Argus

Argus Panoptes by Owen Davey.

ARGUS (gr. Árgos)

in Greek mythology (1) son of ➚ Zeus and ➚ Niobe (1) [1], brother of ➚ Pelasgus (1) [2], eponymous ➚ hero of the land and city of Argos , husband of Euadne, father of four sons, one of which – Criasus inherited Argus’ throne [3]. Argus had a holy grove near the city named after him [4].

(2) Son of Agenor (or ➚ Inachus or ➚ Gaia [5]) great grandson of ➚ Argus (1). He had eyes spread around his whole body [6,7], thus he was called Panóptēs, i.e. “All-seeing” (according to another versions he had four or hundred eyes). Gifted with great strength, he defeated a bull ravaging Arcadia, avenged the death of ➚ Apis (1) and killed ➚ Echidna (I), whom he caught sleeping [3]. Argus married Ismena who bore him a son Iasus, according to some versions father of ➚ Io [5] (sometimes Iasus was considered a great grandson of Argus (1) [8]). By the order of ➚ Hera Argus guarded his own granddaughter, who was transformed into a white cow. He tied her to an olive tree in Mycenaenian grove but Zeus instructed ➚ Hermes to free (kidnap) his lover. However, Argus prevented the first attempt after a man named Hierax revealed the god’s intentions. The divine messenger killed Argus with a stone, thus receiving agnomen Argeiphóntēs “Argus-killer” [5, 9]. According to another version Hermes first lulled Argus by playing a flute and telling a tale about a love of ➚ Pan to ➚ Syrinx. Eventually, Hera put eyes of her deceased servant at the peacock’s tail [10].

ƒ (3) Son of Phrixus (see PHRIXUS and HELLE) and Chalciope, brother of Melas, Phrontis and Cytisorus [11] with whom he grew up in Colchis, at his grandfather’s ➚ Aeetes. He traveled to Greece to plead for power after ➚ Atamas. His ship capsized though and the castaways were rescued by the ➚ Argonauts [12]. Sometimes Argus was mentioned among the participants of the ➚ “Argo” expedition and was even considered a carpenter who, supervised by ➚ Athena, built the ship and named it after himself [13].

„ (4) Son of Arestor, one of the ➚ Argonauts and the builder of their ship ➚ “Argo”. According to another version Argus was the son of ➚ Jason, the favorite of ➚ Heracles, who built a ship and named it “Argo” in Argus’ honor [15].

 

[1] P a u s., II, 22, 5; [2] A p d., II, 1, 1; [3] A p d., II, 1, 2; [4] P a u s., III, 4, 1; [5] A p d., II, 1, 3; [6] A e s c h y l., Prom., 569 ff.; [7] E u r i p., Phoen., 1115; [8] P a u s., II, 16, 1; [9] Schol. Hom. Il., II, 103 et XXIV, 24; [10] O v i d., Met., I, 624 ff.; [11] A p d., I, 9, 1; [12] A p. R h o d., II, 1122 ff.; [13] A p d., I, 9, 16; [14] A p. R h o d., I, 324 f. et schol. ad I, 4; [15] P t o l. H e p h., 147 b.