Indeed it is only quite late in its history [Note] that the archon granted a chorus for a comic poet; before that they were volunteers. [Note]
Comedy had already taken certain forms before there is any mention of those who are called its poets. Who introduced masks or prologues, the number of actors, and so on, is not known.
Plot making [Epicharmus and Phormis] [Note] originally came from Sicily,
and of the Athenian poets Crates [Note] was the first to give up the lampooning form and to generalize his dialogue and plots.
Epic poetry agreed with tragedy only in so far as it was a metrical representation of heroic action, but inasmuch as it has a single metre and is narrative in that respect they are different.
And then as regards length, tragedy tends to fall within a single revolution of the sun or slightly to exceed that, whereas epic is unlimited in point of time;
and that is another difference, although originally the practice was the same in tragedy as in epic poetry.
The constituent parts are some of them the same and some peculiar to tragedy.
Consequently any one who knows about tragedy, good and bad, knows about epics too, since tragedy has all the elements of epic poetry, though the elements of tragedy are not all present in the epic.