Iron Age

See also: iron age


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From iron + age, in the mythological sense a calque of Latin saecula ferrea, aetas ferrea; in the archaeological sense a calque of Danish jernalder.


Proper nounEdit

Iron Age

  1. (mythology) The most recent and debased of the four or five classical Ages of Man; hence, any period characterised by wicked behaviour. [from 16th c.]
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970, partition II, section 1, member 3:
      He that shall examine this iron age wherein we live, where love is cold […] may well ask where is charity?
  2. An age characterised by the use of iron. [from 16th c.]
  3. (archaeology) A level of culture in which Man used iron and the technology of ironworking. (Estimated to have begun in Europe about 1100 BCE) [from 19th c.]

Coordinate termsEdit

See alsoEdit

See alsoEdit


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