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Encyclopedia > Damon and Pythias

In Greek mythology, the legend of Damon and Pythias (or Phintias) symbolizes trust and loyalty in a true friendship. Greek mythology comprises the collected narratives of Greek gods, goddesses, heroes, and heroines, originally created and spread within an oral-poetic tradition. ...

The legend

Around the 4th century BC, Pythias and his friend Damon, both followers of the philosopher Pythagoras, travelled to Syracuse. Pythias was accused of plotting against the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius I. As punishment for this crime, Pythias was sentenced to death. (5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) // Events Invasion of the Celts into Ireland Battle of the Allia and subsequent Gaulish sack of Rome 383 BCE Second Buddhist Councel at Vesali. ... This topic is considered to be an essential subject on Wikipedia. ... Syracuse, Italy Syracuse, New York Syracuse is the name of two major cities in the world. ... Dionysius (c. ...

Accepting his sentence, Pythias asked to be allowed to return home one last time, to settle his affairs and bid his family farewell. Not wanting to be taken for a fool, Dionysius refused, believing that once released, Pythias would flee and never return.

Risking his own freedom for his best friend, Damon proposed that Dionysius hold him hostage until Pythias returned. Dionysius agreed, on the condition that, should Pythias not return when promised, Damon would be put to death in his place. Damon agreed, and Pythias was released.

Dionysius was convinced that Pythias would never return, and as the day Pythias promised to return came and went, Dionysius prepared to execute Damon. But just as the executioner was about to kill Damon, Pythias returned.

Apologizing to his friend for his delay, Pythias told of how pirates had captured his ship on the passage back to Syracuse and thrown him overboard. Dionysius listened to Pythias as he described how he swam to shore and made his way back to Syracuse as quickly as possible, arriving just in the nick of time to save his friend.

Dionysius was so taken with the friends' trust and loyalty, that he freed both Damon and Pythias, and kept them on as counsel to his court.

Other versions

The story is told in several variants by numerous classical authors, among them Cicero, Diodorus, Hyginus and Polyaenus. Details that differ are: Marcus Tullius Cicero (standard English pronunciation ; Classical Latin pronunciation ) (January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC) was an orator and statesman of Ancient Rome, and is generally considered the greatest Latin orator and prose stylist. ... Diodorus Siculus was a Greek historian, born at Agyrium in Sicily (now called Agira, in the province of Enna). ... Gaius Julius Hyginus, (c. ... Polyaenus (died 278 BC), born in Macedonia, was a Greek rhetorician who served as military commander in the Roman army. ...

  • which one of the two friends is initially sentenced to death
  • reason for the death sentence
  • reason for requesting the reprieve
  • duration of the reprieve
  • cause of the delay in returning
  • whether the two accept Dionysius as their friend
 Then Reid from philly saw Damon and gave him 3 arrows 

Works based on the legend

The best-known modern treatment of the legend is the German ballad Die B├╝rgschaft, written in 1799 by Friedrich Schiller. (In this work, Damon is sentenced to death, not Pythias.) 1799 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Friedrich Schiller Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (November 10, 1759 – May 9, 1805), usually known as Friedrich Schiller, was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and dramatist. ...

In 1564, the material was made into a tragic-comic play by the English poet Richard Edwards (Damon and Pythias). Events March 8 — Naples bans kissing in public under the penalty of death June 22 — Fort Caroline, the first French attempt at colonizing the New World September 10 — The Battle of Kawanakajima Ottoman Turks invade Malta Modern pencil becomes common in England Conquistadors crossed the Pacific Spanish founded a colony... Richard Edwards (1523? - 1566) was an English poet, was at Oxford, and went to Court, where he was made a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, and master of the singing boys. ...

In Japan, the short story Hashire Meros by Osamu Dazai and a nursery tale by Miekichi Suzuki were based on the legend.

In 1821, the Irish poet John Banim wrote a play based on the legend (Damon and Pythias). Familiarity with this play lead Justus H. Rathbone to found the fraternal order Knights of Pythias. 1821 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... John Banim (April 3, 1798 ? August 30, 1842), Irish novelist, sometimes called the Scott of Ireland, was born at Kilkenny. ... The Knights of Pythias is a fraternal organization founded at Washington, DC on 19 February 1864. ...

The 2003 animated film Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas shares a plot similar to this legend, replacing Pythias with Sinbad, and Damon with Proteus. Sinbad, a pirate with questionable morality at the beinging of the film, is falsely accused of stealing the Book of Peace (being framed by the Eris, goddes of chaos and disorder), and Proteus, his boyhood friend and heir to the throne of Syracuse, takes his place as prisoner. The plot differs in that it largely centers on the fantastic events that transpire on Sinbad's quest to reclaim the book. 2003 (MMIII) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is an animated movie produced by DreamWorks SKG and released in 2003. ... Sindbad the Sailor (is also spelled Sinbad, from Persian سندباد—As-Sindibad, 三保 Sānbǎo, from Chinese ) is the name of a legendary sailor who has numerous fantastic adventures during his voyages throughout the seas east of Africa and south of Asia. ...

  Results from FactBites:
AllRefer.com - Damon and Pythias (Folklore And Mythology) - Encyclopedia (202 words)
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.
Damon and Pythias - definition of Damon and Pythias in Encyclopedia (290 words)
Around the fourth century b.c., while travelling with Damon to Syracuse, Pythias was accused of plotting against the ruler of Syracuse, Dionysius I.
As punishment for this crime, Pythias was sentenced to death.
Dionysius was so taken with the friends' trust and loyalty, that he freed both Damon and Pythias, and kept them on as counsel to his court.
  More results at FactBites »



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