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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.



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][3][4] and one daughter, Idomene[citation needed]. Abas had also an illegitimate son named Lyrcus who gave his name to the city of Lyrcea.[5]

The name Abantiades[pronunciation?] (Ἀβαντιάδης) generally signified a descendant of this Abas, but was used especially to designate Perseus, the great-grandson of Abas,[6] and Acrisius, a son of Abas.[7] A female descendant of Abas, as Danaë and Atalante, was called Abantias.


Abas was a successful conqueror, and was the founder of the city of Abae in northeastern Phocis,[8] home to the legendary oracular temple to Apollo Abaeus, and also of the Pelasgic Argos in Thessaly.[9] When Abas informed his father of the death of Danaus, he was rewarded with the shield of his grandfather, which was sacred to Hera.[10][11] 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.[12][13][14] 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 genealogyEdit


  1. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 244
  2. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2.2.1
  3. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 170
  4. ^ Hyginus, Astronomica 2.18.1
  5. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 2.25.5
  6. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 4.673; 5.138 & 5.236
  7. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 4.607
  8. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 10.35.1
  9. ^ Strabo, Geographica 9.5.5 p. 431
  10. ^ Schmitz, Leonhard (1867), "Abas (2)", in Smith, William (ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, pp. 1–2
  11. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 273
  12. ^ Statius, Thebaid 2.220 & 4.589
  13. ^ Virgil, Aeneid 3.286
  14. ^ Servius, Commentary on Virgil's Aeneid, 3.286


  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
King of Argos Succeeded by