Article

Argus

Ken Dowden

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics


Published online December 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780199381135 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.013.717

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Son of Zeus and the Argive Niobe (daughter of *Phoroneus), eponym of the city of *Argos (1) (Apollod. 2. 1. 1), part of archaic Argive mythological propaganda. His grave, not far from that of his ‘brother’ *Pelasgus (Paus. 2. 22, cf. Apollod. 2. 1. 1–2), was in a dense sacred grove (Hdt. 6. 78–80). (2) RE19) Argos ‘Panoptes’ (‘All-seeing’), monster born of no agreed parents—perhaps even earthborn (Aesch. PV567), with multiple eyes: four (the Aegimius, Hes. fr. 294 M–W), an extra eye in the back of the head and unsleeping (Pherec. FGrH 3 F 67), or covered in eyes (Eur. Phoen.1116, perhaps Aesch. PV678). *Hera has him guard *Io, but he is tricked and killed by *Hermes, who thus acquires his epithet ‘Argeiphontes’ (supposedly ‘Argos-slayer’, already in Hes. Catalogus mulierum, fr. 126 M–W). In later tradition, at death he turns into a peacock (Moschus 2. 58) or his eyes are added to its plumage (Ov. Met.

Article.  232 words. 

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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