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Added on 30th June 2020

Oral tradition Ancient Greek mythology

An Ancient Greek myth warning about the dangers of greed.


One day in his rose garden, King Midas stumbles upon a satyr called Silenus, who is the companion of the god Dionysus. For his kind treatment of Silenus, Midas is granted a wish by Dionysus. The King wishes that everything he touches would turn to gold. The wish is granted but will it bring King Midas happiness?

Why we chose it

King Midas is one of the stories included The Story Museum original audio stories collection. It is one of the best known Greek legends with its clear warning about the dangers of greed.

Where it came from

This story is a Greek and Roman legend. It appears in the Latin poem Metamorphoses written by the Roman poet Ovid in 8 AD.

Where it went next

King Midas has appeared in many collections of children’s stories, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1893 edition of A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. Ted Hughes retold it in Tales from Ovid (1997)

Midas appears in The Lost Hero, the first book in Rick Riordan’s The Heroes of Olympus series, a spin off from his popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Both sets of novels are fantasy adventure based on Greek and Roman myths.

Associated stories

In another related story, King Midas is asked to judge a musical contest between Apollo and Pan. Midas chooses Pan and Apollo takes revenge by changing his ears into those of an ass. Midas tries to hide his embarrassing ears. His barber, bursting to tell the secret, whispers it into a hole in the ground.

Added on 30th June 2020

Oral tradition Ancient Greek mythology