Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
An old Phrygian king, son of Gordias and Cybele, in whose honour he is said to have founded a temple and instituted priests at Pessinus. When the drunken Silenus had lost his way and strayed into Midas' rose-gardens, the king brought him back to Dionysus. (According to another legend the king made him drunk by mingling wine with the spring Midas, and so caught him, that he might prophesy to him.) Dionysus granted Midas the fulfillment of his wish, that all he touched might turn to gold. But his very food and drink were changed at his touch, so that he prayed the god to take away the fatal gift. At the god's command he bathed in the Pactolus, which ever after became rich in gold. In the musical contest between Marsyas (or Pan) and Apollo, he decided for the former; on which account the god gave him the ears of an ass. He concealed them beneath a high cap, so that only his barber knew about it. However, he could not keep the secret for any length of time, and at last shouted it into a hole that he had dug into the ground; reeds grew from this hole, and whispered the secret to all the world. While this legend makes Midas himself appear as one of the Sileni belonging to the train of Dionysus (the ass being one of their attributes), the other points to him as the favourite of the divinity, whose first priest he was deemed to be, and who showered riches upon him.
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