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Damon and Pythias

Damon and Pythias (dāˈmən, pĭthˈēəs) [key], 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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