About the King Midas Lesson
This is an introductory lesson about King Midas and the myths relating to him.
• to introduce and discuss the myth of the golden touch of King Midas;
• to describe and discuss the myth of King Midas and the donkey ears;
• to briefly describe the Greek gods, Dionysus and Apollo.
In Greek mythology, King Midas was a very wealthy king who ruled over the country of Phrygia, in Asia Minor. He was the adopted son of King Gordias and Cybele. He was very rich and loved the life of pleasure. He loved money and gold so much that it was his obsession. His avarice, which means extreme greed for material wealth and money, was well known as he spent his days counting his wealth. He lived in a big castle surrounded by riches and was known for his famous beautiful rose garden that was even mentioned by the historian Herodotus.
There are two myths surrounding King Midas. The first one is about Dionysus and some travel companions who were passing through the city over which King Midas ruled. Dionysus was the son of Zeus and he is the Greek god of wine and vegetation, In Greek mythology, Dionysus used to teach humans how to plant grapevines and make wine. He was thought to have two sides. He was very kind and nice to the people who showed him respect and honored him; however; he could also cause chaos and destruction to those who offended or insulted him. His travel companions were mainly satyrs. Satyrs were mythical beings that were half human and half goat and liked drinking lots of wine. The head of the satyrs, called Silenus was considered the teacher and the loyal companion of Dionysus. One of the legends surrounding Silenus is that whoever catches him while he is drunk can learn important secrets and know about the future.