A Pythagorean, and friend of Pythias or Phintias, who was a member of the same sect. When the latter was condemned to die for a plot against Dionysius I of Syracuse, he asked leave of the tyrant to depart for the purpose of arranging his domestic affairs, promising to find a friend who would be pledge for his appearance at the time appointed for his punishment. To the surprise of Dionysius, Damon unhesitatingly offered himself to be put to death instead of his friend, should he fail to return. Phintias arrived just in time to redeem Damon, and Dionysius was so struck with this instance of firm friendship on both sides, that he pardoned the criminal, and entreated to be admitted as a third into their bond of brotherhood.

Their friendship is proverbial and is similar to that of Pylades and Orestes, Theseus and Pirithous, Euryalus and Nisus, and David and Jonathan (biblical).



  • Cicero. De Officiis, 3, 45; Comp. Tusculan Disputations v, 22.
  • Diodorus Siculus, x, Fragment 3.
  • Iamblichus. De Vita Pythagorica, 33.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.