‘They say, dear Philo, that in the time of King Lysimakhos a different kind of plague afflicted the people of Abdera. First, the pandemic struck everyone with a fever which was intense and persistent from the beginning. It broke after about seven days and was followed in some by severe nosebleeds and sweats in others.
But the next symptom put them in a ridiculous state: everyone starting turning to tragedy and they were sounding out iambic lines while shouting. They seemed especially to sing songs from Euripides’ Andromeda, working through Perseus’ speech in song. The city was just full of these pale and drawn seventh-day tragedians, singing “Desire, you tyrant of gods and men”
They sang the rest too in a bellowing voice on and on until winter and deep cold weather stopped their nonsense. I think that Arkhelaos the actor was the cause of this—he was popular then and had performed the Andromeda in the middle of a hot summer and then many of them left the theater with a fever, returning home to relapse into tragic song since the Andromeda was lurking in their memory and Perseus was flitting around everyone’s thoughts with Medousa’s head in his hands.”