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History Analysis / EndOfAnAge

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This is actually a very old myth indeed: in Antiquity the belief was that man ''had'' declined from a Golden Age. The [[AncientGreece Greek]] poet Creator/{{Hesiod}} theorized that 'the present' (ie. the mundane world) is only the latest and most bleak period of human history. It was not until much later that the view that human history is one of relentless progress truly caught on. The Roman poet Creator/{{Ovid}} copied this progression, with the Golden Age followed by Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages in his epic ''Literature/{{Metamorphoses}}'', all declining in quality. Hesiod had a 'Heroic' Age, populated by demigods and heroes, in between the Bronze and Iron (present) Ages.

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This is actually a very old myth indeed: in Antiquity the belief was that man ''had'' declined from a Golden Age. The [[AncientGreece [[UsefulNotes/AncientGreece Greek]] poet Creator/{{Hesiod}} theorized that 'the present' (ie. the mundane world) is only the latest and most bleak period of human history. It was not until much later that the view that human history is one of relentless progress truly caught on. The Roman poet Creator/{{Ovid}} copied this progression, with the Golden Age followed by Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages in his epic ''Literature/{{Metamorphoses}}'', all declining in quality. Hesiod had a 'Heroic' Age, populated by demigods and heroes, in between the Bronze and Iron (present) Ages.


Usually, when the old civilization was human, it is explicitly based on the Roman Empire, especially its fall and the state of Europe afterwards. Occasionally, the people visiting are aliens, robots, or stranger fare paying respects to [[{{Ptitlebvh6quvp}} Humanity's Wake]].

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Usually, when the old civilization was human, it is explicitly based on the Roman Empire, especially its fall and the state of Europe afterwards. Occasionally, the people visiting are aliens, robots, or stranger fare paying respects to [[{{Ptitlebvh6quvp}} Humanity's Wake]].
HumanitysWake.


For more information on this trope, consult [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Encyclopedia_of_Fantasy The Encyclopedia of Fantasy]]'s entry on "Thinning".

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For more information on this trope, consult [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Encyclopedia_of_Fantasy The Encyclopedia of Fantasy]]'s entry on "Thinning"."Thinning".
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This is actually a very old myth indeed: in Antiquity the belief was that man ''had'' declined from a Golden Age. The [[AncientGreece Greek]] poet Hesiod theorized that 'the present' (ie. the mundane world) is only the latest and most bleak period of human history. It was not until much later that the view that human history is one of relentless progress truly caught on. The Roman poet {{Ovid}} copied this progression, with the Golden Age followed by Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages in his epic ''[[TheMetamorphoses Metamorphoses]]'', all declining in quality. Hesiod had a 'Heroic' Age, populated by demigods and heroes, in between the Bronze and Iron (present) Ages.

to:

This is actually a very old myth indeed: in Antiquity the belief was that man ''had'' declined from a Golden Age. The [[AncientGreece Greek]] poet Hesiod Creator/{{Hesiod}} theorized that 'the present' (ie. the mundane world) is only the latest and most bleak period of human history. It was not until much later that the view that human history is one of relentless progress truly caught on. The Roman poet {{Ovid}} Creator/{{Ovid}} copied this progression, with the Golden Age followed by Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages in his epic ''[[TheMetamorphoses Metamorphoses]]'', ''Literature/{{Metamorphoses}}'', all declining in quality. Hesiod had a 'Heroic' Age, populated by demigods and heroes, in between the Bronze and Iron (present) Ages.


This trope is distinguished from TheMagicGoesAway by the Golden Age being in the story's past; Götterdämmerung happened long ago. The story of the end of the golden age is TheMagicGoesAway.

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Once, there was a Golden Age, where beings with powers beyond imagining walked the Earth. Now, however, all of the gods, really strong mages, {{Precursors}} and whatnot are gone, or shadows of what they once were. Fortunately, this means the great [[BigBad demons and monsters]] are also weaker than they once were, but unfortunately, modern society is far less capable of dealing with them.

This is actually a very old myth indeed: in Antiquity the belief was that man ''had'' declined from a Golden Age. The [[AncientGreece Greek]] poet Hesiod theorized that 'the present' (ie. the mundane world) is only the latest and most bleak period of human history. It was not until much later that the view that human history is one of relentless progress truly caught on. The Roman poet {{Ovid}} copied this progression, with the Golden Age followed by Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages in his epic ''[[TheMetamorphoses Metamorphoses]]'', all declining in quality. Hesiod had a 'Heroic' Age, populated by demigods and heroes, in between the Bronze and Iron (present) Ages.

Hindu philosophers invented a similar concept, of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuga four yugas]], which delineated a series of stages in the moral evolution and subsequent devolution of the universe, at large. The main events of both the major Epics fall at the end of an Era, leaving the world to the 'lesser sons of greater sires'. This use of devolution is ''very'' popular across the {{Fantasy}} genre, and any series set in TheTimeOfMyths usually implies by the end that magic and the Gods will either retire or die off, leading to a society similar to the viewer's, though this might have less to do with cynicism, and more to do with [[TropeMakers emulating J.R.R. Tolkien]].

It can be argued that this Twilight gives a type of freedom from the tyranny of the gods, or from the temptation the magical/technological power that destroyed The Ancients. Also, whereas former evils back then could only be [[SealedEvilInACan sealed]], now the overall entropy means they can die.

The remnants of the past are a common plot device. Discovering the ruins of an AdvancedAncientAcropolis is a common quest. Pockets of the LostTechnology that the old ones understood and wielded freely become treasures, either as one-of-a-kind BlackBox constructs or as the foundation of the technology level of the new world. A survivor might even exist in the form of a LivingRelic. Of course, the fearful may (rightly) stigmatize and seek to destroy these relics for fear they are {{Pointless Doomsday Device}}s.

Usually, when the old civilization was human, it is explicitly based on the Roman Empire, especially its fall and the state of Europe afterwards. Occasionally, the people visiting are aliens, robots, or stranger fare paying respects to [[{{Ptitlebvh6quvp}} Humanity's Wake]].

Sometimes, there is a promise of a [[DawnOfAnEra bright future ahead]], as good as or better than the old world. If so, it's usually either caused directly or helped along by the efforts of the protagonists. Still even in this last case the series will have an unavoidable sense of wistfulness. Magic is, well ''magical'' after all, and it is hard not to mourn its loss.

This trope is distinguished from TheMagicGoesAway by the Golden Age being in the story's past; Götterdämmerung happened long ago. The story of the end of the golden age is TheMagicGoesAway.

See Also: AndManGrewProud, AfterTheEnd, HereThereWereDragons, TheMagicGoesAway, {{Precursors}} and EndOfAnAge. Not to be confused with the expletive that demands that the Big Man Upstairs condemns something that just screwed you over.

For more information on this trope, consult [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Encyclopedia_of_Fantasy The Encyclopedia of Fantasy]]'s entry on "Thinning".

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