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Reading Response

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HRS 199 T 5:30-8:30

Reading Response Ch. 4

I thought it was interesting that Hesiod had the Five Ages of Man, and how Hesiod describes the human race as degenerating with each iteration, the Age of Heroes being the exception. In the Age of Gold he describes a perfect world, much like the biblical Eden, where there is no hardship or toil, none of them wanted for anything, as all was provided; not even aging troubles the golden age humans, as they pass in their sleep still young and virile. Once they were all gone - with no mention in the book as to how they passed, merely that the earth covered over them - they stayed on as benevolent spirits that would “keep watch over judgments and cruel deeds, wandering over the whole earth wrapped in air. For they have these royal prerogatives.” (Morford Pg. 89) This age is simplistic and idyllic and is a trope that many other religions contain as well an age at the beginning where mankind suffered no ills and was perfectly content. It is the perfect baseline for the degradation, as mankind is pretty much perfected and does no wrong.

Next comes the Age of Silver which was far worse than those before them, beginning the slow decline of man. They lived as children for a hundred years and when they matured and became adults, they didn’t live long, were senseless and arrogant, and didn’t worship the gods, which made Zeus angry, so he hid them way, and the earth covered over them. They remain there and are revered by mortals. This age is strange and difficult to wrap my head around, as I can hardly imagine living a hundred years as a child, only to mature and die shortly after reaching maturity. How do the mothers care for the children for hundreds of years if the adults die shortly after maturing? Does Hesiod only talk about the boy children, and the women children are just in the background?

The Age of Bronze was conmprised of war seeking people who did not eat bread who eventually destroyed themselves and sent to Hades and left no names behind. There is not much to analyze



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