The date of the war is not known precisely but estimates placing it around 730–705 BC, fit the estimated chronology for Hesiod.In that case, the tripod that Hesiod won might have been awarded for his rendition of Theogony, a poem that seems to presuppose the kind of aristocratic audience he would have met at Chalcis.Fanciful though the story might seem, the account has led ancient and modern scholars to infer that he was not a professionally trained rhapsode, or he would have been presented with a lyre instead.

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Pausanias asserted that Boeotians showed him an old tablet made of lead on which the Works were engraved.

If he did write or dictate, it was perhaps as an aid to memory or because he lacked confidence in his ability to produce poems extempore, as trained rhapsodes could do.

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.

The father probably spoke in the Aeolian dialect of Cyme but Hesiod probably grew up speaking the local Boeotian, belonging to the same dialect group.

However, while his poetry features some Aeolisms there are no words that are certainly Boeotian.

Unlike his father, Hesiod was averse to sea travel, but he once crossed the narrow strait between the Greek mainland and Euboea to participate in funeral celebrations for one Athamas of Chalcis, and there won a tripod in a singing competition.

He also describes a meeting between himself and the Muses on Mount Helicon, where he had been pasturing sheep when the goddesses presented him with a laurel staff, a symbol of poetic authority (Theogony 22–35).

The personality behind the poems is unsuited to the kind of "aristocratic withdrawal" typical of a rhapsode but is instead "argumentative, suspicious, ironically humorous, frugal, fond of proverbs, wary of women." He resembles Solon in his preoccupation with issues of good versus evil and "how a just and all-powerful god can allow the unjust to flourish in this life".