Mattan I

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Mattan 1
King of Tyre
Reign 841 BC – 832 BC
Predecessor Baal-Eser II (Balazeros, Ba‘l-mazzer II) 846-841 BC
Successor Pygmalion 831 – 785 BC
Dynasty House of Ithobalus (Ithobaal I)
Father Baal-Eser II (Balazeros, Ba‘l-mazzer II)
Mother unknown
Born 864 BC
Tyre, presumed
Died 832 BC

Mattan I (or Matan I or Mittin) ruled Tyre from 829 to 821 BC, succeeding Baal-Eser II (Balbazer II) of Tyre/Sidon.[1]

He was the father of Pygmalion (also known as Pumayyaton), king of Tyre from 831 to 785 BC, and of Dido. As such, he may be the same person as Virgil's The Aeneid character Belus II. In The Aeneid, Belus's son Pygmalion is the cruel-hearted brother of Dido who secretly kills Dido's husband Sychaeus because of his lust for gold.

The primary information related to Mattan I comes from Josephus’s citation of the Phoenician author Menander of Ephesus, in Against Apion i.18. Here it is said that Badezorus (Baal-Eser II) “was succeeded by Matgenus (Mattan I) his son: he lived thirty-two years and reigned, nine years: Pygmalion succeeded him.”

Dates given here are according to the work of F. M. Cross and other scholars who take 825 BC as the date of Dido’s flight from her brother Pygmalion, after which she founded the city of Carthage in 814 BC. See the chronological justification for these dates in the Pygmalion article. For those who place the seventh year of Pygmalion in 814 BC, i.e. in the same year that Dido left Tyre, the dates of Mattan and Pygmalion will be 11 years later.

See also[edit]