Abas (son of Lynceus)

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In Greek mythology, Abas (/ˈbəs/; Ancient Greek: Ἄβας) was the twelfth king of Argos. His name probably derives from α + βαίνω, that is, the one who does not walk away, which is in line with his tenacious and courageous character on the field of battle.

Family[edit]

Abas was the son of Lynceus of the royal family of Argos, and Hypermnestra, the last of the Danaides.[1] With his wife Ocalea (or Aglaea, depending on the source), he had twin sons Acrisius (grandfather of Perseus) and Proetus,[2] and one daughter, Idomene[citation needed]. Abas had also an illegitimate son named Lyrcus, who gave his name to the city of Lyrcea.[3]

The name Abantiades (/ˌæbænˈtədz/; Ancient Greek: Ἀβαντιάδης) generally signified a descendant of this Abas, but was used especially to designate Perseus, the great-grandson of Abas,[4] and Acrisius, a son of Abas.[5] A female descendant of Abas, as Danaë and Atalante, was called Abantias.[6]

Mythology[edit]

Abas was a successful conqueror, and was the founder of the city of Abae in northeastern Phocis,[7] home to the legendary oracular temple to Apollo Abaeus, and also of the Pelasgic Argos in Thessaly.[8] When Abas informed his father of the death of Danaus, he was rewarded with the shield of his grandfather, which was sacred to Hera.[9][10] 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.[11] 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
DanausElephantisAegyptusCadmusCilixEuropaPhoenix
MantineusHypermnestraLynceusHarmoniaZeus
Polydorus
SpartaLacedaemonOcaleaAbasAgaveSarpedonRhadamanthus
Autonoë
EurydiceAcrisiusInoMinos
ZeusDanaëSemeleZeus
PerseusDionysus
Colour key:

  Male
  Female
  Deity


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 244
  2. ^ Apollodorus, 2.2.1; Hyginus, Fabulae 170, De Astronomica 2.18.1
  3. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 2.25.5
  4. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 4.673; 5.138 & 5.236
  5. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 4.607
  6. ^ Bell, Robert E. (1991). Women of Classical Mythology: A Biographical Dictionary. ABC-CLIO. p. 1. ISBN 9780874365818.
  7. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 10.35.1
  8. ^ Strabo, Geographica 9.5.5 p. 431
  9. ^ Schmitz, Leonhard (1867), "Abas (2)", in Smith, William (ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, pp. 1–2, archived from the original on 2008-07-14, retrieved 2007-08-19
  10. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 273
  11. ^ Virgil, Aeneid 3.286; Statius, Thebaid 2.220 & 4.589; Servius, Commentary on Virgil's Aeneid, 3.286

References[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Abas". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Lynceus
King of Argos Succeeded by
Proetus