Abas (son of Lynceus)

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In Greek mythology, Abas[pronunciation?] (Ancient Greek: Ἄβας) was the twelfth king of Argos. His name probably derives from a Semitic word for "father".

Family[edit]

Abas was the son of Lynceus of the royal family of Argos, and Hypermnestra, the last of the Danaides. With his wife Ocalea (or Aglaea, depending on the source), he had three sons: the twins Acrisius (grandfather of Perseus) and Proetus,[1] and Lyrcos, and one daughter, Idomene.

The name Abantiades[pronunciation?] (Ἀβαντιάδης) generally signified a descendant of this Abas, but was used especially to designate Perseus, the great-grandson of Abas,[2] and Acrisius, a son of Abas.[3] A female descendant of Abas, as Danaë, was called Abantias.

Mythology[edit]

Abas was a successful conqueror, and was the founder of the city of Abae in northeastern Phocis,[4] home to the legendary oracular temple to Apollo Abaeus, and also of the Pelasgic Argos in Thessaly.[5] When Abas informed his father of the death of Danaus, he was rewarded with the shield of his grandfather, which was sacred to Hera.[6] Abas was said to be so fearsome a warrior that even after his death, enemies of his royal household could be put to flight simply by the sight of this shield.[7] He bequeathed his kingdom to Acrisius and Proetus, bidding them to rule alternately, but they quarrelled even while they still shared their mother's womb.

Argive genealogy[edit]

Argive genealogy in Greek mythology
InachusMelia
ZeusIoPhoroneus
EpaphusMemphis
LibyaPoseidon
BelusAchiroëAgenorTelephassa
DanausPieriaAegyptusCadmusCilixEuropaPhoenix
MantineusHypermnestraLynceusHarmoniaZeus
Polydorus
SpartaLacedaemonOcaleaAbasAgaveSarpedonRhadamanthus
Autonoë
EurydiceAcrisiusInoMinos
ZeusDanaëSemeleZeus
PerseusDionysus
Colour key:

     Male
     Female
     Deity


References[edit]

  1. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca ii. 2. § 1 ; Gaius Julius Hyginus Fabulae 170.
  2. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses, iv. 673, v. 138, 236.
  3. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses, iv. 607.
  4. ^ Pausanias, x. 35. § 1.
  5. ^ Strabo, Geographica ix. p. 431.
  6. ^ Schmitz, Leonhard (1867), "Abas (2)", in Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, pp. 1–2 
  7. ^ Virgil, Aeneid iii. 286; Serv. ad loc.

Sources[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Lynceus
King of Argos Succeeded by
Proetus