Argus

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The Story of Argus from Ancient Mythology
Read about gods, goddesses and mythical creatures in the myth story of Argus

Argus
The short mythical story of Argus is one of the famous legends that feature in the mythology of ancient civilizations. Discover the myths about the ancient gods, goddesses, demigods and heroes and the terrifying monsters and creatures they encountered on their perilous journeys and quests. The amazing story of Argus really is easy reading for kids and children who are learning about the history, myths and legends of the ancients. Additional facts and information about the mythology and legends of individual gods and goddesses of these ancient civilizations can be accessed via the following links:

Gods and Deities

Famous Myth Stories

Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses

 

 

Argus
The Myth of Argus

The mythical story of Argus
by Lilian Stoughton Hyde

The Myth of Argus
Argus was a watchman with a hundred eyes, set in a circle all around his head. When he slept, he closed only two eyes at a time; the other ninety-eight were always wide open. So it could not have been easy to steal away anything that Argus was watching.

Now it happened that Juno, the wife of Jupiter, was very jealous of a beautiful river-nymph, called Io. Jupiter, in order to save Io from the jealous anger of Juno, changed her into a white heifer. Juno, suspecting that the white heifer was really Io, set Argus with his hundred eyes to watch her.

Poor Io was very unhappy. Her father, the river-god, did not know her, neither did her sister-nymphs; but they used to pat the white heifer and feed it grass from their hands. At last Io wrote her name with her hoof in the sands of the river bank, and then her father and sisters knew that the pretty white heifer was their own Io.

She had no sooner revealed herself to her family in this way than Argus drove her away to a field that lay far back from the river, where the river-god and the nymphs could not come, and then set himself down on the top of a high hill, meaning to watch her more closely than ever.

Jupiter felt sorry for Io, still he did not dare change her back into her natural form while Argus was watching her. But remembering how Mercury, when he was less than a day old, had stolen away the cattle of Apollo, he now set this prince of thieves, this mischief-loving Mercury, to steal Io away from Argus.

Argus and Hermes

Picture of Argus and Mercury

Mercury thought there could be no better fun. He laid aside his winged cap and his winged shoes, and dressed like the shepherds in that country. He carried his golden wand, the caduceus, in his hand, and as he walked along, played carelessly on a shepherd's pipe; then, finding a few goats feeding at the side of the road, he drove them slowly before him.

Argus found his watch rather tiresome, and was glad enough to talk to any one who happened to pass by. He was very glad when he saw Mercury coming with the goats, and he invited the pretended shepherd to come and sit by him, under the trees in the shade, and play on his pipe and tell stories.

Mercury sat down on a stone by the side of Argus, and began to play - very softly, so softly that the music was like the sighing of the wind through the branches of the trees. The day was warm, and there was no other sound except the shrill singing of the cicadas. Two of Argus's eyes soon closed. The others might have remained open if there had not been a drowsy magic in Mercury's piping. The soft notes came soothingly, slower and slower, and one after another Argus's other eyes began to close, till only two remained open. These two eyes were very bright; they fairly twinkled, and they kept their watch on Io through all Mercury's playing. Then Mercury began to tell stories, and at last the two twinkling eyes closed, like the others. Argus, with all his hundred eyes, was fast asleep. To make him sleep more heavily, Mercury just touched him lightly with the dream-giving caduceus, and then he triumphantly led Io away.

Juno was very angry when she found that her wonderful watchman had slept at his post, slept with all his eyes at once. She said he did not deserve to have so many eyes, if he could not keep some of them open. So she took all of his hundred eyes away from him, and set them in the tail of her pet peacock, who was very proud to wear them. Ever since that day all peacocks have had eyes in their tails.

The Legend and Myth of Argus

The Myth of Argus
The story of Argus is featured in the book entitled Favorite Greek Myths by Lilian Stoughton Hyde, published in 1904 by D. C. Heath and Company.

Argus - A Myth with a Moral
Many of the ancient Myth Stories, like the legend of Argus, incorporate tales with morals that provided the old story-tellers with short examples of exciting tales for kids and children of how to act and behave and reflected important life lessons. The characters of the heroes in this type of fable demonstrated the virtues of courage, love, loyalty, strength, perseverance, leadership and self reliance. Whereas the villains demonstrated all of the vices and were killed or punished by the gods. The old, famous myth story and fable, like  Argus, were designed to entertain, thrill and inspire their young listeners...

The Myth of Argus - the Magical World of Myth & Legend
The story of Argus is one of the fantastic stories featured in ancient mythology and legends. Such stories serve as a doorway to enter the world of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The names of so many of the heroes and characters are known today through movies and games but the actual story about such characters are unknown. Reading a myth story such as  Argus is the easy way to learn about the stories of the classics.

Satyr

The Magical World of Myth and Legend

The Short Story and Myth of Argus
The myth about  Argus is featured in the book entitled The story of Argus is featured in the book entitled Favorite Greek Myths by Lilian Stoughton Hyde, published in 1904 by D. C. Heath and Company. Learn about the exciting adventures and dangerous quests undertaken by the mythical characters that feature in the hero myths, fables and stories about the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece and Rome that are available on this website.

Myths and Stories about gods and goddesses - Apollo riding his golden chariot

Myths and Stories about gods and goddesses

Argus

  • Short story of Argus
  • A Myth Story of the Ancient World
  • The gods, goddesses of the ancient Myth Stories & Legends
  • The monsters and beasts of classical Mythology
  • The story of Argus by Caroline H. Harding and Samuel B. Harding
  • A famous Myth Story and fable of the Ancient World for schools and kids
 

 
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