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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.
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.
However around 750 BC or a little later, there was a migration of seagoing merchants from his original home in Cyme in Asia Minor to Cumae in Campania (a colony they shared with the Euboeans), and possibly his move west had something to do with that, since Euboea is not far from Boeotia, where he eventually established himself and his family.
In spite of Hesiod's complaints about poverty, life on his father's farm could not have been too uncomfortable if Works and Days is anything to judge by, since he describes the routines of prosperous yeomanry rather than peasants.
His basic language was the main literary dialect of the time, Homer's Ionian.
It is probable that Hesiod wrote his poems down, or dictated them, rather than passed them on orally, as rhapsodes did—otherwise the pronounced personality that now emerges from the poems would surely have been diluted through oral transmission from one rhapsode to another.