There are five ages of man according to Hesiod: Golden Age, Silver, Bronze, Iron, and Age of Heroes.

Which one are we currently in as of today?

  • 1
    The least good one, lol. (Similar to the concept of the Kali Yuga. Great question and welcome to Stack Mythology!
    – DukeZhou
    Jan 26, 2017 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


Hesiod describes the Five Ages in his poem Works and Days (lines 109 - 201) 1. Their order is:

  • Golden Age, ruled by Cronus,
  • Silver Age, when Zeus rule begins,
  • Bronze Age, an age of tough men that ends with the flood of Deucalion,
  • Heroic Age, when the Trojan War occurs,
  • Iron Age, the current age.

Hesiod does not mention a future age past his own, which would be a better fit for our own time. Therefore, we could either say that we live in the same age as Hesiod, the Iron one, or that we live in an age past the five Hesiodic ones.

1 An English translation of the poem is available in the Perseus Digital Library: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3atext%3a1999.01.0132

  • 1
    I think it's safe to say that if Hesiod had defined a subsequent age to Iron, it would be even worse, based on the overall downward progression. (However, he might have been heartened by the concept of the 8 hour work day of the 20th century, and seen it as an improvement, similar to his Heroic Age ;)
    – DukeZhou
    Jan 26, 2017 at 17:46
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    Not likely, @DukeZhou. After all, Hesiod pointed out the laziness that came with having fire as a negative.
    – cmw
    Jan 26, 2017 at 22:41
  • @C.M.Weimer Not likely on which supposition--that he would have made ours a worse better age? (Not arguing, but the way I pose my comment creates an ambiguity;)
    – DukeZhou
    Jan 26, 2017 at 22:43
  • @DukeZhou Sorry - not likely that he would have viewed an 8 hour work day as an improvement - or rather, his text makes a point of pointing out how fire made life easier for men, and a life of ease leads to laziness, yadda yadda. See Works & Days 42ff..
    – cmw
    Jan 26, 2017 at 22:51
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    Channeling Hesiodic curmudgeonly pessimism, I would suggest that the metal for our age must be either arsenic or plutonium. Highly toxic either way. Sep 2, 2023 at 22:51

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