Two Guys from Syracuse

Damon and Pythias

You need a coated filter just as Damon needed Pythias!

So. OK. Damon and Pythias were two guys from Syracuse (not Orangemen – think older). They were students of Pythagoras, so I’m going to guess they had mastery of the Pythagorean Theorem greater than most of my Geometry students had. And they were subject to the rule of one Dionysius, who was also responsible for having a sword hung over the head of Damocles. By a hair.

Pythagorean Theorem

How to solve a problem in the Pythagorean Theorem - the easy way!

In short, not a nice guy. Instead, Dionysius is a guy who offers the death penalty to anyone who goes so far as to disagree with him. This penalty was levied on Pythias for protesting Dionysius’ hardness.

Pythias gets permission to go home and “put his affairs in order” before the appointed death. Damon offers to take the place of his friend, as “collateral” in the even Pythias should try to make a break for it. And, like any good drama, the fate of Damon remains in question until the last moment, When Pythias shows up, dirty on a broken horse, and the two best friends hug and profess they’d never doubted each other for a moment, and Damon said “I’m sorry I can’t die in your place,” etc.

Dionysius scratches his head, lets Pythias off the hook, and says “how can I have friends like you two?” (I could guess a few ways. And most likely Damon and Pythias had some ideas too.)

The moral: two guys here are willing to DIE for a friend. Are we willing to LIVE for one? Are we even willing to go out of our WAY for one?


~ by Ron Graham on December 23, 2010.

One Response to “Two Guys from Syracuse”

  1. Thanks for this. It has several levels of meaning for me. As you know, I find levels of meaning in things that have none. A friend once told me “You think too much”, right before she gave me a big hug! Close friends are honest with each other. I will probably not have the opportunity to volunteer to die for a friend, but I do have opportunities to be honest and receive honesty. A true friend will give it and be able to receive it. Thanks again.

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