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



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