Four Ages of Man (by Ovid)
Four ages of man is another story of the ages of man that was written many years later after Hesiod's Five ages of Man. This particular story can be found in the Ovid's first book of Metamorphoses, translated by Brookes More, starting with the line 89, after previously talking about the creation of the world and creation of first men that, according to Ovid, remains a mystery. His question is are we divine beings created by the God (Unkown God) along with the whole world or are we somehow, subsequently, artificially created like mentioned in the story of Prometheus, where he took the divine Earth's soil and shaped first men in the image of the "commanding" gods afterwards. As for these first men, who were upright beings, the Gods commanded them to watch the skies and observe the celestial bodies. But these people behaved differently throughout different ages.
First was the Golden age where people lived in peace and harmony with the nature. There was no evil, no fear and no punishment, no greed or mistrust. The earth itself provided everything these wandering creatures needed. It is said that this was the time of Eternal spring where fruits grew without seeds planted, fields were covered with heavy bearded wheat without being plowed, rivers flowed milk and nectar instead of water and trees produced honey by themselves. It is described as aparadise on earth where the earth itself and also people remain intact in every possible aspect.
The golden age ended when Zeus defeated Cronus and sent him to Tartarus along with other Titans. It was the time where Silver age prevailed and when Zeus broke the Eternal spring into three different periods of Spring, Summer and Winter and paradise was broken. People now had to adjust their livings, planting seeds and plowing in Spring to harvest crops to supply for Winter and had to build wooden houses to keep them warm and safe during the winter time.
Next was the Bronze age where people became warlike and inclined to arms. But as said next, they did not commit any crimes against the gods. It is pretty similar to the Hesiod's version of Bronze age, where people worshipped the destructive works of Ares and eventually destroyed themselves by killing eachother. It is true that this Ovid's Bronze age lacks details but in other words it could be described as plain and simple.
And finally the last was the Iron age where all the things went wrong according to Ovid. It is said that this is the time when malignant great evil prevailed, where people became corrupt and selfish. Modesty, truth and faith are gone, replaced by deceits, frauds, violence and lust for personal gain. The path of an individual human being became unknown and without any true purpose. Even the relations within a family became fragile or worse. It is the time of great mistrust between human beings. The earth itself is no longer intact. Wealth is being dug up from the earth by human beings, who are overcome by greed, and stockpiled for personal gain. Gold and Iron ore in particular. The seeds for envy and hate and consequently war are planted. There is no help for human kind anymore.