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.