On the connexion between Midas and the Attic story see J.
According to Greek tradition there existed in early time a Phrygian kingdom in the Sangarius valley, ruled by kings among whom the names Gordius and Midas were common.
Between 680 and 670 the Cimmerians in their destructive progress over Asia Minor overran Phrygia; the king Midas in despair put an end to his own life; and from henceforth the history of Phrygia is a story of slavery, degradation and decay, which contrasts strangely with the earlier legends.
He plays the lyre at the banquets of the gods, and causes Marsyas to be flayed alive because he had boasted of his superior skill in playing the flute, and the ears of Midas to grow long because he had declared in favour of Pan, who contended that the flute was a better instrument than Apollo's favourite, the lyre.
Midas, king of Phrygia, who had been appointed judge, declared in favour of Marsyas, and Apollo punished Midas by changing his ears into ass's ears.
The slave-trade flourished: Phrygian slaves were common in the Greek market, and the Phrygian names Midas and Manes were stock-names for slaves.
This natural defence was crowned by a wall partly Cyclopean, partly built of large squared stones.6 This city was evidently the centre of the old Phrygian kingdom FavaKrec on the Midas tomb.
Such patterns were used in Cappadocia, and the priest in the rocksculpture at Ibriz wears an embroidered robe strikingly similar in style to the pattern on the Midas tomb; but the idea of using the pattern as the Phrygians did seems peculiar to themselves.
Finding himself in danger of starvation, even his food and drink being changed by his touch, Midas entreated Dionysus to take back the gift.
Marsyas, as well as Midas and Silenus, are associated in legend with Dionysus and belong to the cycle of legends of Cybele.