Midas

Greek - King of Phrygia. Son of Gordius or Gorgias. By Cybele, some say. It is said that a long line of ants fed him with wheat when he was in his cradle, a sign of wealth in the future. Midas had shown kindness to Silenus, the old tutor of Dionysus and the god repaid him by granting his wish that all he touched should turn to gold. He soon discovered it was not a good idea - his food became gold and he nearly starved to death. He was freed by Dionysus when he washed himself in the river Pactolus which thereafter had gold-bearing sands. He was given the ears of an ass by Apollo when he objected to the god being adjudged the winner of a music contest with Marsyas or, some say, with Pan. His secret was betrayed by his barber who whispered it into a hole in the ground. He refilled the hole but a plant grew there and its leaves whispered the secret for all to hear. He died from drinking bull's blood when shamed by the disclosure of his deformity which he kept hidden from sight. On occassion, referred to as Midas, Berecynthian Hero, Berecynthian Hero, Portzmach or Portzmach.

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