Wherefore it seems to me that we ought to have a philosophical conversation about music: for Pythgoras the Samian, who had such a high reputation as a philbsopher, is well known, from many circumstances, to have been a man who had no slight or superficial knowledge of music; for he indeed lays it down that the whole universe is put and kept together by music. And altogether the ancient philosophy of the Greeks appears to have been very much addicted to music; and on this account they judged Apollo to have been the most musical and the wisest of the gods, and Orpheus of' the demigods. And they called every one who devoted himself to the study of this art a sophist, as Aeschylus does in the verse where he says—
And then the sophist sweetly struck the lyre.And that the ancients were excessively devoted to the study of music is plain from Homer, who, because all his own poetry was adapted to music, makes, from want of care, so many verses which are headless, and weak, and imperfect in the tail. But Xenophobes, and Solon, and Theognis, and Phocylides, and besides them Periander of Corinth, an elegiac poet, and the rest of those who did not set melodies to their poems, compose their verses with reference to number and to the arrangement of the metres, and take great care that none of their verses shall be liable to the charge of any of the irregularities which we just now imputed to Homer. Now when we call a verse headless (ἀκέφαλος), we mean such as have a mutilation or lameness at the beginning, such as—
Those we call weak (λαγαρὸς) which are defective in the middle, as— [p. 1010] Those again are μείουροι, which are imperfect in the tail or end, as—Odyss. xii. 423.