Author: Gábor Hamvas
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The study examines one of the shield-descriptions of Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica. Its main aim is to demonstrate that Valeris Flaccus altered Canthus’ story in accordance with his literary purposes. The poet depicts the shield of Canthus in the catalogue of the Argonauts mentioning that the hero had inherited this famous shield from his father, Abas, albeit according to the mythology he is not known to have any shield. The paper displays how many other Abases there were in Greek mythology and in Roman literature having a shield and it is argued that Valerius Flaccus was influenced by the coincidence of names and transformed the original story of Canthus (which can be read in Apollonius Rhodius) in order to imitate his literary models: Vergil, Ovid and the Iliad. Furthermore, the author rewrites the story of Canthus so that the Argonaut can be paralleled with Patroclus. Consequently, Canthus must be an important person of the epic which is highlighted by Valerius Flaccus in several ways and his shield has to have a literary function.