King Midas was a king in ancient Greek mythology who could turn anything he touched into gold. King Midas received his gift of turning everything into gold from the Greek god Dionysus. Dionysus had a mentor named Silenus, who had gotten lost and was taken to King Midas for protection and shelter.
King Midas fed and entertained Silenus for ten days in his kingdom. King Midas recognized Silenus as the mentor to Dionysus, so on the 11th day, King Midas returned Silenus to Dionysus.
For Silenus’s safe return, Dionysus offered King Midas his choice of anything he wanted. King Midas asked that everything he touched turn to gold.
Dionysus granted him this wish, and King Midas put his request to the test. King Midas touched a stone, a twig, his crown, and his bed, all of which were turned to gold. He continued on his way to the rose garden where he touched every rose in the garden and turned it to gold. It was the best gift he could have ever asked for.
A Gift Turns into a Curse
As King Midas enjoyed his newfound gift, not everyone was as happy with it. This included his daughter Marigold.
Marigold did not like that the flowers in the rose garden had lost their fragrance as they were now gold. King Midas went to console his daughter by giving her a hug. Unintentionally, King Midas turned his daughter to gold and was unable to turn her back.
King Midas began praying to Dionysus that he reverse the wish. His wish had now turned into a curse. Dionysus told King Midas that he must visit the Pactolus river in order to wash himself from the curse. King Midas did what he was told and bathed himself in the river.
When King Midas returns home, Marigold has now returned to her normal self. King Midas ran up to Marigold and hugged her. While King Midas thought that gold was the most precious and valuable thing in life, he quickly learned that it was his daughter, who was more valuable than all the gold in the world.
King Midas Teaches Us that Family Means More than Gold
As Greek mythology evolved, the story of King Midas began to include accounts that he had a daughter named Marigold, who he accidentally turned to gold.
Some versions of King Midas learning that his blessing of turning everything to gold was actually a curse described King Midas being unable to eat or drink because his food and drinks would turn to gold before he could consume them.
Therefore, King Midas prayed to Dionysus for him to reverse the curse. In this version of the myth, Dionysus instructed King Midas to cleanse himself in the Pactolus river, the same as when he turned his daughter to gold. However, as Greek mythology evolved, new versions of King Midas were told.
These versions now included that King Midas had a daughter named Marigold, who he accidentally turned to gold by hugging or comforting her. King Midas was obsessed with turning everything into gold that he had turned all of the roses in the flower garden to gold.
When Marigold discovered she could no longer enjoy the roses in the flower garden, she expressed her sadness to King Midas. Instead of trying to reverse the curse, King Midas tried to comfort her and convince her that his curse was a blessing. This is when Marigold was turned to gold.
The version of King Midas turning his own daughter to gold proves to be more powerful and teachable than King Midas being unable to eat or drink because of turning his food and drinks to gold. This teaches us that worshipping gold more than your family can cause you to lose everything that is really important in this world.