Study Guide

Heimdall - Campus Security

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Campus Security

It's the job of the campus security guards to protect their domains, and sometimes, the important possessions of the gods who appoint them as watchmen. To help them in their task, these folks often have better-than-average senses of sight and hearing, even for a god. Heimdall, for example, can hear grass grow and he possesses night-vision. A few of his compatriots on the campus security force are similarly talented, and they're all eternally vigilant.


The Greek goddess Hera loved her white heifer, Io, so much that she didn't appoint just any watchman to guard it. For that task, she chose the giant Argos, who had one hundred eyes. It was a wise choice: since only a few of his eyes slept at any one time, she never had to hire a second shift.


Anubis was the jackal-headed Egyptian god of the dead. He is often shown in Egyptian artwork standing guard over tombs, and it's his job to protect the dead on their way to the afterlife. Interestingly, the jackal became associated with this god because this animal was renowned for pillaging graves and eating the dead. Well, then.


In Buddhist artwork, the S***enno are the four protectors of the cardinal directions. In Japan, each one inhabits one of four continents surrounding Buddha's mythical home, Mt. Shumisen. In both China and Japan, they are revered as protectors of temples and nations. They are often shown in warrior poses, symbolizing their power to ward off evil and drive away malicious spirits.

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