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The Silver Age

Under Zeus the Silver Age came first.

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Saturn Devouring His Son, by Goya

Saturn Devouring His Son, by Goya

Web Museum

The Silver Age

During the Silver Age the Olympian god Zeus was in charge. Zeus caused this generation of man to be created inferior in appearance and wisdom to the last. He divided the year into 4 seasons. Man had to plant grain and seek shelter, but still, a child could play for 100 years before growing up. The people wouldn't honor the gods, so Zeus caused them to be destroyed. When they died, they became "blessed spirits of the underworld."

then they who dwell on Olympus made a second generation which was of silver and less noble by far. It was like the golden race neither in body nor in spirit. A child was brought up at his good mother's side an hundred years, an utter simpleton, playing childishly in his own home. But when they were full grown and were come to the full measure of their prime, they lived only a little time in sorrow because of their foolishness, for they could not keep from sinning and from wronging one another, nor would they serve the immortals, nor sacrifice on the holy altars of the blessed ones as it is right for men to do wherever they dwell. Then Zeus the son of Cronos was angry and put them away, because they would not give honour to the blessed gods who live on Olympus.
(ll. 140-155) But when earth had covered this generation also -- they are called blessed spirits of the underworld by men, and, though they are of second order, yet honour attends them also.

Hesiod Works and Days

Print Source: Early Greek Myth, by Timothy Ganz.

Next: Bronze Age

Introduction to Greek Mythology

  1. Myth in Daily Life
  2. What Is Myth?
  3. Myths vs. Legends
  4. Gods in the Heroic Age - Bible vs. Biblos
  5. Creation Stories
  6. Uranos' Revenge
  7. Titanomachy
  8. Olympian Gods and Goddesses
  9. Five Ages of Man
  10. Philemon and Baucis
  11. Prometheus
  12. Trojan War
  13. Bulfinch Mythology
  14. Myths and Legends
  15. Golden Fleece and the Tanglewood Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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