Study Guide

King Midas Setting

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The setting in the story of King Midas might require a little translation. But don't worry—we've got your back.

Here's what we know:

  • The story takes place within the borders of Midas's kingdom.
  • Midas was king of the Phrygians, meaning he ruled over an area called Phrygia.
  • Phrygia was located in central Anatolia, which we now know as Turkey.

Ta-da! The story is set in Turkey.

Now, think back to the story. Are there any landmarks that stick out? Bingo: the river. In order to free himself from the golden touch, Midas is told to bathe in the river Pactolus. When he does, the power of the golden touch flows out of his body and leaves behind flakes of gold. Believe it or not, there really is a river Pactolus, and it really does contain gold. And sure enough, the story of King Midas has become a sort of explanation for why.

(Full disclosure: most of the gold is gone now, so don't bother looking for it. Yeah, we know that's what you were thinking. Don't deny it—you wanted the gold. So did we. Oh well.)

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