Midas was a king of great fortune who ruled the country of Phrygia, in Asia minor. He had everything he could wish for. He lived in luxury in a great castle. He shared his abundance with his beloved daughter. Despite being extremely wealthy he thought that his greatest happiness came from gold. His greed was such that he used to spend his days counting his golden coins. he would occasionally cover his entire body with gold objects as if he wanted to bathe in them. Money was his obsession.
One day, Dionysus, the god of wine and celebration, passed through the kingdom of Midas. One of his companions, a drunk god named Silenus, got delayed along the way. Silenus got tired and decided to take a nap in the famous rose gardens surrounding the palace of King Midas. There he was found by the king, who recognised him instantly and invited him to spend a few days at his palace.
After that, Midas took him to Dionysus. The god of celebration, very grateful to Midas for his kindness, promised to satisfy any wish of him. Midas thought for a while and then said: "I hope that anything I touch becomes gold". Dionysus warned the king to think well about his wish, but midas was positive. Dionysus could do nothing else and promised the king that from the following day anything he touched would turn to gold.
The next day Midas woke up eager to see if his wish was granted. he extended his arm touching a small table that immediately turned onto gold. Midas jumped with happiness! He then touched a chair, the carpet, the door and his bathtub a table and so he kept on running in his madness all over the place until he got happy and exhausted at the same time.
He sat at the table and picked up a rose to smell its fragrance. When he touched it, the rose turned to gold. 'I will have to absorb its fragrance without touching the roses, i suppose' he thought in disappointment. Without even thinking, he ate a grape but it turned into gold. The same happened with a slice of bread and a glass of water. Suddenly he began to sense fear. Tears filled his eyes and at that moment his beloved daughter entered the room. When midas hugged her, she turned into a gold statue. Despaired and fearful he raised his arms and prayed to Dionysus to take this curse from him
The god felt sorry for Midas. He told him to go to the river Pactolus and wash his hands. Midas did so: he ran to the river and was astonished to see gold flowing from his hands. When he returned home everything midas had touched had become normal again Midas hugged his daughter in full happiness and decided to share his great wealth with his people. From now on Midas was a much better person, generous and grateful for all goods of his life. His people led a prosperous life and when he died, they all mourned for their beloved king.