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King Midas and the Golden Touch

King Midas was a famous king from Phrygia in Asia Minor.  He was  a very rich king, but unfortunately his greed far surpassed his wisdom. King Midas's greatest desire was to be the richest man in the world, and this desire filled all his thoughts. 

One day an old satyr called Silenus came to King Midas' palace. King Midas recognized Silenus as a friend of the god Dionysus, and saw through Silenus an opportunity to increase his own wealth. King Midas invited Silenus into his palace and showed him great hospitality entertaining him generously. The god Dionysus naturally was quite  pleased with king Midas's hospitality.  In appreciation of the hospitality king Midas showed Silenus the god Dionysus offered King Midas a wish for anything he desired.  King Midas greedy as he was quickly wished without thinking that everything he touched be turned to gold. This would clearly make him the richest man in the world. 

King Midas at his court

The god  Dionysus kept his promise and as a result everything king Midas touched turned to gold. King Midas then went round his palace and in glee turned all he could to gold. King Midas then became hungry and decided it was time for him to eat, at this time his wish turned against him.. Whatever king Midas touched turned to gold .. even his food.  In his great hunger king Midas no longer longed for gold but for the most basic of foods.  The king begged the god Dionysus to take away his retched  gift.  The god Dionysus pitying the king told him his touch could be removed by bathing in the river Pactolus.  King Midas quickly went and bathed in the river, the river  then became golden as a result of  the kings'  body touching water.  Till this day the riverbank appears golden as a result of  king Midas's golden touch.

Directly Related:

For your interest take a look at: Greek Saying, Click Here! for a Greek saying that has origins in this myth.


Other Greek Myths:

  Creation Myths:

  Other Myths:

  • Oedipus and the Sphinx Oedipus defeats the riddle of the Sphinx yet in the end meets a tragic fate!
  • The Naming of Athens Read about the contest of two gods of Olympus for the naming of the city of Athens.
  • Echo and Narcissus The story of the Nymph Echo, and unreturned love.
  • Persephone The beautiful daughter of Demeter, and how she became queen of the underworld.
  • Medusa the Gorgon Who was Medusa and her Gorgon sisters? Why were they so hideous? This is their story.
  • Pandora This is the little girl that the ancient Greeks believed released the plagues on our world.  How did she do it, and why?
  • Athena and Arachne Our favorite! How the spider was created out of a disrespectful pupil!
  • Thesseus and the Minotaur How Thesseus became a great hero by removing the curse of the Minotaur.
  • The Flight of Icarus King Minos ruled the land and the sea how could Deadalus escape with his son?  Through the air! 
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