The History of Argos
Argos was a very important and the second oldest city of Ancient Greece, situated in the north-eastern part of the Peloponnese, near Nafplion. Argos was founded by Phoroneus, but the mythological founder of Argos was Argos, son of Zeus and Niobe, the first mortal lover of Zeus.
The Dispute Over Argos
Argos was a prosperous region, rich in water, so it inevitably became attractive to two Olympian gods: Hera, the beautiful wife of Zeus, and Poseidon , the capricious god of the seas, who was charmed by the city’s calm waters.
At some point, the dispute became so heated that the Rivers, the powerful people of the city, had to sit down in a committee and make a just decision. After lengthy negotiations, the Rivers finally voted in favour of Hera. Poseidon was filled with rage at their decision – they were his cousins, after all – and proceeded to dry up the once-rich land of Argos.
The Heraeum of Argos
The Heraeum of Argos was a famous sanctuary of Hera, built by the architect Eupoloemos. The most important part of the sanctuary was a chryselephantine cult statue of Hera sitting on a throne. The statue was created around 420 BC by Polykleitos, a famous sculptor of Argos.
Polykleitos’ brother, Naukydes, later also created a cryselephantine cult statue of Hebe, the cup-holder of the gods, and placed it next to the statue of Hera. Unfortunately, none of the statues have survived.
Featured Image Credit: George E. Koronaios, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons