->''Know, O Prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars...''
-->-- '''Excerpt''' from "The Nemedian Chronicles," which opens the first ''[[ConanTheBarbarian Conan]]'' story, "The Phoenix on the Sword"

A setting in the ancient past, when gods, demons, and monsters walked the earth. Often [[CrossoverCosmology blends the mythologies of various cultures together]], as the writers see the advantages for storytelling. Those writers are a crafty bunch. Also has the tendency to bring in [[AnachronismStew plenty of anachronisms]] in terms of technology, culture, and so forth. The literary forerunner for this would be the Hyborian Age of Creator/RobertEHoward's ''[[ConanTheBarbarian Conan]]'' stories, which mixed and matched milieus from different times and places: this way, Howard could have a series protagonist in a historical context, without worrying about historical inaccuracies.

Naturally, however, the concept of such an age is OlderThanDirt. Much myth and literature was written about a supposed time period in the distant past (i.e. before the [[AncientGrome Iron Age]]) that was chock full of ten-foot-tall warriors and interesting monsters to kill. Contrast AdvancedAncientAcropolis.

Common setting for HeroicFantasy. See also SwordAndSandal. Invariably everything is ShroudedInMyth.

If we see the end of the age, that's EndOfAnAge or TheMagicGoesAway. May overlap HereThereWereDragons, LostTechnology, and PointlessDoomsdayDevice. See also DeathOfTheOldGods, which is when a setting's ''past'' is described this way.

In [[TheMiddleAges medieval Europe]], the preceding [[TheDarkAges dark ages]] were considered to be this, with historical rulers, dragons, dwarfs, sometimes gods figuring in countless heroic epics and romances. Asian fiction [[{{Wuxia}} subverts this trope]] [[HollywoodMedievalJapan somewhat]], due to the prevalence of ancient records and artefacts and the fact that the culture was humming along in MedievalStasis until relatively recently (or at least the ideology of continuity with the ancestors reassured people that it was). East Asian societies do have their own Time of Myths, such as the period of semi-divine emperors predating the dynastic period of China, but they were sufficiently well-discussed and codified before the advent of commercial fiction to never really crop up as a setting for genre fiction.

For alternate visions of the past, see ArabianNightsDays, TheDungAges, {{Demythtification}}, TimeAbyss.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* ''Anime/PrincessMononoke''. Bits of Japanese Mythology make appearances in other Ghibli films as well.
-->'''Narrator:''' In ancient times, the land lay covered in forests, where, from ages long past, dwelt the spirits of the gods. Back then, man and beast lived in harmony, but as time went by, most of the great forests were destroyed. Those that remained were guarded by gigantic beasts who owed their allegiances to the Great Forest Spirit, for those were the days of gods and of demons.
* Most of ''InuYasha''.
** Though a brief reference to OdaNobunaga in one episode would put it sometime in the mid-1500s.
** From the beginning, it states that it's set during the Sengoku period.

[[folder: Film ]]
* Movies by Creator/RayHarryhausen: ''ClashOfTheTitans'', ''Jason and the Argonauts'' and the ''Sinbad'' trilogy.
* In ''TimeBandits'', the bandits use a hole in space-time to travel to the Time of Legends, home to all sorts of mythical creatures, and wherein is imprisoned the [[MadeOfEvil Evil Genius]]. The implication in the story is that the Time of Legends is not a true historical time period, but rather a kind of [[PocketDimension pocket universe]], only reachable by time-hole.
* ''Film/TheBeastmaster''
* ''ConanTheBarbarian''
* ''Film/TheDarkCrystal''
* ''Film/TheForbiddenKingdom''

[[folder: Literature ]]
* Creator/LarryNiven wrote a book series called ''Literature/TheMagicGoesAway'', which posits that magic and magical creatures, up to and including [[PhysicalGod Gods]] were once real, but the {{Mana}} that powered them got used up, civilization fell into ruins, the Gods and monsters all died, and Man was left to huddle in caves for millenia until new ways of life could be invented.
* The setting of the ''{{Everworld}}'' book series, although in the modern day, is an alternate universe where all the mythological creatures and deities ''ran away to''.
* The Age Of Legends in ''TheWheelOfTime'', basically a {{Utopia}} fueled by {{Magitek}}. It [[AndManGrewProud didn't]] [[CataclysmBackstory end well]].
** And the time that is actually called the Age of Myths in ''The Wheel of Time'' is implied to be our own modern age.
* In ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' the war 3000 years ago between the Old World and the New. The Keep, the Confessors, the Chimes, Chainfire, the Palace of the Prophets, the Bond with Lord Rahl, innumerable books of magic, constructed spells, the Journey Books, the Towers of Perdition, and even the [[spoiler: antagonist and the ''protagonist'']] are all remnants of that war, brought back as the last smidgeon of that war.
* The age of {{The Gunslinger}}s in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' and of the [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Great Old Ones]] before them. Basically same as the above.
* Creator/MichaelMoorcock's ''{{Corum}}'' books all open with a 'Time of Myths' introduction, which starts something like "In those days there were oceans of light and cities in the skies and wild flying beasts of bronze..." and goes on to recount this semi-mythical history for a while before an eventual segue into the story to date.
* In ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy1'', the planet-building megafactory of Magrathea was built during a golden age:
-->"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri."
* Tolkien's Middle-Earth is also one of these -- part of the fiction is Professor Tolkien claiming the TheLordOfTheRings and its related works were translations of long-lost volumes, thus setting the action in a forgotten age of our own world.
** The Elder Days in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', especially the Great Tales descended from ''Literature/TheBookOfLostTales'', which reads [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin exactly what it sounds like]].
* The appropriately named Age of Heroes in ASongOfIceAndFire fits the bill. Almost all of the noble families of Westeros claim descent from one of the many heroes that lived at this period, and this was also the time when the Others/Night Walkers attacked and were driven back.
* ''DarkReflectionsTrilogy'' mentions that before the [[AdvancedAncientAcropolis suboceanic kingdoms]], and even ancient Egypt, there was a time when gods walked the Earth in their orginal forms. [[spoiler: Then humans decided they prefer mute, stone statues to living deities and hunted them down. The Flowing Queen is actually [[LivingRelic one of these old gods]], Sahment.]] There are hints Literature/BabaYaga may be one herself, too.
* ''The Legend of Sigmar'' novels by Graham McNeill are the grimier, grittier version of this in the same vein as the Conan stories.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''[[XenaWarriorPrincess Xena: Warrior Princess]]''
* ''[[HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys Hercules: The Legendary Journeys]]''
* In a land of myth, and a time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young boy. His name...''{{Series/Merlin}}.''

[[folder: Music ]]
* [[Music/{{Horslips}} The Horslips]]' two concept albums, ''Book of Invasions'' and ''The Tain'', are about the Heroic Age of the earliest Irish myths, where men, Gods and non-human creatures fought for the mastery of Ireland.
* DeepPurple's LP ''The Book of Taliesyn'' opens with a track revisiting early British/Celtic mythology via the bard/mystic Taliesyn. A lost Celtic kingdom called Taliesin existed in what is now the North of England/Scottish borders. Its last remants fell with the Norman invasion in 1066.

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* The first edition of ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' ran with the idea that Creation was this to either the real world or the ''TabletopGame/WorldOfDarkness'', with Creation undergoing successive revolutions and collapses that eventually left it diminished and bound into the world we know. The idea was eventually formally abandoned, but influences remain.
* ''TabletopGame/HousesOfTheBlooded'' presents itself as about the Ven people out of the world's mythic past. Specifically, it's about playing in the style of the Ven's own popular dramas about their own history, which they heavily mythologized. Yes, the sourcebook is rich with LiteraryAgentHypothesis.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* In VisualNovel/FateStayNight, older heroes and artifacts are more powerful than younger ones (compare say Caliburn to Sigurdīs Gram, then Gram would win everytime), particularly things from the "Age of Gods" before the rise of Christianity came. This is displayed best perhaps when Caster fought Rin using spells requiring a single word to cast, while the latter (a genius albeit inexperienced magus in her own right) was forced to use gems that had months or years worth of stored prana to counter them. Although Rin admitted she would have been able to counter a few spells for each gem if she were more confident, it doesn't change the fact that a few words from a Magus of the age of gods is worth years of prana storage from a modern one. Additionally, Caster can manifest spells in a single word that require modern magi to chant for a full minute (or half a minute in the case of experts) to replicate, and '''one''' of hers contain several times the '''total prana''' of the protagonist.
* The most obvious video game example is '''named''' ''VideoGame/AgeOfMythology''.
** Featuring Egyptians, Greeks, and Vikings fighting each other, and later the suspiciously Roman Atlanteans.
* The first few hundred years of a game in ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' are typically this, a time where mythical beasts and gods (the latter actually demons posing as gods) roam the land, civilization is usually in the bronze age and still expanding, and the world in general is a far more dangerous place. Fast forward some years (or kill the beasties yourself) however, and time passes into the ages of [[EndOfAnAge Legends and Heroes]], moving ahead as more of these creatures are killed. Eventually, if ''all'' mythical creatures are killed and humanity ends up being the only surviving civilized race, the world passes into the [[HereThereWereDragons age of Civilization]] entirely.
* A theme in ''VideoGame/{{Dominions}} 3''; The Early age is an age where magic is commonplace. Mages are stronger, the various races are quite superhuman, and civilization hasn't progressed as far. Fast forward a bit, and the various civilizations have very developed metallurgy and are closer to a 1500s level of technology... and magic has dwindled. The non-human races have interbred with humans, and mages have become weaker.
* In ''VideoGame/UltimaII'', this was where Minax the BigBad was living. ''Ultima II'' is the strangest of the games to explain canon-wise, because for some reason it takes place on ''Earth'', yet later games say it happened in AnotherDimension Britannia.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' games have the Dawn Era. In addition to the usual god walkabouts and wars, time was also nonlinear. A lot of strange stuff went down. [[{{Gotterdammerung}} When it ended, most of the "original spirits"/gods had been turned into the flora and/or fauna of Nirn, linear time, matter, and the world itself.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' exists because of this trope.
* The Kingdom of Zeal in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''.
* ''VideoGame/TitanQuest'' is an entire Action RPG about the Greek Time of Myths.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' and, to a much lesser extent ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' are this to ''VideoGame/VagrantStory'', with [[TheMagicGoesAway magic going away]] more and more over the course of millennia.
* The ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' series, an ultra-violent take on the ancient Greek mythos.
* ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'' seems to take place in this at first, but many of these elements are actually mixed with Science Fiction and actually takes place in the far future, but the elements for this trope are extremely prominent.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', [[spoiler: the DistantFinale reveals the legend of "The Shepard" has long since passed into the realm of myth. The entire series itself is implied to be the Stargazer recounting the story to his young grandson.]]
* ''VideoGame/BravelyDefault'' has two of these, although they are only mentioned in the descriptions of items: the Age of Myths, which appears to be based on GreekMythology, and the land of Wa, which vanished several centuries before the events of the game and is based on JapaneseMythology.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* Disney's ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'', which is (very, very) loosely based on the Greek myth of Herakles. To a lesser extent, Disney's ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' as well.