"Phlegyas, Phlegyas, thou criest out in vain"

(Canto 8, line 19)

Phlegyas was a character in Greek mythology, son of Chryse and Ares, the god of war. After Apollo had seduced and later ordered his daughter Coronis killed, Phlegyas set fire to the Apollonian temple at Delfi, an episode mentioned both in the Aeneid and Statius' "Thebaid". Dante makes him into his fifth circle's guardian devil and a symbol of wrath. His task seems to be carrying souls from the Stygian shores and throwing them into the swamp for their punishment.