Order of the Knights of Pythias
|Knights of Pythias|
Pythian badge, c. 1885
|Motto||"Friendship, Charity, Benevolence" (F.C.B.)|
|Formation||19 February 1864|
|Founder||Justus H. Rathbone|
The Order of the Knights of Pythias (or simply Knights of Pythias) is an American fraternal order, organised by Justus H. Rathbone at Washington, D.C. in February 1864. The ritual of the order is based on the legend of Damon and Pythias, inspired by John Banim's 1821 play.
- Van Valkenburg, John (1885), The Knights of Pythias Complete Manual and Text Book, Canton, Ohio: Memento Publishing Co., https://archive.org/details/knightsofpyth00vanv
- Carnahan, James R. (1888), Pythian Knighthood, Its History and Literature, Cincinnati: The Pettibone Manufacturing Company, https://archive.org/details/pythianknighthoo00carn
- Webb, Hugh Goold (1910), A History of the Knights of Pythias and its Branches and Auxiliary; Together with an Account of the Origin of Secret Societies, the Rise and Fall of Chivalry and Historical Chapters on the Pythian Ritual, Anaheim, California: The Uniform Rank Co-Operative Association, https://archive.org/details/historyofknights00webb
- Knights of Pythias Illustrated by a Past Chancellor, A Full Illustrated Exposition of the Ceremonies of the Three Ranks of the Order, With the Addition of the Amended, Perfected and Amplified Third Rank., Chicago, Ill.: Ezra A. Cook & Co., 1880, https://archive.org/details/knightsofpythias00cook — an expose of the rites by anti-Pythians
- Gould, S. C., ed. (April 1905), Order of the Knights of Pythias, "Arcane Societies in the United States", Historic Magazine and Notes and Queries 23 (4): 94, https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=njp.32101064475955;view=1up;seq=112, retrieved 2016-11-26, "This Order was founded Feb. 19, 1864. [Justus] H. Rathbone and Robert A. [Champion] have the credit as founders, the former preparing the ritual. They were clerks in a department of the Government, at Washington, D.C., where the first lodge was organized. The Ranks are Page, Esquire, and Knight. The membership numbers about 600,000, including the endowment membership of almost 65,000."
- Carnahan, James R. (1888), "An Interview with the Founder", Pythian Knighthood, Its History and Literature, Cincinnati: The Pettibone Manufacturing Company, p. 270, "I followed the plot as presented in Banim's drama of Damon and Pythias. I took that as my text, my guide, my inspiration."