previous next

[5]

The fifth labour he laid on him was to carry out the dung of the cattle of Augeas in a single day.1 Now Augeas was king of Elis; some say that he was a son of the Sun, others that he was a son of Poseidon, and others that he was a son of Phorbas; and he had many herds of cattle. Hercules accosted him, and without revealing the command of Eurystheus, said that he would carry out the dung in one day, if Augeas would give him the tithe of the cattle. Augeas was incredulous, but promised. Having taken Augeas's son Phyleus to witness, Hercules made a breach in the foundations of the cattle-yard, and then, diverting the courses of the Alpheus and Peneus, which flowed near each other, he turned them into the yard, having first made an outlet for the water through another opening. When Augeas learned that this had been accomplished at the command of Eurystheus, he would not pay the reward; nay more, he denied that he had promised to pay it, and on that point he professed himself ready to submit to arbitration. The arbitrators having taken their seats, Phyleus was called by Hercules and bore witness against his father, affirming that he had agreed to give him a reward. In a rage Augeas, before the voting took place, ordered both Phyleus and Hercules to pack out of Elis. So Phyleus went to Dulichium and dwelt there,2 and Hercules repaired to Dexamenus at Olenus.3 He found Dexamenus on the point of betrothing perforce his daughter Mnesimache to the centaur Eurytion, and being called upon by him for help, he slew Eurytion when that centaur came to fetch his bride. But Eurystheus would not admit this labour either among the ten, alleging that it had been performed for hire.


1 As to Augeas and his cattle-stalls, see Theocritus xxv.7ff.; Diod. 4.13.3; Paus. 5.1.9ff.; Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.278ff. (who seems to follow Apollodorus); Scholiast on Hom. Il. ii.629, xi.700; Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.172; Hyginus, Fab. 30. According to the rationalistic Pausanias, the name of the father of Augeas was Eleus (Eleios), which was popularly corrupted into Helios, “Sun”; Serv. Verg. A. 8.300.

2 Compare Hom. Il. 2.629, with the Scholiast; Paus. 5.1.10, Paus. 5.3.1-3.

3 Compare Bacchylides, referred to by the Scholiast on Hom. Od. xi.295; Bacch., ed. R. C. Jebb, p. 430; Diod. 4.33.1; Paus. 7.18.1; Hyginus, Fab. 33.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Sir James George Frazer)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Elis (Greece) (2)
Olenus (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (7 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: