Argus in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
1. The third king of Argos, was a son of Zeus and Niobe.
(Apollod. 2.1.1, &c.) A Scholiast (ad Hom. Il. 1.115) calls
him a son of Apis, whom he succeeded in the kingdom of
Argos. It is from this Argus that the country afterwards
called Argolis and all Peloponnesus derived the name of
Argos. (Hyg. Fab. 145; Paus. 2.16.1, 22.6, 34.5.) By Euadne,
or according to others, by Peitho, he became the father of
Jasus, Peiranthus or Peiras, Epidaurus, Criasus, and Tiryns.
(Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 1151, 1147; ad Eurip. Orest. 1252,
1248, 930.) 2. Surnamed Panoptes. His parentage is stated
differently, and his father is called Agenor, Arestor,
Inachus, or Argus, whereas some accounts described him as an
Autochthon. (Apollod. 2.1, 2, &c.; Ov. Met. 1.264.) He
derived his surname, Panoptes, the all-seeing, from his
possessing a hundred eyes, some of which were always awake.
He was of superhuman strength, and after he had slain a
fierce bull which ravaged Arcadia, a Satyr who robbed and
violated persons, the serpent Echidna, which rendered the
roads unsafe, and the murderers of Apis, who was according
to some accounts his father, Hera appointed him guardian of
the cow into which Io had been metamorphosed. (Comp. Schol.
ad Eurip. Phoen. 1151, 1213.) Zeus commissioned Hermes to
carry off the cow, and Hermes accomplished the task,
according to some accounts, by stoning Argus to death, or
according to others, by sending him to sleep by the
sweetness of his play on the flute and then cutting off his
head. Hera transplanted his eyes to the tail of the peacock,
her favourite bird. (Aeschyl. Prom. ; Apollod. Ov. ll. cc.）
3. The builder of the Argo, the ship of the Argonauts, was
according to Apollodorus (2.9. §§ 1, 16), a son of Phrixus.
Apollonius Rhodius (1.112) calls him a son of Arestor, and
others a son of Hestor or Polybus. (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod.
1.4, ad Lycophr. 883; Hyg. Fab. 14; V. Fl. 1.39, who calls
him a Thespian.) Argus, the son of Phrixus, was sent by
Aeetes, his grandfather, after the death of Phrixus, to take
possession of his inheritance in Greece. On his voyage
thither he suffered shipwreck, was found by Jason in the
island of Aretias, and carried back to Colchis. (Apollon.
2.1095, &c.; Hyg. Fab. 21.) Hyginus (Hyg. Fab. 3) relates
that after the death of Phrixus, Argus intended to flee with
his brothers to Athamas. - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman
biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.
Argus in Wikipedia
In Greek mythology, Argus Panoptes (Ἄργος Πανόπτης) or Argos,
guardian of the heifer-nymph Io and son of Arestor, was a
primordial giant whose epithet "Panoptes", "all-seeing", led
to his being described with multiple, often one hundred, eyes.
The epithet Panoptes was applied to the Titan of the Sun,
Helios, and was taken up as an epithet by Zeus, Zeus Panoptes.
"In a way," Walter Burkert observes, "the power and order of
Argos the city are embodied in Argos the neatherd, lord of the
herd and lord of the land, whose name itself is the name of
The epithet Panoptes, reflecting his mythic role, set by Hera
as a very effective watchman of Io, was described in a
fragment of a lost poem Aigimios, attributed to Hesiod...