Attalus I

Attalus I (Ancient Greek: Ἄτταλος Α΄), surnamed Soter (Greek: Σωτήρ, "Savior"; 269–197 BC)[1] ruled Pergamon, an Ionian Greek polis (what is now Bergama, Turkey), first as dynast, later as king, from 241 BC to 197 BC. He was the first cousin once removed and the adopted son of Eumenes I,[2] whom he succeeded, and was the first of the Attalid dynasty to assume the title of king in 238 BC.[3] He was the son of Attalus and his wife Antiochis.

Attalus I Soter ("Savior")
A Hellenistic portrait bust of Attalus I king of Pergamon
King of Pergamon
Reign241–197 BC
PredecessorEumenes I
SuccessorEumenes II
Born269 BC
Died197 BC (aged 72)
SpouseApollonis of Cyzicus
GreekΆτταλος Α΄ Σωτήρ
DynastyAttalid dynasty

Attalus won an important victory over the Galatians, newly arrived Celtic tribes from Thrace, who had been, for more than a generation, plundering and exacting tribute throughout most of Asia Minor without any serious check. This victory, celebrated by the triumphal monument at Pergamon (famous for its Dying Gaul) and the liberation from the Gallic "terror" which it represented, earned for Attalus the name of "Soter", and the title of "king". A courageous and capable general and loyal ally of Rome, he played a significant role in the first and second Macedonian Wars, waged against Philip V of Macedon. He conducted numerous naval operations, harassing Macedonian interests throughout the Aegean, winning honors, collecting spoils, and gaining for Pergamon possession of the Greek islands of Aegina during the first war, and Andros during the second, twice narrowly escaping capture at the hands of Philip.

Attalus was a protector of the Greek cities of Anatolia[4] and viewed himself as the champion of Greeks against barbarians.[5] During his reign he established Pergamon as a considerable power in the Greek East.[6] He died in 197 BC, shortly before the end of the second war, at the age of 72, having suffered an apparent stroke while addressing a Boeotian war council some months before. He and his wife were admired for their rearing of their four sons. He was succeeded as king by his son Eumenes II.