Hermes Presenting Hera with the Head of Argus
Argus Panoptes,Ἄργος Πανόπτης, or Argos was a hundred-eyed giant.
The epithet Panoptes, reflects 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:
“And set a watcher upon her, great and strong Argus, who with four eyes looks every way. And the goddess stirred in him unwearying strength: sleep never fell upon his eyes; but he kept sure watch always.”
Therefore, his main task, at Hera’s request, was to guard Io, a nymph that Zeus was involved with.
Zeus, in his efforts to approach Io, told Hermes to disguise himself as a shepherd and make Argus go to sleep.
As soon as he fell asleep, Hermes killed him with a stone.
After beheading Argus, Hermes acquired the epithet Argeiphontes or “Argus-slayer”.
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