Midas is popularly famous for his unique ability (not such a blessing as it first seemed) to turn to gold everything he touched - 'the Midas touch'. He was actually the son of Gordius and Cybele, and according to William Smith 'a wealthy but effeminate king of Phrygia'.

His name seems to have been the title of a number of rulers of Phrygia, and it may possibly derive from mita, 'seed' or be identified with Mita, king of the Moschians. These were an ancient people inhabiting the western part of Thrace and famous for their riches.