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May 30 , 2011

Damon, Pythias, and the Test of Friendship


Outside of ancient Syracuse on the island of Sicily, there lived a cruel ruler named Dionysius. He trusted no one. Nearby lived two best friends, Damon and Pythias. One day Pythias spoke out against Dionysius, who quickly ordered his execution, to take place in one month. Pythias wanted to return to his elderly parents to say goodbye and arrange for their care. Dionysius laughed, not trusting that Pythias would return.

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Damon stood up and offered to take Pythias’s place until he returned. The ruler agreed only after stipulating that if Pythias did not come back, Damon would die instead. When the execution day arrived, Pythias had not returned, but Damon still believed that his friend would be there if he could. Just in time, Pythias ran in, offering up his own life for his friend’s.

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