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King Midas Legend | Gold in History and Culture

midas touch myth
In the Greek myth, King Midas accidentally turns his daughter to gold.

While the “Midas touch” is a well known phrase, it is less well known that King Midas was an actual historical figure.  King Midas ruled the kingdom of Phrygia in Asia Minor.   According to the Greek myth that bears his name, the gods granted King Midas the ability to turn everything he touched to gold.  

 

However, things did not end well for King Midas.  He accidentally turned his food, and even his daughter into gold.  Overcome with grief and faced with starvation, King Midas begged the gods to release him from this unexpected curse.  He was directed to wash in a nearby river, and as his powers passed into the river, its sands turned to gold.  This myth explained for posterity why gold is often found in alluvial  deposits.  

 

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