Argus (mythology)

   In Greek legend, Argus was a giant having a hundred eyes. Hera noticed one day that it had grown suddenly dark. She at once suspected that Zeus, her husband, was trying to conceal something from her view. She, therefore, blew away the cloud and found Zeus with a beautiful white heifer standing beside him. Hera was right in her suspicions. Zeus had been making love to Io, daughter of Inachus, the river god, and on his wife's approach had changed Io into a heifer. The wise Hera asked Zeus to give the heifer to her, and he could not well refuse. Lest Io be returned to mortal shape, Hera set the hundred-eyed Argus to watch her. For a time all went well, for Argus could sleep with some of his eyes open, and so never lost sight of his charge. But Io was unhappy. Zeus pitied her and sent Mercury to her aid. Mercury sat beside the giant, told long stories, and played the most soothing melo­dies upon his Pandean pipes. At last the hundred eyes were closed. With one stroke, Mercury cut off the giant's head. Hera took the hundred bright eyes and with them ornamented the tail of her pea­cock, where they may be seen this day. According to the theory that all myths are symbolical, Io of this legend has been interpreted to represent the moon, and the eyes of Argus are the stars, keeping cease­less watch over her. The name Argus is often used to designate an observant or keen-sighted person. It is also a favorite name for a newspaper, implying that the editor has ever an eye open to the public good.