Willamette University, College of Law, Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201)
245 Winter St SE
Salem, OR 97301
Dr. Brendan Burke
University of Victoria
Department of Greek and Roman Studies
The Phrygian capital of Gordion in central Turkey and the quasi-historical ruler of the Phrygians, King Midas, have fascinated people since the time of Herodotus. People are often surprised to learn that there was a true historical ruler named Midas, whose reign dates to around 700 BC. Midas was preserved and transformed in later legend, primarily through Greek sources - and figured prominently in literature and art. Although the Kingdom of Midas was on the periphery of the Greek world, Midas became a stand-in for something classical Greeks seem to have both feared and been fascinated by: the wealthy eastern king, and so they created famous legends about King Midas. Archaeology helps to separate the myth of Midas from the history. In this talk fieldwork on the citadel from 2000 to 2006 is presented, which helps clarify our understanding of Midas' great capital.