The Myths 神话故事

Some ancient Greeks denied the creation of men by Prometheus. Instead, they thought that Gaea, Mother Earth, bore them spontaneously(自然地) as the best of her fruits, especially in the soil of Attica.


The first man, Alalcomeneus by name, came to this world even before the birth of the Moon, whose descendants(后代) became the so-called golden race. Hence there were the myths about the Ages of Man, or the stages or races of human existence on the earth.


Two slightly-different accounts survive from ancient Greece and Roman on the degeneration(堕落) of humanity over time, which is symbolically indicated with metals of successively decreasing value:the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.


Gold was the metal of the sun, so the Golden Age was the best of all ages. It was an age when Cronus sat on the throne. People lived in peace and harmony with nature, who, in turn, satisfied all the wants of man in abundance(丰富的).


There was no evil, no fear, no greed or mistrust(怀疑). People lived to a very old age but with a youthful appearance and eventually died peacefully. At that time, men had no knowledge of navigation and therefore did not explore the larger world.


The Silver Age fell within the rule of Zeus, who broke the eternal spring into four seasons. Consequently, human race began to learn agriculture and architecture(建筑学), but they no longer worshipped(敬拜) the gods and offered no sacrifices(供奉).


With a life span of one hundred years, they lived only a short time as grown adults and spent that time in strife(冲突) with one another. As the metal of the moon, silver has a dimmer luster(光泽) than gold. However, the race of the Silver Age was not entirely devoid of virtue.


In the Bronze Age, Zeus created human beings out of the ash trees, a hard wood used in spears.


Bronze was a metal connected to weapons, so the mankind in this age were hardened and tough, prone(易发) to warfare.They dressed up in bronze, armed with weapons of bronze, and lived in houses of bronze.


Towards the end of the Bronze Age, human beings became so wicked(邪恶的) and lawless(无法无天) that the gods resolved to destroy them all by means of a flood.


Deucalion, son of Prometheus, and his wife Pyrrha, on account of their piety, were the only mortals(人类) saved.


Iron is the hardest and most troublesome metal to work. The Iron Age was described as one of endless care and grief.


All modern men were created by Zeus as evil and selfish without any faith, truth and justice. It was a race of men deserted by the gods, and presumably(推测起来) Zeus would destroy this race one day.


The Ages of Man is a long passage of continuous degeneration(堕落), tracing the lives of men as descending from a state of primitive innocence to evil and corruption. Hesiod wove(编织) the mystic and the realistic together, creating a blended(混合的) story based on the ancient tale, which we could learn from and reflect on.