In the fourth century BC, a young man named Pythias was condemned to death by Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse, for plotting against him, but Pythias was granted three days’ leave to go home to settle his family's affairs after his friend Damon agreed to take his place and be executed should Pythias not return. Pythias encountered many problems but managed to return just in time to save Damon. Dionysius was so struck by this remarkable and honorable friendship that he released them both.

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