Contributed by: Thulsa ()

"Laws were lax; for Messantia thrived on the trade of the sea, and her citizens found it profitable to be somewhat blind on their dealings with seamen. It was not only legitimate trade that flowed into Messantia; smugglers and buccaneers played their part. All this Conan knew well, for had he not, in the days of old when he was a Barachan pirate, sailed by night into the harbor of Messantia to discharge strange cargoes?" -- Robert E. Howard: "The Hour of the Dragon"

Argossean Pirate

Argos is one of the greatest commercial nations of the Hyborian Age, renowned for its maritime industry, master shipmen, and short, stocky sailors (reputedly the best in all the world). Zingara and Stygia are its major sea-faring rivals, but Argos dominates over even them in coastwise trade.

Its own coast is a glittering array of cosmpolitan cities and teeming ports from which merchant ships sail south to Kush and the Black Kingdoms. The largest and richest port city of all is Messantia. Here begins the Road of Kings, a major highway running eastward to Turan, an endless flow of river traffic from Aqilonia, Nemedia, and Ophir traveling on its winding lengths.

The Argosseans are Hyborian, with some Zingaran and Shemitish influence. They are dark-skinned, with thick, curly dark hair and short, stocky bodies. Culturally, the Argosseans are Hyborian, although some Shemitish customs have infiltrated, particularly in eastern Argos.

Argos' judges are appointed by the Argossean nobility. The courts are well known for siding with the wealthiest party in civil cases. They have no compunction about imprisonment or torture for witnesses who refuse to testify.

The Argosseans are primarily Mitra worshippers, although Bel, the Shemitish God of Thieves, is worshipped by many Argossean freebooters. Other religions are tolerated, although worship of Set, the Stygian serpent-god, is viewed with considerable suspicion.

Argos may have been the third of the Hyborian kingdoms to be established, after Nemedia and Aquilonia. Argos had a long-standing feud with Zingara, based on their maritime rivalry. Zingara essayed an incursion into Argos when Conan was a young man. The Argosseans under King Milo trounced King Ferdrugo's invaders soundly. After Conan's time, the Aquilonian Empire annexed Argos. Still later, the Pictish hordes looted and burned the region. With the advance of the glaciers, Argos vanished beneath the sea.