The Augean Stables - Hercules
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The Augean Stables

Herakles and the Augean Stables
Herakles cleaning the Augean Stables
(Metope from Olympia, ca. 460 BC)

Hercules had to clean out the horse stables of King Augeus, which hadn't been cleaned in years and were all full of horse poop. It seemed like it would take forever, but Hercules found a river nearby and dammed it up so it ran right through the stables and washed them all clean. This picture of it, from a metope of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia (about 460 BC) shows Hercules digging, while Athena shows him what to do.

Learn by doing: check out some horses
More Labors of Hercules

Bibliography and further reading about Hercules:

Twelve Labors of Hercules (Step into Reading, Step 3), by Marc Cerasini. Very easy, for beginning readers.

The Story of Hercules (Dover Children's Thrift Classics), by Robert Blaisdell (1997). Easy reading, very cheap.

Hercules, by Nancy Loewen (1999). More sophisticated, with a look at how the myth was passed on and what it meant to people, as well as the story itself.

D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths, by Edgar and Ingri D'Aulaire. (Look under Heracles).

The Myths of Herakles in Ancient Greece, by Mark W. Padilla (1998). By a specialist, for serious readers.

More about Hercules
Ancient Greece
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Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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Now that the weather's nice, try some of these outdoor activities! How about bicycle polo, or archery for a Medieval Islam day? Or kite flying or making a compass for a day in Medieval China? How about making a shaduf for a day in Ancient Egypt? Holding an Ancient Greek Olympic Games or a medieval European tournament? Building a Native American wickiup?