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Dionysus, god of wine. Lithograph of a statue in the Vatican, Rome.

Silenus (sye-LEE-nus). Satyr, companion to the wine god Dionysus. Silenus was found sleeping in a vineyard one day and was tied up and brought before King Midas of Phrygia. Midas set the goat-man free. In gratitude, Dionysus granted the king a wish, which turned out to be the power to turn whatever he touched into gold. When this "Midas touch" proved disastrous, Dionysus spared the king the further consequences of his greed. The god's mercy in this regard arose from the respect Midas had shown Silenus.