The Augean Stables

For his fifth task, Eurystheus ordered Hercules to clean up King Augeas' stables. This would mean that Hercules would get "down and dirty".

      King Augeas owned more cattle than anyone in Greece.  Every night the cowherd, goatherds, and shepherds drove thousands of animals to the stables. This means that there was a lot of waste matter.

      Hercules went to the king and, without telling him about Eurystheus, told him that he would clean out the stables if he would give him a tenth of his cattle. Shocked, the king agreed.

       Hercules, with the king's son watching, ripped a hole in 2 ends of the stable and dug trenches to the two rivers nearby. He then forced the water to rush through the stables,  cleaning out all the waste with ease.

      In the process, King Augeas found out about King Eurystheus and denied Hercules payment, or that he even promised him payment.  So Hercules took it to court. The King's son said that his father did promise him payment, so the king had to pay Hercules. In anger, the King banished his son and Hercules from his kingdom. Dissapointed, Eurystheus did not count this labor because Hercules was paid for having done the work.

 

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