Answered By: Deborah Kelley-Milburn
Last Updated: Jul 15, 2015     Views: 4901

We have received several inquiries about both Argus Apocraphex and the L490 wing.  We assume these are references to the band "30 Seconds to Mars" and the explanations band members have offered for the origin of their name, which suggest it's based on a "thesis" or "manuscript" written by a former Harvard professor.

Science writer James Gleick is mentioned as a possible source.  We do have a copy of James Gleick's unpublished, undergraduate honors thesis in English/Linguistics, A Shattered Visage: The Metonymic Principle.  It can be consulted in the Harvard University Archives.  Alternately, a copy of the thesis can be purchased from our Imaging Services department.  However, we have closely examined it and found no mention of Argus Apocraphex, 30 Seconds to Mars or L490 wing.  We have also searched our book and manuscript catalogs, and we do not find those terms.

In one interview, band member, Jared Leto, speaks of the name as a "rough translation" from a book which is titled "Argus Apacase" or "Argus Apocraphex."   The following web site,, includes lengthy discussion about possible meanings of these words.  So, one would have to accept the possibility that the source of the name is intended by band members to be ambiguous, and may not in fact be a direct quote from any work in particular.