according to ancient Greek stories, the very dirty buildings where a king named Augeas kept thousands of cattle. Hercules was ordered to clean them, and he did this by changing the direction of a river to make the water flow through the stables. The expression 'to clean the Augean stables' is sometimes used in literature to describe a very difficult unpleasant job.
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
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