Friday, 15 November 2013

Io

Io was the daughter of Inachus, the founder of the worship of Hera at Argos, and according to other versions she was daughter of Iasus or Peiren. Zeus fell in love with Io and lusted after her. Io rejected Zeus advances untill the oracles caused her own father to drive her out into the field of Lerna. Zeus pursued Io, covered her with clouds to hide her from the eyes of his wife (Hera), and seduce her.
Io covered with clouds

                                    Hera notice the clouds and got suspicious. She came down from Mt Olympus and began dispersing the clouds. Zeus transform Io into  white cow, so when clouds dispersed Hera found Zeus standing next to a white cow. Hera was not fooled, she demanded the cow, as a present, and Zeus could not refuse her without arousing suspicion. 

                                     Hera immediately put Io under the watch of hundred eyed creature, Argus. And even when Argus was sleeping, he never closed more than half of his eyes. Zeus sent Hermes to kill Argus and set Io free. Disguised as a shepherd Hermes had to employ all his skill as a musician and story-teller to gain Argus confidence and lull him to sleep with all hundred eyes closed. Once asleep Hermes killed Argus. Hera was enraged at this, but did not know who had done it. Hera put some of Argus eyes on the tail of peacock. Peacock have these eyes to this day. 
Hera in grief after Argus death
Hera put some of Argus eyes on the tail of peacock

                              Hera sent a gadfly to torment (string) Io without rest. According to some versions ghost of Argus pursued Io as well. This pushed Io near madness, trying to escape she wandered the world. During her wanders she came across Prometheus while chained, and everyday a giant eagle, fed on his liver. Despite his agony, he hate Io hope. He predicted that she would have to wander for many years, but she would eventually be changed back into human form and would bear a child. 
                          
                           According to some versions he also predicted that a descendent of this child would be a great hero and set him free. Io wander across the Europe and crossed the bodies of water later named the Ionian Sea and the Bosporus (ford of the cow) in her honour. When she arrived in Egypt, Zeus restore her back to  human form. According to other version Hera agreed to changing her back into a human, but only Zeus sword never to look at or speak to Io again. Io bore Epaphus and eleven generations later her descendent Hercules set Prometheus free. Io was later identified with the Egyptian goddess Isis.  


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