The Bronze Age
The Third Age was of bronze. Zeus created men from ash trees -- a hard wood used in spears. The Bronze Age men were strong and warlike. Among other traits, they did not eat bread. Their armor and homes were of bronze. It was this generation of men that was destroyed by the flood in the days of Prometheus' son Deucalion and Pyrrha. When the bronze men died they went to the Underworld.
Zeus the Father made a third generation of mortal men, a brazen race, sprung from ash-trees*, and it was in no way equal to the silver age, but was terrible and strong. They loved the lamentable works of Ares and deeds of violence; they ate no bread, but were hard of heart like adamant, fearful men. Great was their strength and unconquerable the arms which grew from their shoulders on their strong limbs. Their armour was of bronze, and their houses of bronze, and of bronze were their implements: there was no black iron. These were destroyed by their own hands and passed to the dank house of chill Hades, and left no name: terrible though they were, black Death seized them, and they left the bright light of the sun.
Hesiod Works and Days
Print Source: Early Greek Myth, by Timothy Ganz.
Next: Heroic Age
* In Hesiod, the Melian Nymphs or Ash Trees were created by Gaia, according to Velvet Yates, in "The Titanic Origin of Humans," Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 44 (2004) 183-198. This Bronze Age, which is made of the "first recognizably human" race, may be the age of the pre-Homeric heroes, like Hercules.
Introduction to Greek Mythology
- Myth in Daily Life
- What Is Myth?
- Myths vs. Legends
- Gods in the Heroic Age - Bible vs. Biblos
- Creation Stories
- Uranos' Revenge
- Olympian Gods and Goddesses
- Five Ages of Man
- Philemon and Baucis
- Trojan War
- Bulfinch Mythology
- Myths and Legends
- Golden Fleece and the Tanglewood Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne