The immortal gods living on the bright Olympus created the first human race happy; this was the Golden Age. Then the god Cronus ruled in the sky. In those days, people lived like the blessed gods, knowing neither worries, nor labor, nor sorrow. They did not know the weak old age either; their legs and arms were always strong and sturdy. Their life, without disease and full of happiness, was like an eternal feast. Their death, which came after a long life, was like a peaceful, quiet sleep.
In their lifetime they had everything in abundance. The land itself gave them its rich fruits and they did not need to work to cultivate fields and look after gardens. Their herds were numerous and they grazed peacefully on the lush pastures.
The people of the Golden Age lived peacefully. The gods themselves came to consult with them. But the Golden Age of the earth is over and no one of this generation remains. After their death, the people of the Golden Age became spirits, patrons of the people of the new generations.
Wrapped in mist, they float all over the earth, defending justice and punishing evil. This was given to them as a reward by Zeus after their death.
The second human race and the second age were already as happy as the first. The Silver Age has come. Neither in strength nor in reason could the people of the Silver Age be compared to the people of the Golden Age. For a hundred years they grew foolish in the homes of their mothers; only after they matured did they separate from them. Their life in adulthood was short, and because they were unreasonable, they experienced many misfortunes and sorrows throughout their lives. The people of the Silver Age were disobedient. They did not obey the immortal gods and did not want to offer sacrifices on the altars. The great son of Cronus, Zeus, destroyed their family on earth. He was angry with them for not listening to the gods living on the bright Olympus. Zeus settled them in the dark underworld, and they remain there, knowing neither joys nor sorrows; people pay tribute to them too.
Father Zeus created both the third family and the third century – the Copper Age. It’s not like the Silver Age. From the hilt of his spear Zeus created people terrible and powerful. People of the Copper Age loved pride and war filled with groans. They did not know agriculture and did not eat the fruits of the earth, as fruit orchards and fields give. Zeus gave them enormous growth and indestructible strength. Their heart was indomitable, masculine, and their hands invincible. Their weapons were forged from copper, their houses were made of copper, they worked with copper tools. At that time, dark iron was still unknown. The people of the Copper Age destroyed each other with their own hands. They quickly descended into the dark realm of the terrible Hades. No matter how strong they were, the black death grabbed them and they left the clear light of the sun.
As soon as this genus passed into the realm of shadows, immediately the great Zeus created on the earth-feeding the fourth age and a new human race – more noble, more just, the genus of heroes – demigods, equal to the gods. And they all died in fierce wars and terrible bloody battles. Some died at the seven-door Thebes, in the land of Cadmus, fighting for the legacy of Oedipus. Others fell near Troy, where they came to abduct the beautiful Helen after sailing across the wide sea. When death seized them all, Zeus the Thunderer settled them on the edge of the earth, away from the living. The heroes of the demigods live on the islands of the blessed, by the stormy waters of the ocean, a happy life, a life without sorrows. There the fertile land gives them fruit as sweet as honey three times a year.
The last human race lived in the fifth century – the Iron Age. It continues on earth now. Night and day grief and exhausting work constantly destroy people. Indeed, the gods add good to evil, but still evil prevails, it reigns everywhere. Children do not respect their parents; the friend does not remain faithful to his friend; the guest does not meet hospitality; there is no love between brothers. People do not keep their oath, they do not value justice and good. They are destroying each other’s cities. Violence reigns everywhere. Only pride and strength are valued. The goddesses Conscience and Justice have left people. They flew away in white robes on the high Olympus, to the immortal gods, for the people there are only severe troubles and there is no one to protect them from evil.
As written according to Ovid’s poem “Metamorphoses”; A. Kun