In Greek mythology, Augeas (or Augeias, Greek: Ἀυγείας), whose name means "bright", was king of Elis and husband of Epicaste. He is best known for his stables, which housed the single greatest number of cattle in the country and had never been cleaned until the great hero Heracles came along. Augeas was one of the Argonauts. [Hyginus. "Fabulae", [ 14] .] His parentage varies in the sources. He was said to be the son of Helius and Nausidame, [Hyginus. "Fabulae", [ 14] .] or of Eleios, king of Elis and Nausidame, [Pausanias. "Description of Greece", [ 5.1.9] .] or of Poseidon, [Apollodorus. "The Library", [ 2.88] .] or of Phorbas. [Apollodorus. "The Library", [ 2.88] .]

His children were Epicasta, Phyleus, Agamede (who was the mother of Dictys by Poseidon), [Hyginus. "Fabulae", [ 157] .] Agasthenes, and Eurytus.

The Fifth Labour of Heracles

The fifth of the Twelve Labours set to Herakles/Hercules was to clean the Augean stables in a single day. The reasoning behind this being set as a labour was twofold: firstly, all the previous labours exalted Heracles in the eyes of the people and this one would surely degrade him; secondly, as the livestock were a divine gift to Augeas they were immune from disease and thus the amount of dirt and filth amassed in the uncleaned stables made the task surely impossible. However, Heracles succeeded by rerouting the rivers Alpheus and Peneus to wash out the filth.

Augeas was irate because he had promised Heracles one-tenth of his cattle if the job was finished in one day. He refused to honour the agreement, and Heracles killed him after having completed the tasks and gave his kingdom to Augeas' son, Phyleus, who had been exiled for supporting Heracles against his father.

According to the Odes of the poet Pindar, Heracles then founded the Olympic Games::"the games which by the ancient tomb of Pelops the mighty Heracles founded, after that he slew Kleatos, Poseidon's goodly son, and slew also Eurytos, that he might wrest from tyrannous Augeas against his will reward for service done." []

The success of this labor was ultimately discounted because the rushing waters had done the work of cleaning the stables and because Hercules was paid.


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  • AUGEAS — Rex Elidis, fil. Solis, aut, ut alii volunt, Neptuni; ut alii, Phorbantis et Hirmines, ut alii, Nyctei, seu, ut alii, Epothi; quem Hyginus inter Argonautas connumerat. Bubile habuit 3000. boum capax, numquam ante Herculis adventum repurgatum, cui …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Augeas — /aw jee euhs, aw jee euhs/, n. king of the Epeans in Elis and one of the Argonauts. Cf. Augean stables. * * * ▪ Greek mythology also spelled  Augeias  or  Augias        in Greek legend, king of the Epeians in Elis, a son of the sun god Helios. He …   Universalium

  • Augeas — n. (Greek Mythology) king of Elis, one of the Argonauts (wagered Hercules that his cattle stables could not be cleaned in one day and was killed for refusing to honor the bet) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Augeas — noun (Greek mythology) the mythical Greek king who for 30 years did not clean his stables which contained his vast herd of cattle • Derivationally related forms: ↑Augean • Topics: ↑Greek mythology • Instance Hypernyms: ↑mythical being …   Useful english dictionary

  • Heracles — This article is about the Greek mythic hero. For the Roman mythological analogue, see Hercules. For other uses, see Heracles (disambiguation). Heracles …   Wikipedia

  • Agamedes — In Greek mythology, Agamedes (Greek: polytonic|Ἀγαμήδης) was a son of Erginus (or, according to some traditions, the son of Stymphalus and grandson of Arcas). [Pausanias, viii. 4. § 5, 5. § 3] He was father of Cercyon by Epicaste, who also… …   Wikipedia

  • Phyleus — In Greek mythology, Phyleus was a son of King Augeas of Elis and father of Meges. He supported Heracles instead of his father (in the matter of the Augean Stables) and was exiled. After Heracles killed Augeas, he gave Phyleus the kingdom. But… …   Wikipedia

  • Argonavtae — ARGONAVTAE, árum, Gr. Ἀργονάυτααι, ῶν. 1 §. Namen. Diesen haben sie von ihrem Schiffe Argo, worinnen sie nach Kolchis fuhren, und ναύται, Schiffer, da sie so viel heißen, als Leute, die in dem Schiffe Argo gefahren. Sonst werden sie auch Myniæ… …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • Avgéas, Avgias — AVGÉAS, AVGIAS, æ, Gr. Ἀυγείας, ου, (⇒ Tab. XXVI.) 1 §. Namen. Da solcher aus dem griechischen Ἀυγείας gemachet wird, so wird er bald Augeas, bald Augias geschrieben, nachdem das griechische ει, in dergleichen Namen, bald in ein e, bald, in ein i …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • Hercvles — HERC ÉLES, is, Gr. Ἡρακλῆς, οῦς, (⇒ Tab. X. & ⇒ XVII.) 1 §. Namen. Nach der gemeinsten Meynung soll dieser von Ἥρα, Juno, und κλέος, Herrlichkeit, zusammen gesetzet seyn, weil nämlich dieser Held, durch den Haß und die Verfolgung solcher Göttinn …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

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