Plutarch identified this Amphidamas with the hero of the Lelantine War between Chalcis and Eretria and he concluded that the passage must be an interpolation into Hesiod's original work, assuming that the Lelantine War was too late for Hesiod.Modern scholars have accepted his identification of Amphidamas but disagreed with his conclusion.His farmer employs a friend (Works and Days 370) as well as servants (502, 573, 597, 608, 766), an energetic and responsible ploughman of mature years (469 ff.), a slave boy to cover the seed (441–6), a female servant to keep house (405, 602) and working teams of oxen and mules (405, 607f.).One modern scholar surmises that Hesiod may have learned about world geography, especially the catalogue of rivers in Theogony (337–45), listening to his father's accounts of his own sea voyages as a merchant.According to Aristotle's Constitution of Orchomenus, when the Thespians ravaged Ascra, the villagers sought refuge at Orchomenus, where, following the advice of an oracle, they collected the ashes of Hesiod and set them in a place of honour in their agora, next to the tomb of Minyas, their eponymous founder.Eventually they came to regard Hesiod too as their "hearth-founder" ( Greeks in the late 5th and early 4th centuries BC considered their oldest poets to be Orpheus, Musaeus, Hesiod and Homer—in that order.
It might seem unusual that Hesiod's father migrated from Asia Minor westwards to mainland Greece, the opposite direction to most colonial movements at the time, and Hesiod himself gives no explanation for it.The dating of Hesiod's life is a contested issue in scholarly circles (see § Dating below).Epic narrative allowed poets like Homer no opportunity for personal revelations.An upper limit of 750 BC is indicated by a number of considerations, such as the probability that his work was written down, the fact that he mentions a sanctuary at Delphi that was of little national significance before c.750 BC (Theogony 499), and that he lists rivers that flow into the Euxine, a region explored and developed by Greek colonists beginning in the 8th century BC. Hesiod mentions a poetry contest at Chalcis in Euboea where the sons of one Amphidamas awarded him a tripod (Works and Days 654–662).This tradition follows a familiar ironic convention: the oracle that predicts accurately after all.