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13-Aug-2017 20:34

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.

The former poem says that his father came from Cyme in Aeolis (on the coast of Asia Minor, a little south of the island Lesbos) and crossed the sea to settle at a hamlet, near Thespiae in Boeotia, named Ascra, "a cursed place, cruel in winter, hard in summer, never pleasant" (Works 640).

Hesiod's patrimony there, a small piece of ground at the foot of Mount Helicon, occasioned lawsuits with his brother Perses, who seems, at first, to have cheated him of his rightful share thanks to corrupt authorities or "kings" but later became impoverished and ended up scrounging from the thrifty poet (Works 35, 396.).

The dating of Hesiod's life is a contested issue in scholarly circles (see § Dating below).

However, while his poetry features some Aeolisms there are no words that are certainly Boeotian.Thereafter, Greek writers began to consider Homer earlier than Hesiod.Devotees of Orpheus and Musaeus were probably responsible for precedence being given to their two cult heroes and maybe the Homeridae were responsible in later antiquity for promoting Homer at Hesiod's expense.However, Hesiod's extant work comprises several didactic poems in which he went out of his way to let his audience in on a few details of his life.

There are three explicit references in Works and Days, as well as some passages in his Theogony that support inferences made by scholars.

The first known writers to locate Homer earlier than Hesiod were Xenophanes and Heraclides Ponticus, though Aristarchus of Samothrace was the first actually to argue the case.



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