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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.

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.

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.

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.