EGYPT. Alexandria. Antoninus Pius, 138-161. Drachm (Bronze, 34 mm, 24.84 g, 1 h), RY 10 = 146/7. ΑΥΤ Κ Τ ΑΙΛ ΑΔΡ ΑΝΤⲰΝЄΙΝΟC CЄΒ ЄΥC Laureate head of Antoninus Pius to right. Rev. L ΔЄΚΑΤΟΥ Herakles standing right, lion skin draped over his left shoulder, extending both hands towards rocks with lion-headed spout within from which water flows, mattock set against rocks. Dattari (Savio) 2606. Emmett 1539.10. K&G 35.343. RPC IV.4 online 13593. Very rare. An unusually attractive example of this interesting type. Light flan cracks, otherwise, nearly very fine.
From the Rhakotis Collection, formed in the 1960s and 1970s (with collector’s ticket).
While most of Herakles' labors involved the slaying or capture of mighty beasts, his fifth labor was far less glorious: Eurystheus ordered him to clean out the stables of Augeas, the king of Elis, who owned an enormous amount of cattle. When Herakles reached Elis, he revealed nothing about his task, but offered Augeas to clean the stables in a day in return for a tenth of the herd. The king agreed, fully expecting the hero to fail. Herakles then diverted the courses of the Alpheus and Peneus rivers, allowing them to stream into the stables, thus washing away all of the filth. Augeas, however, learned that Herakles was sent by Eurystheus, and he withheld the hero's just reward. A tribunal was summoned, but to the king's dismay, his son Phyleus testified that his father had indeed promised a tenth of his animals to Herakles. Enraged, Augeas banished both the hero and his son from his kingdom. After the completing of the labors, Herakles would return with an army to claim his prize, slaying the king and putting Phyleus on the throne. For now, he returned to Mykene empty-handed. Augeas was not the only one who proved to be treacherous: Eurystheus refused to recognize the labor as well, arguing that Herakles had been hired for pay.