Johann Mattheson (28 September 1681 – 17 April 1764) was a German composer, singer, writer, lexicographer, diplomat and music theorist. Mattheson was born and died in Hamburg. He was a close friend of George Frideric Handel, although he nearly killed him in a sudden quarrel, during a performance of Mattheson's opera Cleopatra in 1704. Handel was saved only by a large button which turned aside Mattheson's sword. The two were afterwards reconciled and remained in correspondence for life: shortly after his friend's death, Mattheson translated John Mainwaring's Handel biography into German and had it published in Hamburg at his own expense ("auf Kosten des Übersetzers") in 1761.