Who is the Greek mythological creature Argus Panoptes?
In ancient Greek mythology, Argus Panoptes is a giant who had many eyes. Some stories described him as having 100 eyes and it even created a saying. The saying “the eyes of Argus” refers to being watched closely or followed by the eyes. Panoptes also refers to “all-seeing” which describes this Greek creature perfectly. He also had a superhuman strength which he used to defeat other creatures.
In the stories, Argus was a servant for the goddess Hera, who was the wife of Zeus. In one task, Argus was sent to kill a monster with snake-like legs named Echidna. The giant Argus was able to kill this monster while it was asleep inside its cave. In the other stories, Argus killed a bull that was attacking Arcadia. He also killed a creature known as a Satyr that was committing crimes against people.
In another important task, Hera ordered Argus to guard a cow named Io. The cow was originally a human woman who was one of Zeus’ lovers. Hera became upset that Io had been with her husband so she had her turned into a cow. She asked Zeus to give her the cow as a gift and he did. Hera then told Argus to guard the cow, so he chained her to a tree. The giant guarded the cow near where Hera was.
Unfortunately for Argus, Zeus sent Hermes, the messenger of the Gods, to save Io for him. Hermes told the 100-eyed giant different stories and played an instrument called the panpipe. Hermes also used his wand or staff called a caduceus to put Argus to sleep. Eventually, Argus fell asleep and Hermes was able to kill the giant.
Once Argus had been killed, all of his eyes were taken and put onto the tail of the peacock. From this, the peacock became a symbol of the goddess Hera as she recognized Argus for his service to her.
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