(c.1st–6th century ce?)
Classified as one of the eighteen ‘great Purāṇas’ (mahāpurāṇas) in the tāmasa group, i.e. those said (somewhat artificially) to relate to Śiva, the Matsya is related to Manu by Matsya (Viṣṇu), whose avatāra myth it includes. Generally considered to be among the earlier Purāṇas, and composed of more than 14 000 verses (ślokas), its contents are disparate, sharing material with the Mahābhārata and perhaps also the Vāyu Purāṇa. Among Śaiva themes, it tells of the birth of Kārttikeya, and the destruction of Tripura, but the text also includes extensive Vaiṣṇava and non-sectarian material.