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Atargatis: The Mermaid Goddess of the Sea in Phoenician Mythology

She is the mermaid goddess of the sea and Barka’s white wine was named after her. Atargatis was a mortal human girl living in the city of Ugarit on the Syrian coast, which was part of Phoenicia. According to the myth, Atargatis fell in love with a young man called Haddad and they had a daughter called Semiramis who later on became queen of Assyria.

Atargatis accidentally caused the death of Haddad and she could not live with her guilt so she drowned herself into the sea. The gods, however, could not let her renowned beauty fade away in death, so they transformed her into a mermaid. She became the Phoenician goddess of the sea and the first of the mermaids who were famous for their legendary beauty.

In the country of Atargatis, was created the first basic alphabet, which preceded the alphabet of Byblos. But the latter converted the Ugaritic alphabet into 22 simple letters.