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King of Tyre

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The King of Tyre was the ruler of Tyre, the ancient Phoenician city in what is now Lebanon. The traditional list of 12 kings, with reigns dated to 990–785 BC, is derived from the lost history of Menander of Ephesus as quoted by Josephus in Against Apion I. 116–127.[1] Josephus asserts that Menander had drawn his list from the chronicles of Tyre itself.[2] Menander-Josephus also contains a list of 9 kings and judges, with reigns dated to 591–532 BC in Against Apion I. 154–160.[3]

Ancient Tyrian rulers based on Hellenic mythology

Agenor c. 2050–1450 BC Son of Poseidon or of Belus. Doric Greek historian Herodotus (c. 484–425 BC), born in Halicarnassus under the Achaemenid Empire, estimated in the Histories written at the end of the Greco-Persian Wars (499–449 BC) that Agenor had lived either 1000 or 1600 years prior to his visit to Tyre in 450 BC.[4][5]
Phoenix Son of Agenor. He is the alleged eponym of the Phoenicians.

Late Bronze Age rulers

Abi-Milku c. 1350–1335 BC Mayor/Ruler of Tyre during the period of the Amarna letters correspondence (1350–1335 BC)

Kings of the Sidonians (with Tyre as capital), 990–785 BC


The dates for the reconstruction of Menander's Tyrian king list from Abibaal through Pygmalion are established in three places by three independent sources: a Biblical synchronism (Hiram's assistance to Solomon in building the Temple, from 967 BC onwards), an Assyrian record (tribute of Baal-Eser II/Balazeros II to Shalmaneser III in 841 BC), and a Roman historian (Pompeius Trogus, who placed the founding of Carthage or Dido's flight from her brother Pygmalion in the latter's seventh year of reign, in 825 BC, 72 years before the founding of Rome).[6]

Abibaal 993–981 BC His beginning date is conjectural.
Hiram I 980–947 BC Contemporary of David and Solomon
Baal-Eser I
(Balazeros I,
Ba‘l-mazzer I)
946–930 BC
929–921 BC
920–901 BC Killed predecessor. First of 4 brothers to reign.
900–889 BC
888–880 BC
879 BC Last of the 4 brothers
Ithobaal I
(Ethbaal I)
878–847 BC Killed predecessor. Father of Biblical Jezebel.
Baal-Eser II
(Balazeros II,
Ba‘l-mazzer II)
846–841 BC Paid tribute to Shalmaneser III in 841 BC
Mattan I 840–832 BC Father of Pygmalion and Dido
831–785 BC Dido fled from Pygmalion and founded Carthage during his reign.

Assyrian ascendancy: 8th and 7th centuries BC


The Neo-Assyrian Empire established its control over the area and ruled through vassals who are named in Assyrian records.

Ithobaal II
750–739 BC Name found only on Iran Stele of Tiglath-Pileser III.[7]
Gave tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III.
Hiram II 739–730 BC Also paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III[8]
Mattan II 730–729 BC
729–694 BC
Abd Melqart 694–680 BC
Baal I 680–660 BC

Post-Assyrian period


Menander's Tyrian king list also described the period from Ithobaal III through Hiram III. Tyre regained independence with Assyria's demise, although Egypt controlled Tyre during some of the time afterwards. Eventually, Tyre fell under the control of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

missing –592 BC
Ithobaal III
(Ethbaal III)
591–573 BC This is the king mentioned in Ezekiel 28:2 at the time of the fall of Jerusalem.[9] Carthage became independent of Tyre in 574 BC.

Shoftim of Tyre


In the 560s the monarchy was overthrown, and an oligarchic government established, headed by "judges" or shoftim (cf. Carthage). The monarchy was restored with the ascension of Hiram III to the throne. Josephus mentions these judges in his treatise Against Apion (Book I, §21), and which last judge (Hiram III) is said to have been contemporary with Cyrus the Great. According to Josephus, Hiram's reign extended to the fourteenth year of Cyrus', ascension to power in Babylon. Cyrus took control of Babylon on October 29, 539, therefore Hiram III's rule spanned from 551 to 532 BC.[10]

Under Persian control 539–411 BC


Under control of Cypriot Salamis 411–374 BC


Under Persian control 374–332 BC

  • Eugoras fl. 340s
  • Azemilcus c.340–332 BC. He was king during the siege by Alexander the Great.

Under the Greeks and Romans


After Alexander the Great conquered Tyre in 332 BC, the city alternated between Seleucid (Syrian Greek) and Ptolemaic (Egyptian Greek) rule. Phoenicia came under the rule of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC.

See also



  1. ^ Against Apion Book I. 116–127
  2. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia: "Phenicia".
  3. ^ Against Apion Book I. 154–160
  4. ^ Herodotus (2003) [1954]. Marincola, John (ed.). Histories. Translated by de Sélincourt, Aubrey (Reprint ed.). New York: Penguin Books. p. 155. ISBN 978-0140449082. But from the birth of Dionysus, the son of Semele, daughter of Cadmus, to the present day is a period of about 1000 years only; ...
  5. ^ Herodotus, Histories 2.145.1
  6. ^ William H. Barnes, Studies in the Chronology of the Divided Monarchy of Israel (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991), p. 31.
  7. ^ Hayim Tadmor, The Inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser III, King of Assyria (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1994) 266.
  8. ^ Tadmor, Inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser III, 69.
  9. ^ NIV Archaeological Study Bible, An Illustrated walk through Biblical History and Culture. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005 p.1350.
  10. ^ Katzenstein, H. Jacob (1979). "Tyre in the Early Persian Period (539-486 B.C.E.)". The Biblical Archaeologist. 42 (1): 25. doi:10.2307/3209545. ISSN 0006-0895.
  11. ^ "Lebanon". Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2013-05-01.