Belus in Oriental mythology. The word signifies master among the Orientals, and is the surname of deities and kings. Thus the sun was called Belus amoung the Babylonians. SEE BAAL. There are three mythical persons known to us that carried this name:
(1) Belus was the first king of Assyria, who founded the culture of this country. He dried up the swamps, led off standing waters, dug channels, and thus made the country habitable and fruitful. He fixed the standard of reckoning times and seasons, and had his observations engraven in, burned tables of clay, and preserved in the so-called Babylonian tower. This Belus seems to be often identified with the god Baal.
(2) The Egyptian Belus was a son of Neptune and Libya, the father of Danaus and Egyptus; also, as some affirm, of Cepheus and Phineus. He led a colony to Babylon, according to Diodorus, and may possibly be one and the same with the former Belus.
(3) Belus was the father of Dido and Anna, as also of Pygmalion, among the Phoenicials.