Argus (king of Argos)

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In Greek mythology, Argus (/ˈɑːrɡəs/; Greek: Ἄργος Argos) was the king and eponym of Argos.


He was a son of Zeus and Niobe, daughter of Phoroneus, and is possibly the brother of Pelasgus.[1] Argus married either Evadne, the daughter of Strymon and Neaera, or Peitho the Oceanid, and had by her six sons: Criasus, Ecbasus, Iasus, Peiranthus (or Peiras, Peirasus, Peiren), Epidaurus and Tiryns (said by Pausanias to be the namesake of the city Tiryns).[2] According to Pausanias, yet another son of Argus was the Argive Phorbas (elsewhere his grandson through Criasus).[3] While Cercops speaks of Argus Panoptes as the son of Argus and Ismene.

Relation Hesiod Scholia on Homer Cercops Scholia on Euripides Herodotus Apollodorus Hyginus Pausanias
Parents Zeus Apis - - Zeus and Niobe Zeus and Nioba Zeus and Niobe
Sibling - - - - - Pelasgus - -
Wife - - Ismene Peitho - Evadne; Ismene Evadne -
Children Epidaurus - Argus Panoptes - Iasus Ecbasus, Piras, Epidaurus,

Criasus; Iasus, Argus Panoptes

Peranthus, Criasus, Ecbasus  Peirasus, Phorbas,

Tiryns, Epidaurus


Argus succeeded to his maternal grandfather's power over Peloponnese, naming the kingdom after himself.[3] A scholiast on Homer calls Argus the son and successor of Apis.[4] Jerome and Eusebius, citing the now-lost history of Castor of Rhodes, also agree in making Argus the successor of Apis, and son of Zeus and Niobe, and give the length of his reign over "Argeia" (Argos) as 70 years.

The tomb of Argus in Argos was shown as late as the times of Pausanias,[5] who also made mention of a grove sacred to Argus in Lacedaemon where some from the Argive army took refuge after being defeated by Cleomenes I, and were subsequently burned to death therein.[6]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Argos Succeeded by
Kings of Argos Regnal Years Castor Regnal Years Syncellus Regnal Years Apollodorus Hyginus Tatian Pausanias
Precessor 1622 35 winters & summers Apis 1619.5 35 winters & summers Apis 1625 Apis -do- -do- -do-
Argus 1604.5 70 winters & summers Argus 1602 70 winters & summers Argus 1600 Argus -do- -do- -do-
Successor 1569.5 54 winters & summers Criasus 1567 54 winters & summers Criasus 1575 Criasos or Peiras Peranthus Criasus Peirasus or Phorbas


  1. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2.1.1. This apparently matches his biography in the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women; cf. West (1985, p. 76).
  2. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 2. 1. 2; Hyginus, Fabulae, 145; Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2. 25. 8 (for Tiryns); scholia on Euripides, Phoenician Women, 1116, on Orestes, 932
  3. ^ a b Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2. 16. 1
  4. ^ Scholia on Iliad, 1. 115
  5. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2. 22. 5
  6. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3. 4. 1.


  • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Apollodorus, The Library, with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921.
  • West, M.L. (1985), The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women: Its Nature, Structure, and Origins, Oxford, ISBN 0198140347 .