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Damon and Pythias
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Damon and Pythias (dā`mən, pĭth`ēəs), two youths whose loyalty to each other symbolizes true friendship. Pythias, a Pythagorean, condemned to death for plotting against Dionysius I of Syracuse, was given leave to arrange his affairs after Damon pledged to give his own life if his friend did not return. When Pythias returned just in time to take his own place for execution, Dionysius was so impressed by their loyal friendship that he released them both. Pythias is a corruption of the name Phintias.
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Damon and Pythias
each agreed to die to save the other. [Gk. Hist.: Espy, 48]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive
The final section analyzes Jonson's incorporation of both Marlowe's poem and Nashe's variant of Hero and Lander with Damon and Pythias' epitome of ideal friendship.
Jonson's telescoping of Marlowe's and Nashe's exchange with John Edwards' dramatization of perfect friendship in Damon and Pythias colors the closing reconciliation of the fairgoers.
Although the story of the pair of perfect friends derived from Boccaccio and drew from similar classical precedent of similitude and sacrificial friendship in line with Damon and Pythias and Orestes and Pylades, Foxe complicates the friendship through the introduction of a woman to whom Gesippus is betrothed and with whom Titus is in love.
Peterman explains that the nature of beneficence is predicated on the benefactor engendering 'the goodwill of the recipient.' (55) And this idea resonates with the final scene of another play of the period, Richard Edwards's Damon and Pythias (1565).