in Greek mythology
, vast stables (belonging to King Augeas
) which had never been cleaned; this was achieved (as the sixth of his Labours) by Hercules
, who cleaned them in a day by diverting the River Alpheus to flow through them. The term is often used figuratively to refer to corruption or waste developed over a long period.
Augeas (ôjē´əs), in Greek mythology, son of Helios and king of Elis. He kept his huge herds of cattle in the Augean Stables. As his sixth labor, Hercules cleaned the stables in one day by diverting the course of a river (possibly the Alpheus) through them.