A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

or AUGEIAS (Αὐγέας or Αὐγείας), a son of Phorbas and Hermione, and king of the Epeians in Elis. According to some accounts he was a son of Eleios or Helios or Poseidon. (Paus. 5.1.7; Apollod. 2.5.5; Schol. ad Apollon. 1.172.) His mother, too, is not the same in all traditions, for some call her Iphiboe or Naupidame. (Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 41; Hyg. Fab. 14.) He is mentioned among the Argonauts, but he is more celebrated in ancient story on account of his connexion with Heracles, one of whose labours, imposed upon him by Eurystheus. was to clear in one day the stables of Augeas, who kept in them a large number of oxen. Heracles was to have the tenth part of the oxen as his reward, but when the hero had accomplished his task by leading the rivers Alpheus and Peneus through the stables, Augeas refused to keep his promise. Heracles, therefore, made war upon him, which terminated in his death and that of his sons, with the exception of one, Phyleus, whom Heracles placed on the throne of his father. (Apolod. l.c.; 2.7.2; Diod. 4.13, 33; Theocrit. Idyll. 25.) Another tradition preserved in Pausanias (5.3. § 4, 4.1) represents Augeas as dying a natural death at an advanced age, and as receiving heroic honours from Oxylus.