Order of the Knights of Pythias

From Kook Science

Knights of Pythias

Pythian badge, c. 1885

Motto "Friendship, Charity, Benevolence" (F.C.B.)
Formation 19 February 1864
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
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.[1] The ritual of the order is based on the legend of Damon and Pythias, inspired by John Banim's 1821 play.[2]



  1. 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,;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." 
  2. 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."