Midas, the name of several mythical kings of Phrygia. Rawlinson remarks in a note to Herodotus: " In the royal house of Phrygia, the names Midas and Gordias seem to have alternated perpetually, as in that of Cyrene the names Battus and Arcesilaus. Every Phrygian king mentioned in ancient history is either Midas, son of Gordias, or Gordias, son of Midas. Bouhier reckons four kings of Phrygia named Midas, each the son of a Gordias. Three of these are mentioned in Herodotus."Duncker, in Geschichtedes Alterthums (4th ed., Leipsic, 1874), places the reign of the first Midas in the middle of the 8th century B. C, and supposes the dynasty to have become extinct in the 6th, with the successors of the third Midas, King Gordias and his son Adrastus. The following is the principal myth connected with the name of Midas. Midas conferred a favor on Bacchus, and the god desired him to ask whatsoever he pleased. Midas requested that everything touched by him might become gold. The request was granted, but as his food underwent the metamorphosis as well as all things else, he was reduced to a state of starvation, and implored the god to recall his grant.
Bacchus bade him bathe in the Paeto-lus; and Midas having done so, instantly his touch lost its auriferous power in the case of all things essential to life, while the sands of the river were converted into gold. Midas was once chosen umpire in a musical contest between Pan and Apollo; he awarded the palm to Pan, in revenge for which Apollo changed his ears into those of an ass. Midas, to hide this deformity, used to wear a lobed cap; but the slave whose business it was to cut his hair became privy to the secret, which so troubled him that, afraid to reveal it to a fellow mortal, and unable to keep it to himself, he dug a hole in the earth, and whispered into it: "King Midas has asses1 ears." He then filled up the hole, but a reed sprung up on the spot, which, as often as the wind blew, whispered his words to the world. Midas is said to have killed himself by drinking the blood of an ox.