Argos Panoptes

Argos Panoptes – A 100 eye giant or something else?

(Read the article on one page)

Argos Panoptes was one of the primordial giants of the Greek mythology. His epithet ‘Panoptes’ means the one who is all-seeing, which reminds us of the symbol of the ‘all seeing eye’ of God. However, Panoptes was an epithet that was also used for the god Zeus.

Argos Panoptes was the son of Arestor, whose wife was Mycene from whom the Mycenaean civilization and the Homeric city of Mycenae got its name. Argos is described as having 100 eyes, according to the Greek mythology. Probably this was a feature attributed to him in an allegoric way, showing his ability to perceive everything from any angle. Whenever he slept not all of the eyes would be closed, there was always at least one eye open. He is usually depicted with multiple eyes on his body (see image above). As we can see, even if he was mentioned as a ‘monster’ in reality he was a giant, a god, with super abilities.

Argos was helpful to people by killing many monsters that would create problems for the citizens of Peloponnese (an area in Southern Greece). Nothing bad is said about him in the ancient texts. One of Argos’ greatest achievement was to kill Echidna, and ancient monster that was half snake half woman, which is known as the ‘Mother of All Monsters’ – for a reason. Her children were some of the most famous monsters: Cerberus, the Sphinx of Thebes, The Lion of Nemea, the Lernean Hydra and many others.

Echidna was a goddess, half nymph, immortal and ageless, daughter of Tartarus and Gaia, a drakaina – a female dragon, who lived inside a deep cave. Even if she was a dragon, she had the support of the Olympian gods. She was of the first generation of gods, wife of the 100-headed Typhon, but Zeus allowed her to live after Typhon was punished and sealed under Mount Etna. The gods gave Echidna a glorious house to live in according to Hesiod’s Theogony.

At some point, the goddess Hera assigned a new role to Panoptes, to guard the Mistress of Zeus, Io, who the god Hera transformed into a cow. His role was to guard her from Zeus, keeping her chained to an olive tree. However such a role, keeping the lustful Zeus away from his mistress (one of many) wouldn’t have had a good end. Zeus asked the god Hermes to steal goddess Io from Panoptes. Hermes disguised as a shepherd, approached Argos, and then he put him to sleep using spells through his music and then he slew him.

We can see that the pattern of Giants, related to Gods, with superhuman abilities is apparent in all mythologies and religions. Could this be just a coincidence or was there some basis to these stories?

By John Black

Related Links

Argos Panoptes

Argos Panoptes (GR)

Hermes Myths


I don't think it's "playing with the english language". Hera is referred to in the singular as a "goddess", but when referred to in the plural along with the rest of the ancient deities, she becomes one of the "gods". That follows the rule of the grammatically masculine version of a word being the default.

I wish the author wouldn't play with the English language. Hera was a goddess not a god. Please remember that.

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Human Origins

Silhouettes (Public Domain) in front of blood cells (Public Domain) and a gene.
Most people who have the Rh blood type are Rh-positive. There are also instances, however, where people are Rh-Negative. Health problems may occur for the unborn child of a mother with Rh-Negative blood when the baby is Rh-Positive.

Ancient Technology

Roman glass (not the legendary flexible glass). Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart.
Imagine a glass you can bend and then watch it return to its original form. A glass that you drop but it doesn’t break. Stories say that an ancient Roman glassmaker had the technology to create a flexible glass, ‘vitrium flexile’, but a certain emperor decided the invention should not be.

Ancient Places

Face of the coffin in which the mummy of Ramesses II was found. (Credit: Petra Lether, designed by Anand Balaji)
Usermaatre Setepenre Ramesses II, the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty, was one of ancient Egypt’s longest-reigning monarchs. In an astonishing sixty-seven regnal years – the glory days of empire that witnessed unprecedented peace and prosperity – the monarch built grand edifices and etched his name on innumerable monuments of his forbears.


Hopewell mounds from the Mound City Group in Ohio. Representative image
During the Early Woodland Period (1000—200 BC), the Adena people constructed extensive burial mounds and earthworks throughout the Ohio Valley in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Many of the skeletal remains found in these mounds by early antiquarians and 20th-Century archaeologists were of powerfully-built individuals reaching between 6.5 and eight feet in height (198 cm – 244 cm).

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article