Abas (son of Lynceus)

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In Greek mythology, Abas[pronunciation?] (Ancient Greek: Ἄβας) was the son of Lynceus of the royal family of Argos, and Hypermnestra, the last of the Danaides. Abas himself was the twelfth king of Argos. His name probably derives from a Semitic word for "father". The name Abantiades[pronunciation?] (Ἀβαντιάδης) generally signified a descendant of this Abas, but was used especially to designate Perseus, the great-grandson of Abas,[1] and Acrisius, a son of Abas.[2] A female descendant of Abas, as Danaë, was called Abantias.

Abas was a successful conqueror, and was the founder of the city of Abae in northeastern Phocis,[3] home to the legendary oracular temple to Apollo Abaeus, and also of the Pelasgic Argos in Thessaly.[4] When Abas informed his father of the death of Danaus, he was rewarded with the shield of his grandfather, which was sacred to Hera.[5] 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.[6]

With his wife Ocalea (or Aglaea, depending on the source), he had three sons: the twins Acrisius (grandfather of Perseus) and Proetus,[7] and Lyrcos, and one daughter, Idomene. 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 in Greek mythology[edit]

Argive genealogy in Greek mythology
Inachus Melia
Zeus Io Phoroneus
Epaphus Memphis
Libya Poseidon
Belus Achiroë Agenor Telephassa
Danaus Pieria Aegyptus Cadmus Cilix Europa Phoenix
Mantineus Hypermnestra Lynceus Harmonia Zeus
Sparta Lacedaemon Ocalea Abas Agave Sarpedon Rhadamanthus
Eurydice Acrisius Ino Minos
Zeus Danaë Semele Zeus
Perseus Dionysus
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  1. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses, iv. 673, v. 138, 236.
  2. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses, iv. 607.
  3. ^ Pausanias, x. 35. § 1.
  4. ^ Strabo, Geographica ix. p. 431.
  5. ^ Schmitz, Leonhard (1867), "Abas (2)", in Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, pp. 1–2 
  6. ^ Virgil, Aeneid iii. 286; Serv. ad loc.
  7. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca ii. 2. § 1 ; Gaius Julius Hyginus Fabulae 170.


Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Argos Succeeded by