Topic£ºages of man
Then, first, men
suffered the extremes of heat and cold,
and houses became necessary.
different ages of man
by Pietro da Cortona)
In the Age of Gold, the world was
first furnished with inhabitants. This was an age of innocence
and happiness. Truth and right prevailed, thought not enforced
by law, no was there any in authority to threaten or to punish.
The earth brought forth all things necessary for man, without
his labor in plowing or sowing. Perpetual spring reigned,
flowers sprang up without seed, the rivers flowed with milk and
wine, and yellow honey distilled from the oaks.
The Silver Age came next,
inferior to the golden. Jupiter shortened the spring, and
divided the year into seasons. Then, first, men suffered the
extremes of heat and cold, and houses became necessary. Crops
would no longer grow without planting. This was a race of manly
men, but insolent and impious.
Next to the Age of Silver came
that of brass, more savage of temper and readier for the strife
of arms, yet not altogether wicked.
Last came the hardest age and
worst, - of iron. Crime burst in like a flood; modesty, truth,
and honor fled. The gifts of the earth were put only to
nefarious uses. Fraud, violence, war at home and abroad were
Jupiter, observing the condition
of things, burned with anger, He summoned the gods to council.
Jupiter set forth to the assembly the frightful condition of the
earth, and announced his intention of destroying its
inhabitants, and providing a new race, unlike the present, which
should be worthier of life and more reverent toward the gods.
Fearing lest a conflagration might set Heaven itself on fire, he
proceeded to drown the world. Speedily the race of mean and
their possessions, were swept away by the deluge.
Parnassus alone, of the
mountains, overtopped the waves, and there Deucalion, son the
Prometheus, and his wife Pyrrha, daughter of Epimetheus, found
refuge - he a just man and she a faithful worshiper of the gods.
Jupiter, remembering the harmless lives and pious demeanor of
this pair, caused the waters to recede. Then Deucalion and
Pyrrha, entering a temple defaced with slime, approached the
enkindled altar and, falling prostrate, prayed for guidance and
aid. The oracle answered, "Depart from the temple with head
veiled and garments unbound, and cast behind you the bones of
your mother." They heard the words with astonishment. Pyrrha
first broke silence:"We cannot obey; we dare not profane the
remains of our parents." They sought the woods. and revolved the
oracle in their minds. At last Deucalion spoke: "Either my wit
fails me or the command is one we may obey without impiety. The
earth is the great parent of all; the stones are her bones;
these we may cast behind us; this, I think, the oracle means.
They veiled their faces, unbound their garments, and, picking up
stones, cast them behind them. The stones began to grow soft and
to assume shape. By degrees they put on a rude resemblance to
the human form. Those thrown by Deucalion became men; those by
How did the wolf cheat the