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5 Famous male friendships in history

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Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 11/20/23

In celebration of strong communities everywhere, here are a few famous male friendships from the pages of history.

Recently my husband and I watched the Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones Netflix documentary, and after it ended, we turned to each other to discuss what we had learned.

“I’m realizing I need to be a lot more active,” I began. “I should walk and bike instead of driving, and exercise every day.”

Meanwhile, my husband said, “I learned I should get together with my friends and drink wine a lot more often!”

These different interpretations made us laugh, but neither of us was wrong. The documentary does lay out how important both physical activity and strong social connections are. 

It turns out that being lonely isn’t great for health: Friendships make us happier and healthier. And friendship can be harder to come by for men than for women, especially as people age. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. In celebration of strong communities everywhere, (and right here at Aleteia!), here are a few famous male friendships from the pages of history.

1
George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette

The strong camaraderie between these two was evident from the first as they worked together during the American Revolution. 

The website of Mount Vernon, Washington’s home, has this to say about their friendship:

The two men bonded almost immediately… Lafayette later wrote in his memoir… “It was with such simplicity that two friends were united whose attachment and confidence were cemented by the greatest of causes.”

2
Paul and Barnabas

When Paul first converted, the disciple Barnabas played a key role in teaching him about Christianity. The two men worked closely together for a long time:

Barnabas guided Paul during his development from a novice follower of Christ to the greatest propagator of the faith in the early church. Senior leaders today can follow the example of Barnabas and contribute to the development of the next generation of leaders.

3
David and Jonathan

These Biblical leaders have gone down in history as one of the great friendships of all time. They even made a covenant of friendship:

By the time David finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan’s life became bound up with David’s life; he loved him as his very self… Jonathan and David made a covenant, because Jonathan loved him as his very self. (1 Samuel 18:1-3)

4
Damon and Pythias

It’s honestly incredible that these two men who lived hundreds of years before Christ are still the ultimate model of friendship. Even the rulers of their time were in awe of their trust in each other. If you’re not familiar with their very moving story, check it out here

5
Theodore Dwight Weld and Charles Stuart

Theodore Dwight Weld was one of the architects of the American abolitionist movement from 1830 to 1844, working for this cause as writer, editor, speaker, and organizer. His close friend, Captain Charles Stuart, worked alongside him for the same cause. The men helped each other in many ways throughout their lifetimes, with Stuart even helping pay for Weld’s higher-education tuition at one point. It’s inspiring to see such true and supportive friends united for so great a cause.

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