions to the First Hycath War

Roosmarijn Doolaard, herself a Cyntha, arrived in Ouadane in the mid-1130s. Having set out from England on a recruitment mission from Maud Beauclerc, Empress Matilda of Anjou, she had been compelled to divert her course from Anatolia to Aktau. There she had received Elmira’s mentorship, convinced her to return to England and been pointed in Tanoute’s direction. History records that Tanoute was receptive to both women and was impressed by the strength with which Roosmarijn advocated the cause of the English Hycathae, agreeing to accompany her back to England. All three returned to Maud’s court at Gloucester in September 1140.

Tanoute fought in the Battle of Lincoln on 2 February 1141, using her Nyridia powers to gain considerable advantage for the Hycathae and their allies and drive back the forces of King Stephen of Blois. Upon the Hycathic victory and the proclamation of the First Age of Hycath, Maud offered the newly-created Marcdom of Penzance to Tanoute in recognition of her services, but she chose instead to return to Ouadane, feeling it her spiritual home.

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