in Claverings

Chapter 29 – How Damon Parted from Pythias

Damon and Pythias

The story of Damon and Pythias (originally Phintias) was one of the Greek tales of “friendship under tyranny.”  Phintias had been condemned to death under the tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse.  Damon offered himself up as security so that the condemned Phintias could say goodbye to his family.  Phintias was delayed in returning to Syracuse, and Dionysius was leading Damon to be executed when Phintias returned at the last moment to rescue him.  Their honorable friendship and sacrifice for each other so touched Dionysius that he spared them both.  Trollope contrasts this amazing friendship with the pseudo-friendship of Sophie Gordeloup and Lady Ongar.  Lady Ongar ends their intimacy after Sophie betrays her.  Since Sophie has not been Lady Ongar’s security, Lady Ongar refuses to be Sophie’s.  [SH 2012]

Source:  OCD.