Ages of Man

stages of human existence according to Greco-Roman mythology

Ages of Man is an Ancient Greek myth that divides the history of the world into five eras. In the first eras, humans lived close to gods and were happy. In the latest eras, the gods have left the world and humans live in pain and unhappiness. This myth was first written down by Greek poet Hesiod, about 2700 years ago.

  1. In the Golden Age, humans lived together with gods in peace. Plato said that there were also demons in this age, who were good and helped people. All of them were ruled by Kronos.
  2. In the Silver Age, humans lived for one hundred years as children and fought each other when they became adults. They refused to worship Kronos' son Zeus, so he killed them all.
  3. In the Bronze Age, humans fought each other all the time. They have all been killed in their own wars.
  4. In the Heroic Age, demigods and heroes lived among humans. Perseus, Heracles, and Argonauts lived in this age. It ended after the Trojan War.
  5. In the Iron Age, gods and other supernatural beings abandoned humans. As a result, humans have forgotten their virtues and lived in misery. It was the age when Hesiod himself lived.

Roman poet Ovid also wrote about the Ages of Man about two thousand years ago, although he did not mention the Heroic Age.