Get to Know Five Ages of Greek Mythology
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In Greek mythology, we tend to think that the stories are mostly about the gods and goddesses. However, there are other figures to consider, such as monsters and even humans. Life for mortals in Greek mythology is often divided into five different stages: gold, silver, bronze, heroic, and iron. In a way, it’s a description of the fall of man from grace. Here, we will go into a little more detail about the five ages of man in Greek mythology.
During this time, Cronus ruled. Man lived a peaceful life. It was eternally spring, and people seemed to age backward. Mortals didn’t feel pain when they died. When they died, they still walked the earth in a ghost form. They also didn’t have to do manual labor. Instead, they lived with the gods and everything was provided for them. People lived in peace, and there was not war.
After Zeus defeated the Titans and took over leadership of the world, the silver age begun. He would be the leader of the rest of the ages. Man no longer walked with the gods as they did before. Men lived at home for most of their lives until experiencing an arrested adulthood. Since man was ungrateful, new leader Zeus emphasized how inferior man was to the gods. When men died, they went to Hades. People who died at this time became known as the “blessed spirits”.
Humans in the bronze age were made by Zeus out of the ash tree, and they were fiery. Their main focus was war. Being brutes, they only ate meat. This era is known as the bronze age since it was what they used to create their weapons. The people did not have much substance past their fighting, and they continued to kill each other off. When the men died, they did not have spirits. They just wallowed in Hades. This age was finally ended by a giant flood.
As the name implies, this was the age of heroes. The Trojan War was fought during this time. While the state of man seems to deteriorate, this is the one age where mankind redeemed themselves a bit. The men of this age were heroic and god-like. Some were indeed related to the gods, like Achilles. When men died in this era, they went to Elysium. This was a special afterlife reserved for the best mortals.
The iron age represents a separation of man from the gods. Being away from the gods, mortals live in a world of suffering. The suffering is caused by each other. Human decency that used to be a normal social contract ceased to exist. Families fought against each other, and travelers were not greeted by others. People no longer felt shame about these atrocities. Hesiod, who came up with these five ages, lived in this time. It demonstrates his view of the society he lived in. He predicted that Zeus would come down and destroy the race for their behavior.
Hesiod gave us these five ages to help describe how humanity progressed through time. Unfortunately, except for the age of heroes, humanity continued to decline. We wonder if we are now in a period of progression or decline today.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by Greek Boston