Callias (comic poet)
Callias (Greek: Καλλίας), sometimes called by the nickname Schoenion (Σχοινίων), was a poet of the Old Comedy, not to be confused with the three Athenian aristocrats named Callias, the last of which, Callias III, appears in Plato's Protagoras.
Callias is best known for a few extant fragments of a comedy, The Letter Tragedy. This comedy featured a 24-piece chorus that consisted of the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet. On this work there has been debate since the early 19th century over the meaning of the play's claim to have influenced Greek tragedy. Many scholars take Callias' claim to have been ironic and a joke. The titles of his other known plays are: Aigyptios (The Egyptian), Atalante, Batrakhoi (Frogs), Kyklopes (The Cyclopes), Pedetai (Men In Shackles), Scholazontes (Men At Leisure), and a fragmentary title ...era Sidera, which has been reconstructed as either Hypera Sidera (Iron Pestles) or Entera Sidera (Iron Guts).
- Ralph Rosen, "Comedy and Confusion in Callias' Letter Tragedy," Classical Philology, Vol. 94, No. 2. April 1999 pp. 147-167.
- Joseph A. Smith, "Clearing up Some Confusion in Callias' Alphabet Tragedy," Classical Philology, Vol. 98, No. 4. October 2003 pp. 313-329.
- Liddell and Scott Greek Lexicon defines this term as either a "sedgebird," which dwells among reeds, or a flute-girl's tune.
- Maurizio Sonnino, "Short Notes on Two Comic Fragments (Callias fr. 18 K.-A.; Theopompus Comicus fr. 64 K.-A.)," Phoenix, Vol. 53, No. 3/4. Autumn - Winter 1999, p. 330.