Αυγειας

The king of Elis in the Peloponnese. He was generally regarded as the son of the Sun (Helios), although there is evidence for other versions of his descent. He is said, for example, to be the son of Lapith Phorbas, or of Poseidon, or of Eleius, the hero from whom Elis took its name. His mother was Hyrmine, the daughter of Neleus (Table 14 and Table 23). All these genealogies say that Actor was his brother. He took part in the expedition of the Argonauts with the purpose, it was said, of getting to know his half-brother, Aeetes, whom he had never seen.

Augias was the owner of very important herds inherited from his father, but through his carelessness, he let the dung pile up in his stables, which damaged the fertiility of his lands. Accordingly, when Eurystheus ordered Heracles to clean his stables, Augias was very ready to agree, all the more since Heracles demanded by way of payment a tenth of his herds if he managed to finish the task in a single day, and Augias thought this was impossible. Heracles made an opening in the wall surrounding the stables and caused the waters of the rivers Alpheus and Peneus, which ran very close to each other, to flow through them. The water emerged through the other end of the yard and washed away all the dung. In his anger at seeing the hero perform the task he had boasted of, Augias alleged that he had either been helped by Iolaus or that he was already a servant of Eurystheus and refused to pay the agreed price. On being called as a witness, Augias' son Phyleus swore in front of the judges that his father had indeed promised a tenth of his herds to Heracles in payment for his labour. Before the verdict was pronounced, Augias banished both Heracles and Phyleus from his realm.

Later, however, Heracles mustered an army of Arcadian volunteers and marched against Augias, who on hearing that the hero was raising a force against him, commissioned his nephews, the two sons of Actor, or the Molionidae, to defend him. Since Heracles had fallen ill, the two brothers took advantage of the fact to inflict a defeat on the hero, but shortly after, during a religious ceremony, Heracles killed the Molionidae and captured Elis. He killed Augias and his sons and set Phyleus on the throne of the city.

In another tradition, Augias died naturally in extreme old age, and his people were said to have given him divine honours. (For the story of the treasure of Augias, see Agamedes.)

{E2 DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY}

Table of Sources:
- Pind. Ol. 10, 26ff (32ff.) with schol. on 42b
- Hom. Il. 11, 701
- schol. on Hom. Il. 2, 620ff.; 11, 700
- Apoll. Rhod. Arg. 1, 172 with schol.; 3, 362
- Apollod. Bibl. 1, 9, 16; 2, 5, 5
- Hyg. Fab. 14; 30; 157
- Paus. 5, 1, 9; 5, 2, 1ff.; 5, 3, 1
- Diod. Sic. 4, 13, 3; 4, 33, 1
- Theocr. 25, 7
- Tzetzes, Chil. 2, 278

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