Argus building the ship Argo
Argus building the ship Argo. Engraving by Christopher Wordsworth. 1882.


Argus the shipbuilder

Argus was commissioned by King Pelias to build the Argo, a ship that was used by Jason and the Argonauts to find the Golden Fleece. Argus was guided by Athena in his construction of the ship, and she put a piece of a sacred oak on the prow of the ship. The Argo was the most seaworthy ship ever seen and was the first ship even though it was the first ship that Argus ever built. His work enabled the Argonauts to complete their mission and bring the Golden Fleece back to Iolcus.

The Argo

The Argo, the Argonauts ship, named after her builder, Argus.

The Argonauts’ ship, the Argo, is a character herself in the story. The Argo was constructed by the shipwright Argus, and its crew was specially protected by the goddess Hera. The best source for the myth is the Argonautica by Apollonius Rhodius. According to a variety of sources of the legend, Argo was said to have been planned or constructed with the help of Athena. According to other legends she contained in her prow a magical piece of timber from the sacred forest of Dodona, which could speak and render prophecies. After the successful journey, Argo was consecrated to Poseidon in the Isthmus of Corinth. She was then translated into the sky and turned into the constellation of Argo Navis. Several authors of antiquity (Apollonius Rhodius, Pliny, Philostephanus) discussed the hypothetical shape of the ship. Generally, she was imagined as a Greek warship, a galley, and authors hypothesized that she was the first ship of this type that had gone out on a high-sea voyage.

More about Argus on Wikipedia.

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Scott Stoll

My claim to fame is that I rode a bicycle around the world and wrote some books. More about me.
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