Story of King Midas and the Golden Touch in Greek Mythology
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These days, most of us understand what it means when we say someone has the “golden touch” or the “Midas touch.” We understand that someone who has the “golden touch” becomes successful at everything they try to do. This phrase has its origins with King Midas, a popular figure in Greek mythology as well as an actual historical figure. He also had the gift of a real, “golden touch.” Here’s the details of his story:
King Midas Was a Real Historical Figure
Midas was alive in the 8th century B.C. where he ruled as the king of the Phrygian Empire, which was part of Ancient Greece. There is actual, physical evidence that King Midas existed and many of the artifacts that were found at key historical sites are on display in various museums throughout the world. While the historical aspects are certainly appreciated, this isn’t what people necessarily want to know about him – they’re more concerned with the story of his “golden touch.”
Midas’s Golden Touch is Given to Him by Dionysius
The story of King Midas’s golden touch really begins with Dionysius, who has a history of really liking to have a good time. Dionysius, who is the god of wine, was partying at the base of Mount Tmolus with his group when suddenly, they realized that Silenus, Dionysius’s good friend and a sartyr, wasn’t with the group any longer. They were so busy having a great time that they didn’t realize until much later in the day that Silenus had actually not been with them since that morning. He fell off his horse in a druken stupor and fell asleep on the side of the road.
Silenus the Sartyr Wakes Up on the Side of the Road
When Silenus awoke, he saw King Midas and his soldiers riding up to his spot on the ground. When King Midas found out that Silenus was a good friend of Dionysius, he requested a meeting with the god. Silenus agreed, as long as King Midas would lend him a horse. After all, Silenus needed to find a way to get back to Dionysius. When Dionysius and Silenus are reuinted, Dionysius is relieved to see his close friend once again.
Dionysius Grants King Midas One Wish
In fact, Dionysius is so happy that King Midas brought Silenus back safely, he granted King Midas one wish. Immediately, Midas knew that he wanted the ability to turn everything that he touches into gold. He was thrilled when Dionysius agreed and was awarded the gift on the spot. At first, King Midas was thrilled with the gift because he had the ability to increase his wealth just by touching objects.
Once Midas returned to the palace, he was initially thrilled to have his gift. But then, he realized that he could no longer enjoy certain pleasures in life because everything he touched turned to gold, including the food he would try to eart, or the people who would try to touch. His gift, which seemed so positive on the surface, had also become a curse.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by GreekBoston.com