Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/213

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


KING MIDAS AND HIS ASS'S EARS.

BY W. CROOKE, B.A.

{Read at Meeting, December 21 st, 19 10.)

The ancient kingdom of Phrygia, during the tenth and eleventh centuries before our era, held sway, almost without a rival, over the western half of Asia Minor. Its westward extension, which included influence over Lydia, is indicated by the cycle of myth which grew up round its rulers, and by the parallel which Herodotus suggests between its political position and that of the Lydian Gyges.^ The princes of this line adopted the dynastic titles of Midas and Gordius or Gordias. One of these monarchs, known as Midas, is commemorated by the remarkable monument representing the fagade of a house or temple, which is said to be his tomb.- " Excepting Midas, son of Gordius, king of Phrygia," says Herodotus,^ "Gyges was the first of the barbarians whom we know to have sent offerings to Delphi. Midas dedicated the royal throne whereon he was ac- customed to sit and administer justice, an object well worth looking at. It is in the same place as the goblets presented by Gyges." Herodotus,* again, speaks of a place in Macedonia called " the Gardens of Midas, son of Gordius," where roses grew of themselves and with blossoms that had as many as sixty petals apiece. Here Midas is said to have

^ Maspero, The Passing of the Empires, pp. 330 et seq. ; Professor J. L. yi.yit%. Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. xxvi., p. 123. 2 Maspero, t?/. cit., pp. 331 et seq, ^i. 14. *viii. 138.