Damon - Encyclopedia




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DAMON, of Syracuse, a Pythagorean, celebrated for his disinterested affection for Phintias (not, as commonly given, Pythias), a member of the same sect. Condemned to death by Dionysius the Elder (or Younger) of Syracuse, Phintias begged to be set at liberty for a short time that he might arrange his affairs. Damon pledged his life for the return of his friend; and Phintias faithfully returned before the appointed day of execution. The tyrant, to express his admiration of their fidelity, released both the friends and begged to be admitted to their friendship (Diod. Sic. x. 4; Cicero, De Off. iii. io). Hyginus (Fab. 257, who is followed by Schiller in his ballad, Die Biirgschaft) tells a similar story, in which the two friends are named Moerus and Selinuntius.

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