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March 24    Scripture

Mythology & Beliefs: Midas
In Greek and Roman Mythology, Midas was the king of Phrygia; given gift of turning to gold all he touched.

Midas in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (*Mi/das), a son of Gordius, according to some by Cybele (Hyg. Fab. 274), a wealthy but effeminate king of Phrygia, a pupil of Orpheus, and a promoter of the worship of Dionysus (Hdt. 1.14; Paus. 1.4.5; Aelian, Ael. VH 4.17; Strab. vii. p.304). His wealth is alluded to in a story connected with his childhood, for it is said that while yet a child, ants carried grains of wheat into his mouth to indicate that one day he should be the richest of all mortals (Cic. De Div. 1.36 ; V. Max. 1.6.3; Aelian, Ael. VH 12.45). His effeminacy is described by Philostratus (Icon. 1.22; comp. Athen. 12.516). It seems probable that in this character he was introduced into the Satyric drama of the Greeks, and was represented with the ears of a satyr, which were afterwards lengthened into the ears of an ass. He is said to have built the town of Ancyra (Strab. xiii. pp. 568, 571; Paus. 1.4.5), and as king of Phrygia lie is called Berecynthius heros (Ov. Mlet. 11.106). In reference to his later life we have several legends, the first of which relates his reception of Seilenus. During the expedition of Dionysus from Thrace to Phrygia, Seilenus in a state of intoxication had gone astray, and was caught by country people in the rose gardens of Midas. He was bound in wreaths of flowers and led before the king. These gardens were in Macedonia, near Mount Bermion or Bromion, where Midas was king of the Briges, with whom he afterwards emigrated to Asia, where their name was changed into Phryges (Hdt. 7.83, 8.138; Conon, Nrarrat. 1). Midas received Seilenus kindly, conversed with him (comp. Plut. Consol. ad Apoll.; Aelian, Ael. VH 3.18), and after having treated him hospitably for ten days, he led him back to his divine pupil, Dionysus, who in his gratitude requested Midas to ask a favour. Midas in his folly desired that all things which he touched should be changed into gold (comp. Plut. Purall. Min. 5). The request was granted, but as even the food which he touched was changed into gold, he implored the god to take his favour back. Dionysus accordingly ordered him to bathe in the source of Pactolus near Mount Tmolus. This bath saved Midas, but the river from that time had an abundance of gold in its sand (Ov. Mlet. 11.90, &c.; Hyg. Fab. 191; Verg. Ecl. 6.13). A second story relates his capture of Satyrus. Midas, who was himself related to the race of Satyrs, once had a visit from a Satyr, who indulged in all kinds of jokes, and ridiculed the king for his Satyr's ears. Midas, who had learnt from his mother how Satyrs might he caught and brought to reason, mixed wine in a well, and when the Satyr had drunk of it, he fell asleep and was caught (Philostr. Vit. Apoll. 6.27). This well of Midas was at different times assigned to different localities. Xenophon (Xen. Anab. 1.2.13) places it in the neighbourhood of Thymbrium and Tyraeum, and Pausanias (1.4.5) at Ancyra Compp. Ath. 2.45; Plut. De Fluv. 10). Once when Pan and Apollo were engaged in a musical contest on the flute and lyre, Tmolus, or according to others (Hyg. Fab. 191, who speaks of the contest between Apollo and Marsyas), Midas, was chosen to decide between them. Tmolus decided in favour of Apollo, and all agreed in it except Midas. To punish him for this, Apollo changed his ears into those of an ass. Midas contrived to conceal them under his Phrygian cap, but the servant who used to cut his hair discovered them. The secret so much harassed this man, that as he could not betray it to a human being, he dug a hole in the earth, and whispered into it, "King Midas has ass's ears." He then filled the hole up again, and his heart was released. But on the same spot a reed grew up, which in its whispers betrayed the secret to the world (Ov. Met. 11.146, &c.; Pers. Sat. 1.121 ; Aristoph. Pl. 287). Midas is said to have killed himself by drinking the blood of an ox. (Strab. i. p.61; Plut. De Superst. 7.) [L.S] - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3atext%3a1999.04.0104


Midas in Wikipedia Midas or King Midas (in Greek Μίδας) is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This was called the Golden touch, or the Midas touch.[1] He bears some relation to the historical Mita, king of the Mushki in Western Anatolia in the later 8th century BC.[2] Midas was king[3] of Pessinus, a city of Phrygia, who as a child was adopted by the king Gordias and Cybele, the goddess whose consort he was, and who (by some accounts) was the goddess-mother of Midas himself.[4] Some accounts place the youth of Midas in Macedonian Bermion (See Bryges)[5] In Thracian Mygdonia,[6] Midas was known for his garden of roses: Herodotus[7] remarks on the settlement of the ancient kings of Macedon on the slopes of Mount Bermion "the place called the garden of Midas son of Gordias, where roses grow of themselves, each bearing sixty blossoms and of surpassing fragrance". In this garden, according to Macedonians, Silenos was taken captive.[8] According to Iliad (V.860), he had one son, Lityerses, the demonic reaper of men, but in some variations of the myth he had a daughter, ZoŰ or "life" instead. For the son of Midas, see Adrastus...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midas


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