And Callias the Athenian, whom we were discussing just now, and who was a little before Strattis in point of time, wrote a play which he called Grammatical Science; and the plot of it was as follows. The prologue consists of the [p. 716] elements, and the actor should recite it, dividing it into para- graphs, and making the termination in the manner of a dramatic catastrophe, into “Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, eta, theta. For ει is sacred to the God; iota, cappa, lambda, mu, nu, xu, the diphthong ou, pi, rho, sigma, tau, the present u, phi, chi, which is next to psi, all down to omega.” And the chorus consisted of women, in pairs, made of two elements taken together, composed in metre and lyrical odes in this fashion —“Beta alpha ba, beta ei be, beta eta be, beta iota bi, beta ou bo, beta upsilon bu, beta omega bo.” And then, again, in the antistrophe of the ode and of the metre, “Gamma alpha, gamma ei, gamma eta, gamma iota, gamma omicron, gamma upsilon, gamma omega.” And in the same way he dealt with all other syllables—all which have the same melody and the same metre in the antistrophes. So that people not only suspect that Euripides drew all his Medea from this drama, but they think that it is perfectly plain that he drew the system of his choruses from it. And they say that Sophocles, after he had heard this drama, endeavoured to divide his poem in respect of the metre, and did it thus, in the Œdipus,—
I shall not grieve myself nor you,On which account, all the rest admitted the system of antistrophes from his example, as it should seem, into their tragedies. Then, after this chorus, Callias introduces another speech of vowels, in this manner: (and this also the reciter must divide into paragraphs in the same way as the previous portions, in order that that delivery may be preserved which the author originally intended)—
Being convicted of this action.
Alpha alone, O woman; then one should
Say ει alone in the second place: next,
Still by itself you will say, thirdly, Eta;
Fourth, still alone, Iota; fifthly, Ou.
In the sixth place, Upsilon by itself.
The last of all the seven vowels is
The slow-paced Omega. The seven vowels
In seven verses; and when you've recited
All these, then go and ponder by yourself.