Midas and Adoption

Revision as of 19:46, 3 March 2018 by Admin (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

Illustration by Walter Crane, 1893.


The semi-mythical king Midas (it is possible that his story is partly based on the life of one of several real King Midases) is most famous for his short-sighted wish that everything he touched would turn to gold.

Less well known is that one version of his life makes him an adoptee. In this story, the satyr Silenus became drunk and passed out in Midas' rose garden. Found by servants, he was taken to Midas, then king of Brigia, where he stayed for several days, telling him wonderful stories. Midas then returned him to the god Dionysus, who looked on Silenus as a surrogate father, and was rewarded with the near-fatal gold wish. When this backfired, Dionysus helped Midas become king of Phrygia. He was presented to King Gordius, who was childless and adopted him, and Midas succeeded to the throne when Gordius died. He came to a sad end when he declared a mortal, Marsyas, to be a better musician than the god Apollo. In anger Apollo gave Midas the ears of a donkey, and in shame, Midas either disappeared or committed suicide.


Baldwin, Anna. "Midas". Available at: Pontikis, Nick. "King Midas: The Man with the Golden Touch." Available at: