THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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ARGUS, in ancient Greek mythology, the son of Inachus, Agenor or Arestor, or, according to others, an earth-born hero (autochthon). He was called Panoptes (all-seeing), from having eyes all over his body. After performing several feats of valour, he was appointed by Hera to watch the cow into which Io had been transformed. While doing this he was slain by Hermes, who stoned him to death, or put him to sleep by playing on the flute and then cut off his head. His eyes were transferred by Hera to the tail of the peacock. Argus with his countless eyes originally denoted the starry heavens (Apollodorus ii. 1; Aeschylus, P. V. 569; Ovid, Metam. i. 264).

Another Argus, the old dog of Odysseus, who recognized his master on his return to Ithaca, figures in one of the best-known incidents in Homer’s Odyssey (xvii. 291-326).


Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

Links to other EB articles: Links to articles residing in other EB volumes will be made available when the respective volumes are introduced online.
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