Dear reader, my name is Luis Miguel Goitizolo. In this page I present an article inspired in my book The Wheel of Time - A Study in the Doctrine
of Cosmic Cycles
and in other, similar interests.


The Four Ages of Mankind

In a strict sense, the “myth” of the Four Ages of Mankind is generally assumed to have originated in Greece around the eighteenth century BC, back in the days the country was plunged into desolation by the Doric people’s invasion. Around that time, the poet Hesiod, probably influenced by obscure legends about past cataclysms and the happier times that preceded them, is said to have set to the task of composing, in the solitude of the countryside, his Works and Days, the most intriguing of the two famous poems attributed to him – the other being his famous Theogony.

In the former, Hesiod relates how up until his time, the human race had lived four main ages: the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age, with an additional age, that of the Heroes, apparently inserted between the Bronze and Iron ages only to accommodate the great heroes of the Iliad.

Within the same tradition but many centuries later, the Latin poet Ovid (43 BC – 18 AD), in his Metamorphoses, additionally alludes to the deluge that ensued at the end of the Iron Age and from which were spared Deucalion and Pyrrha, who gave birth to a new humanity.

So far the classical version. In a broader sense, however, the tradition would have an older, possibly Oriental origin. According to scholars, it would have originated in the primitive peoples’ longing for a natural life, which, coupled with considerations about the recurrence and regularity of the disasters that afflict the world as well as the speculation inspired in such quaternary cycles as the four yearly seasons, four phases of the Moon, four stages in the life of man, and so on, would have crystallized in the “myth” of the Four Ages of the World brought to light by Hesiod.

As to the place of origin itself, some are inclined to believe it was India, considering the manifest identity between the four ages of the Greek tradition and the descending cycle of four yugas of the Hindustan tradition.

In this connection, however, we would still need to determine whether this is also the origin of many other myths in which the notion of four ages is equally prominent, such as the Maya and Inca and many other traditions; and even of all other “myths of return” where – irrespective of the number of ages – there stands out the universal, most ancient belief in the “fall” of man, a tradition that evokes the decline and alienation of mankind from a golden, paradisiacal condition to one of total degradation – usually ending in a catastrophic deluge – a most familiar and characteristic version of which can be read in the first pages of the Bible, from the “fall” of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from Paradise to the events that led to the Flood.

 

The Precession of the Equinoxes

But let’s get back to the Four Ages and our next logical step, i.e. determine their lengths. In his Timaeus, Plato asserts that the seven planets, once the time to balance their respective speeds has elapsed, return to their starting point. This revolution is a “perfect year” and, considering the great significance it has for different traditions, must exert some sort of influence in the total length of a cycle of four ages.

In turn Cicero, while recognizing the difficulty of estimating the length of this vast celestial period, rates it as 12,954 common years, although the precise length appears to be 12,960 years (180 x 72) as certain concurring data suggest.

And in effect, this latter period, also called “great year” by both Greeks and Persians, is the exact half of the great astronomical cycle known as the precession of the equinoxes (or “Zodiacal Year”), the length of which has been traditionally calculated as 25,920 common years (360 x 72) and, as is widely known, is the one during which the projection of the Earth’s axis, responding to the rotation and oscillation (or “wobbling”) motions of the planet along its orbit, makes a full circle at a rate of one degree every 72 years and returns to the exact point of departure in relation to the Zodiac constellations so that the equinoctial point, one of the two times of the year in which the night lasts exactly as the day does, turns out to be the same again as it was at the beginning of the period.

 



The Cycle of Precession of the Equinoxes
 

Although this cycle is said to have been discovered in 139 BC by the Greek astronomer Hipparchus, some authors believe the first to calculate its length as 25,920 common years were the ancient Egyptians, who would have come by this figure by matching the equinox with the same Zodiacal sign during 2,160 years; and still others say the first to know about it were the old Brahmanas of India, which knowledge would have been spread to Iran and Sumer and then to Egypt, where it was picked up by the Greek Hipparchus.

Be it as it may, the Egyptians, according to the Hermetic tradition, were trying to establish the length of the Divine Year, which was then fixed as approximately 168 Zodiacal years (or “creation days,” as they used to call them). This itself is extremely suggestive, as 168 times 25,920 is 4’354,560 common years, virtually the length of a Hindu cycle of four yugas (4’320,000 common years) with a difference of “only” 34,560 years. However, since the consideration of such remarkable coincidence would take too long, for the moment I will stop here. See you soon with more.


Lima, November 2010


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A Message from The Author

 


Dear Friend,

Ever since I was
a youth I was fascinated by Oriental wisdom and particularly by the Hindu doctrines. However, it was not until a few years ago that I undertook the task of studying the ancient doctrine of cosmic cycles from different perspectives, though mainly using the most relevant sacred texts from all around the world. In time, I felt the urge to write a book about my studies in that matter in my mother tongue, Spanish, which I titled "La rueda del tiempo" (in English, "The Wheel of Time"). It is excerpts of that book and other original articles dealing with similar topics which I will start publishing through this medium as of today.

More recently, after some years as a networker promoting a variety of programs, I decided to translate my book into English, a task that was successfully completed a few month ago. And over the past weeks and months I have been publishing excerpts of this translation, as well as other original articles in English that also deal with similar topics, on various online media of the United States and other countries.

 

Thank You,

 

Luis Miguel Goitizolo
Lima - Perú


miguelgoitizolo@gmail.com
 

                                                                                                    

     

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