Mago I of Carthage

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Mago I
King of Carthage
Reign 550 BCE to 530 BCE
Predecessor Malchus of Carthage
Successor Hasdrubal I of Carthage
Spouse Syracusan woman
Dynasty Magonids

Mago I of Carthage (occasionally referred to as Magon[1]) was the king of the Ancient Carthage from 550 BCE to 530 BCE and the founding monarch of the Magonid dynasty of Carthage.[2] Mago I was originally a general.[3] Under Mago, Carthage became preeminent among the Phoenician colonies in the western Mediterranean.[citation needed]


Under Mago, Carthage established itself as the dominant Phoenician military power in the western Mediterranean. It remained economically dependent on Tyre, the capital of Phoenicia, but acted increasingly independent. One of Mago's political achievements was an alliance with the Etruscans against the Ancient Greece. This alliance lasted until around the time when Rome expelled the Etruscan kings.[2] He was also active in Sicily, and married a Syracusan wife.[4]

In 546 BC, Phocaeans fleeing from Persian invasion established Alalia in Corsica (Greeks had settled there since 562 BC), and began preying on Etruscan and Punic commerce. Between 540 and 535 BC, a Carthaginian-Etruscan alliance had expelled the Greeks from Corsica after the Battle of Alalia. The Etruscans took control of Corsica, Carthage concentrated on Sardinia, ensuring that no Greek presence would be established in the island. The defeat also ended the westward expansion of Greeks for all time.

A war with Phoenician Massalia followed. Carthage lost battles but managed to safeguard Phoenician Spain and close the Strait of Gibraltar to Greek shipping,[5] while Massalians retained their Spanish colonies in Eastern Iberia above Cape Nao.[6] Southern Spain was closed to Greeks. Carthaginians in support of the Phoenician colony Gades in Spain,[7] also brought about the collapse of Tartessos in Spain by 530 BC, either by armed conflict or by cutting off Greek trade. Carthage also besieged and took over Gades at this time. The Persians had taken over Cyrene by this time, and Carthage may have been spared a trial of arms against the Persian Empire when the Phoenicians refused to lend ships to Cambyses in 525 BC for an African expedition. Carthage may have paid tribute irregularly to the Great King. It is not known if Carthage had any role in the Battle of Cumae in 524 BC, after which the Etruscan power began to wane in Italy.


  1. ^ Gammie, John G.; Perdue, Leo G. (1990). The Sage in Israel and the Ancient Near East. EISENBRAUNS. p. 77. ISBN 9780931464461. 
  2. ^ a b Carthage. Accessed 30 November 2008
  3. ^ John Bagnell Bury; Stanley Arthur Cook; Frank E. Adcock; Martin Percival Charlesworth; John Boardman; N. G. L. Hammond; A. E. Astin; Iorwerth Eiddon Stephen Edwards; Michael Whitby; D. M. Lewis; Andrew Lintott; Cyril John Gadd; F. W. Walbank; J. A. Crook; Alan K. Bowman; Edward Champlin; Elizabeth Rawson; Averil Cameron; Andrew William Lintott; Peter Garnsey; Bryan Ward-Perkins (1928). The Cambridge Ancient History. Cambridge University Press. p. 368. ISBN 9780521233484. 
  4. ^ Garnsey, Peter; Whittaker, C. R. (1978). Imperialism in the Ancient World: The Cambridge University Research Seminar in Ancient History. Cambridge University Press. p. 77. ISBN 9780521033909. 
  5. ^ Casson, Lionel (1981). The Ancient Mariners 2nd Edition. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01477-9. . P. 74-75
  6. ^ Baker, G. P. (1999). Hannibal. Cooper Square Press. ISBN 0-8154-1005-0. . P. 11
  7. ^ Justin, XLIII, 5, 2-3