Augean Stables

Metope from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia.Stables in which Augeas, King of Elis, in southern Greece near Olympia, kept a huge number of oxen and goats. The stables had never been cleaned, and to do so seemed an impossible task. Herakles undertook this as his Fifth Labour, and accomplished it by diverting a river from its course, so that it ran through the stables and carried away the accumulated dirt. He is shown breaching the stable wall in a metope at Olympia, and in later art sitting exhausted on a bucket.

Above: Metope from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. © Olympia Museum Licence Plate 11 UK 1007 122