Characters From Greek Mythology
Nationality: Phrygia
Religion: Greek pantheon
Cause of Death: Conflicting accounts in the myths
Occupation: King of Phrygia
Parents: King Gordias and Lady Cybele
Children: Lityerses, Anchurus, Zoe
Turtledove Appearances:
"Myth Manners' Guide to Greek Missology"
Satirical Fantasy
Type of Appearance: Direct
Affiliations: Midas Golden Pages

Midas (Greek: Μίδας) was a mythical king of Phrygia, an Ancient Greek state in west-central Asia Minor. Midas is the subject of two humorous stories which have pervaded Western culture.

In the first Midas story, the King is granted a wish for his service to the god Dionysus. He wishes for the ability to turn everything he touches into gold. At his next meal, he turns all his food to gold and nearly starves to death before Dionysus comes to his aid and revokes the power. The scene best known in popular culture is when Midas transforms his daughter into a golden statue; ironically this event is not from the original version, but was added on by the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1852. In the second Midas story, he is cursed by the god Apollo to have large ears resembling a donkey's; to cover this deformity, Midas invents the distinctive "Phrygian cap." Through a complicated chain of historical events, this type of cap became the symbol of iconic nonconformist societies in Rome, France, Belgium, and other countries.

As Midas was a common name for kings in Asia Minor, the character may have been based on a historical figure. The gold story and the donkey ears story appear to be etiological myths, created to explain notable oddities of Phrygian geography and custom.

Midas in "Myth Manners' Guide to Greek Missology"[]

Midas was in charge of Midas Golden Pages, the directory where Andromeda learned about Victoria and the Gorgons. He was unable to answer all of Andromeda's questions, explaining that even with very big ears, he couldn't hear everything.[1]


  1. See, e.g., Counting Up, Counting Down, pgs. 273-274, tpb; pgs. 276-277, mmp.