The Ages of the World
When the deathless gods created the golden race of men, it was the time of prosperity and peace that allowed all living beings to live in harmony, to be happy and in love. It has been said that in this age animals could speak with human voice and no one would grow old or get ill. Together they lived in abundance of everything. And even when their time was over, the death came during sleep without any pain. This time was during the ruleage of the Titans, where Cronus was the leader, after dethroning his father Uranus. But instead of living in peace, Cronus, after hearing the prophecy of being overthrown by one of his children, went and ate five of his children when they were born, except Zeus who later came and freed his brothers and sisters. They then rebelled against their father and it all lead to a ten-year war, called Titanomachy, which more or less ended the golden age in destruction.
When the golden age ended, the golden race still existed and roamed the earth as benevolent spirits. The war, where the Olympians had won, was over and peace was achieved. It was time for the gods to create a new, silver generation of mankind. This silver race was said to be inferior in all terms to the golden race. They were immature and needed a hundred years to grow up. But when they finally grew up, they lived shortly because of their foolishness to keep sinning and not listening and honoring the gods. The gods were losing patience and at some point Zeus became so mad that he destroyed this silver race of beings and ended the sliver age.
Beings of silver age were sent to the underworld and became known as the blessed spirits of Hades. Zeus was again bored and decided to make the third generation, called a brazen race of men. These bronze men were strong and warlike, had weapons and armour of bronze and even houses of bronze. They worshipped the destructive works of Ares and instead of bread, ate hearts of fellow-men. In the end they were consumed by their own rage, destroying each other, and sent to the underworld for eternity, never to see the light again.
According to Theogony of the Apollodorus' Bibliotheca, the Bronze age was ended by the Deluge or Great flood, set up by Zeus for being disappointed and outraged by the aggressive and cannibalistic behaviour of the bronze race.
Age of Heroes
After the bronze age, Zeus created another race, an honorable race of heroes who were noble and respected the gods. Among them were also individuals with divine qualities, called demi-gods. Most of them died in the wars such as Trojan war and Seven against Thebes. The souls of those, who passed away, went to a special place called Elysian Fields or Island of the Blessed, somewhere in the Underworld, surrounded by deep-swirling Oceanus. It was the place where the souls would remain forever and live a blessed and happy life in the same role they had enjoyed in life. It is also said that Zeus eventually promoted his father Cronus, from the depths of Tartarus, to become the ruler of the souls of these righteous and significant people.
And finally, Zeus created the last race of man, called the iron race, where Hesiod puts himself in. It is the time of constant stress and labour. Morality is gone and men are constantly opposing each other, lying and seeding mistrust. It is the time where humans grow old quickly and are constantly beset by troubles and pressures. At the peak of this age, people will no longer feel shame or regret at wrongdoing and there will be no help against evil. Mankind will be forsaken by the Gods and Goddesses and Zeus is set to return one day to destroy this race.
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