But Archytas the Harmonist, as Chamæleon calls him, says that Alcman was the original poet of amatory songs, and that he was the first poet to introduce melodies inciting to lawless indulgence,. . . . being, with respect to women . . . . On which account he says in one of his odes—
But Love again, so Venus wills,He says also that he was in a moderate degree in love with Megalostrate, who was a poetess, and who was able to allure lovers to her by the charms of her conversation. And he speaks thus concerning her—
Descends into my heart,
And with his gentle dew refreshes me.
This gift, by the sweet Muse inspired,And Stesichorus, who was in no moderate degree given to amorous pursuits, composed many poems of this kind; which in ancient times were called παιδιὰ and παιδικά. And, in fact, there was such emulation about composing poems of this sort, and so far was any one from thinking lightly of the amatory poets, that Aeschylus, who was a very great poet, and Sophocles, too, introduced the subject of the loves of men on the stage in their tragedies: the one describing the love of Achilles for Patroclus, and the other, in his Niobe, the mutual love of her sons (on which account some men have given an ill name to that tragedy); and all such passages as those are very agreeable to the spectators.
That lovely damsel gave,
The golden-hair'd Megalostrate.